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The Royal Rodeo (1939)

Approved  |   |  Short, Musical, Romance  |  25 November 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 142 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

A young monarch, bored with responsibility and craving excitement, invites a traveling rodeo show to perform at his palace.



(screenplay), (from an original story by)
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Complete credited cast:
Bill Stevens
Lucile Fairbanks ...
Marianne (as Lucille Fairbanks)
Scotty Beckett ...
The King
Boyd Irwin ...


In the small European country of Avania, the King, who is only a child, is more interested in the arriving American cowboy show led by Bill Stevens than he is about affairs of the state. After meeting Bill, the King requests that a rodeo be held at the castle. The two begin a friendship based on Bill seeing in the King what he himself was like when he was a child. When the Regent of Avania abducts the King and his governess Marianne in an elaborate and widespread conspiracy to overthrow the King, Stevens puts on a real live wild west show to save the pair and maintain the monarchy as it should be. In doing so, Bill also hopes to demonstrate a wider perspective of life the American way. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

25 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1939-1940 season) #2: The Royal Rodeo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #9539-9540. See more »


[opening title card]
Title Card: Somewhere in Europe nestles the country of Avania ~ A small nation with the manner of a mighty kingdom.
See more »


Featured in Movieland Magic (1946) See more »


Oh! Susanna
Written by Stephen Foster (uncredited)
Performed by a chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Cowboys Halt A Coup
5 November 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

John Payne's first feature film western was El Paso in 1949, but earlier on when he was under contract to Warner Brothers he did this Vitagraph Short about a Wild West Show that comes to a Ruritanian type kingdom in the Balkans. Young king Scotty Beckett is real enthusiastic about it, especially after Payne saves his life after he falls over from the royal balcony.

But Payne has to keep doing it because some of the king's adult counselors are planning a coup d'etat. Payne and sidekick Cliff Edwards foil the plans of plotters Stuart Holmes and Boyd Irwin.

The film is a cut down version of the Ken Maynard feature film Royal Rider and between all that life saving, several musical numbers get thrown into the bargain.

I'm betting that Jack Warner was trying out young contract player Payne to see if he might make a passable singing cowboy. In any event within two years Payne was doing A musicals at 20th Century Fox with Alice Faye, Betty Grable, and Sonja Henie.

And when he got around to westerns again, he sung not a note.

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