Roy and Gabby deliver horses to Missouri in 1861. When the war breaks out, they become confederate scouts. When the rebel McBride and his gang of murderers attack them, Roy is shot and left for dead. One of McBride's raiders is Dave who is a friend of Roy and he returns to save him. Later Roy captures McBride's gang including Dave and has to have them executed. Then he heads after McBride.Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
During the US Civil War, there were some infamous characters who led raiding parties who essentially robbed, burned and destroyed...all in the name of the South. However, many would say that they were thieves and cutthroats and they used the war as an excuse for these actions. The most famous of these was Quantrill and his raiders, though they were one of several groups who engaged in this sort of behavior. So, it's not surprising that "The Arizona Kid" uses this idea and it's up to Roy and Gabby to stop these jerks.
The film starts in Missouri just before the war. Roy comes into town and recognizes McBride, as he's an infamous wanted man. But when soldiers take off after him to arrest him, McBride and his gang bushwhack them....killing the men. Despite this, however, McBride runs about with impunity, as the local sheriff is afraid to do his job. Once the war begins, McBride joins the Confederate army and forms his own cavalry unit...all in the name of helping the South but this gang essentially preys on everyone. Can Roy stop him? And, what about Roy's old pal...he joined up with McBride?!
Here in 2020, some might blanch at seeing a few things in this film--in particular, Roy joins the Confederate Army. Back in 1939, most folks wouldn't have cared. But today, this combined with the happy slaves you see early in the film, it's sure to make some uncomfortable...some mad. My attitude is that I can look past this and realize it was a sign of the times in which it was made. How much you can or cannot do that will depend a lot on how much you like the film.
As for the movie, it's pretty typical for Roy--a B-movie of about 60 minutes and with George 'Gabby' Hayes there as his sidekick. And, like Roy Rogers' earlier films, there's no Dale Evans in it as his love interest. What is NOT typical is the fate of the gang...and the violent ends to these folks might surprise those familiar with Rogers' later, and more gentle, films. I actually appreciated this about "The Arizona Kid" and enjoyed the movie quite a bit.
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