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The Royal Rodeo (1939)

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
Marianne (as Lucille Fairbanks)
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:

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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.
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Version of The Royal Rider (1929) See more »


(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Performed by a chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

A Cast Gets the Royal Treatment
24 April 2014 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

In the small European nation Avania, boy king Scotty Beckett (as the small king) likes reading about the western exploits of American cowboy star John Payne (as Bill Stevens). The kid is thrilled when Mr. Payne visits Avania, with his traveling rodeo show. A command performance is arranged. Payne sings "That's the Way to Be a Buckaroo" to young Beckett. The abduction of Beckett and pretty blonde Lucile Fairbanks (as Marianne) leads to a western chase. Payne and comic sidekick Cliff Edwards (as Shorty) also sing a patriotic American song to Beckett, who appears ready to immigrate. This short story looks like a showcase for Payne, who certainly shows star quality, and others. Also getting easy camera attention, Ms. Fairbanks is from that family (the niece of Hollywood super-star Douglas Fairbanks). "The Royal Rodeo" is photographed in beautiful Technicolor by Charles Boyle, and everything looks great.

****** The Royal Rodeo (11/25/39) George Amy ~ John Payne, Scotty Beckett, Cliff Edwards, Lucile Fairbanks

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