Young Joe is paralyzed as he is bucked by a wild horse, a strawberry roan. Angered, his father, Walt, tries to shoot the horse but is stopped by his foreman, Gene Autry. The roan escapes ... See full summary »
Young Joe is paralyzed as he is bucked by a wild horse, a strawberry roan. Angered, his father, Walt, tries to shoot the horse but is stopped by his foreman, Gene Autry. The roan escapes and Autry, told to leave the ranch by Walt, finds and trains the horse, now named Champ, in hopes that by returning it to Joe it will provide him with the will to overcome his disability. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
You know, Joe, I had a horse once that piled into a fence. He healed all right but he never was any use to anybody. The boys said it broke his spirit and might as well shoot him.
Why didn't you?
Well, that would have been a waste. I know he had good stuff and anybody might have thought he just got scared and quit. I've seen horses busted up ten times worse and still come out of it. All he needed was a little time and patience to give him confidence. He turned out to be the best cow pony I've ...
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I doubt that any western, big budget or small, has photographed the superbly scenic locations of Sedona, Ariizona more beautifully than this overlooked Autry western. (Even the few outdoor sets are well done.) Columbia popped for more than usual amount of financing and definitely got their money's worth. This is an easy-going horse story, of the type so popular in the late forties, with just enough action and suspense to entertain both kids and adults. Gene has to protect Champ from a vengeful father, after Champ has disabled his son. Dick Jones does a spirited job as the likable son, showing why Autry kept up their association over the years. There are no typical bad guys or gunplay, but lots of scenic chases across the majestic spires and red-rock formations. I like the way the plot grows out of believable characters instead of the usual stereotypes. Also, the comedy relief is low-key and works nicely into the story line. Except for the lilting title tune, however, the usual musical numbers remain pretty forgettable. Too bad in our age of special-effects spectaculars that this kind of innocent Saturday afternoon fare has ridden off into the sunset. There is still a lot to be said for those gentler values.
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