In this Roy Rogers entry, featuring a song written by Oklahoma Governor Roy J. Turner (making him and Louisiana's Jimmie Davis and Texas' W.E. "Pappy" O'Daniel possibly the only state governors to write songs used in a western), Flying U ranch owner Sam Talbot is killed by a fall from a horse. St. Louis reporter Connie Edwards comes to check a rumor that he might have been murdered. She goes to Roy Rogers, editor of the local newspaper, and he takes her to the reading of Talbot's will. The ranch is left to Talbot's 12-year-old ward, Duke Lowery, much to the dismay of Talbot's niece, Jan Holloway. After some attempts on Duke's life, Roy finally proves that Jan, Steve McClory and coroner Jim Judnick had Talbot killed and are conspiring to do the same for Duke, making Jan the last heir. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were married on location at the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma after filming "Home in Oklahoma" together. There exists a memorial plaque there today commemorating their marriage. See more »
By 1946, the Roy Rogers films had evolved into a very familiar pattern. Most co-starred Dale Evans (usuallly playing headstrong women) and Gabby Hayes and most had a cute kid (usually a boy) as an important member of the cast. The Songs of the Pioneers were also on hand to sing a few tunes. Additionally, Rogers had become a bit of a caricature of himself. In other words, although supposedly a western, the films had Rogers playing a version of himself--a version carefully manicured to project him as an all-around swell guy and friend to children, old coots and the ladies. "Home in Oklahoma" has all of this.
The film begins with Gabby working at a ranch when the owner dies unexpectedly. Soon it's expected that his niece will assume control of the ranch. However, two things unexpectedly occur--the will does NOT leave the property to the niece AND it looks like the man's death was NOT an accident! However, Dale (who plays a spunky yet stupid reporter) doesn't heed Roy's suggestion that she waits to report this and soon she's in deep water with the Sheriff. She wrote in her paper that the man was murdered AND makes some pointed comments about who might be involved--which are WAY premature. Can Roy solve it and save Dale's fanny?
Although Roy always comes off as sweet, kind and swell, Dale often played annoying women. It must have been very thankless for her when she played women who hated Roy with little provocation or ladies who inadvertently help the bad guys because she won't listen to anyone. In this film, she hits Roy over the head with a chair when he's being attacked by a baddie (ooooops!) and gets thrown into jail for publishing crazy theories as facts. But I have seen her in these thankless roles too many times--so when I saw she was in the film, I was prepared for this! So, in light of all this predictability, is the movie any good? Well, it's certainly not great--but I was impressed that the ringleader of the evil doings was a bit of a surprise. In this sense, they did not follow the usual formula--a major plus in the film. Still, it's a rather trifle of a film--worth seeing if you love Rogers films but about as realistic as a Monty Python film in conveying historical events! My feeling is that THE big problem in the film is Dale. Had she been less unlikable and dopey, the film would have played a heck of a lot better.
By the way, like most of Roy's films, this one has been trimmed down to fit TV time slots during the 1950s--lopping almost 20 minutes off the picture. I saw the version that clocked in at under an hour--and there easily could be a longer version out there--as so many films come in multiple versions. So, perhaps the longer version is better...or worse. In most cases, one of the big differences between the two is the number of songs--in trimmed versions, most of the music has been removed.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?