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Craig R. Baxley
Cattle smugglers are working along the U.S. border with Mexico. Hoof-and-mouth disease is discovered among the stolen cattle. Roy becomes involved when a fellow border patrolman is murdered by the rustlers. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Roy Rogers last starring western for Republic Pictures and Herbert J. Yates is this one, Pals Of The Golden West and appropriately enough Dale Evaans co-stars with him. Roy is a border patrolman who apparently doesn't have to wear a uniform on the job. Dale is an investigative reporter of the Lois Lane variety and both are interested in border security as it relates to cattle rustling and smuggling.
The Mexicans aren't as good policing their side, but they're trying and Maurice Jara is Roy's opposite number and they're looking to improve. What concerns both is diseased cattle with hoof and mouth disease.
The villains in this case are Anthony Caruso and Roy Barcroft. Caruso has an interesting background, he's a former Chicago gangster who was deported and now lives in Mexico under an alias operating a ranch which a front for rustling. He says rather proudly he's making more money doing this western type villainy than the usual gangster pursuits.
When Jara recognizes Caruso for who he is, Caruso and Barcroft kill him and Roy has to break the news to his young son Eduardo Jimenez. Now it's a murder investigation.
I called Roy and Dale the Tracy/Hepburn combination for B westerns. Dale is her usual spunky and nosy self and Roy as always is having a battle of the sexes as well as battling the villains. But they had Tracy/Hepburn like chemistry which makes their westerns special.
A definite minus for this film though is Pinky Lee. Whatever possessed Herbert J. Yates to think of Lee as western sidekick material? Roy did a couple films with him before departing for the small screen and as I said on another review, Pinky Lee just doesn't cut it as a sidekick.
This was a good film to end their association with Republic Pictures.
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