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Heart of the Golden West (1942)

Passed | | Action, Comedy, Music | 16 November 1942 (USA)
Lambert owns the trucking line that ships cattle to market. When he raises his rates Roy decides to ship the cattle on the River Boat. When Lambert and his men are unable to stop the boat, they rustle the cattle.


Joseph Kane


Earl Felton (original screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Roy Rogers ... Roy Rogers
Smiley Burnette ... Frog Millhouse
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Gabby Whitaker
Bob Nolan ... Bob Nolan
Sons of the Pioneers ... Musicians
Ruth Terry ... Mary Lou Popen
Walter Catlett ... Colonel Silas Popen
Paul Harvey ... James Barrabee
Edmund MacDonald ... Ross Lambert (as Edmund McDonald)
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... Rango
William Haade ... Cully Bronson - Henchman
Hall Johnson Choir Hall Johnson Choir ... Choir
Learn more

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Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette), Gabby Whittaker (George 'Gabby' Hayes) and the Sons of the Pioneers (Sons of the Pioneers) undertake to protect the ranchers of Cherokee City from unjust charges levied against them for transporting their cattle to the stock yards of the packing houses. Trucking executive Ross Lambert (Edmund MacDonald) doubles his rates and Roy decides to try and convince old Colonel Silas Popen (Walter Catlett) to run his riverboat as far as Cherokee City and transport the cattle that way. Roy and his friends plan a "western" welcome for Popen and his daughter Mary Lou (Ruth Terry), but James Barabee (Paul Harvey, head of the cattleman's association, sends Roy a wire warning him that Popen hates and fears anything smacking of the "wild west." Lambert and his henchman Cully Bronson (William Haade) intercept the wire and start a campaign to make Cherokee City appear lawless and wild, so that Popen will refuse to bring his steamboats up the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Smiley Burnette joined Roy Rogers in this movie because the one actor he regularly "sidekicked" for, Gene Autry, had enlisted in the service. See more »


James Barrabee: Now, calm, everybody, calm, calm!... don't get excited... be calm, Colonel, calm... there's nothing to get excited about at all...
[shouts at the top of his voice]
James Barrabee: Roy! Roy!
Colonel Silas Popen: Roy! Roy! Who's Roy?
See more »


Featured in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) See more »


River Chant
Written by Hall Johnson
Performed by the Hall Johnson Choir
See more »

User Reviews

Lively And Funny Roy Rogers Vehicle
15 May 2010 | by FightingWesternerSee all my reviews

Tired of dealing with the gangsterish owner of the area's only trucking company, Roy Rogers and the local cattlemen try to lure a riverboat line into starting a route on the near-bye river. The only problem is that the owner of the company has a wild west phobia, of which the crooked truckers plan on exploiting to maximum effect.

The emphasis this time is on raucous comedy, with sidekicks Smiley Burnette and George "Gabby" Hayes in top form, threatening to steal the movie from Roy. The scene where they accidentally start a fire inside their two-man horse costume is gut-busting hilarious, as is the earlier gag where they barge into the frightened riverboat owner's room dressed like "scary" western characters.

Great photography, rowdy action, and a few good songs also help make this one of Roy's best unsung adventures. It appears as if Republic Pictures threw a bit more money than usual (for a Saturday matinée western) at this project.

The film's musical highlight occurs when Roy joins The Hall Johnson Choir and The Sons Of The Pioneers to sing an absolutely fantastic old-time spiritual on the banks of the river.


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Release Date:

16 November 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Sul de Santa Fé See more »

Filming Locations:

Mammoth Lakes, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(original) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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