Crooks try to take over an airport by sabotaging the planes. Sheriff Roy catches them. Songs: title song, "Granada," "You Belong to my Heart," and "Wait'll I get my Sunshine in the ... See full summary »
Bad guy Craig Allen, gambler and town boss, tries to take a gold mine inherited by innocent Chip Williams on her seventeenth birthday. Roy and his pal 'Teddy' Bear ride to help the girl and her cousin.
Gabby refuses to breed his horse the Golden Sovereign with Roy's. When the Sovereign and Roy's horse escape, Skoville shoots the Sovereign by mistake but Roy is blamed and jailed. A year ... See full summary »
Sue Farnum inherits a circus, but her dead father's partner is trying to take it away from her. Roy and Bob Nolan are filming a movie on location at the circus. They and a number of other ... See full summary »
Retired actor Jack Holt is raising Christmas trees for sale at a cost which permits every family to have one. A commercial tree company tries to drive Holt out of business. Roy saves the day, of course.
A gang, headed by evil Stephanie Bachelor, is slaughtering game out of season. Roy finds the freezer where the meat is kept, but baddie Roy Barcroft finds him there. A famous fight takes place in the freezer. Roy, of course, wins it.
Roy is a United States Marshal tracking down a counterfeiting ring and hunting down a mountain lion. Songs: "It's One Wonderful Day," "Rootin' Tootin' Cowboy," "Pancho's Rancho" and the ... See full summary »
The annual return of the salmon each year gives the Indians of the Northwest enough food to last until the next year. This way of live is threatened by Banning who puts in a cannery on the ... See full summary »
Roy has just finished his latest film and leaves for his ranch where he will be broadcasting a show celebrating his tenth year in movies. When Roy and Trigger arrive at his ranch he finds Cookie has hired his relatives. Caroline, the only relative that doesn't have a strong resemblance to Cookie, is the horse trainer. Bob Tells Roy a gang of men are hunting range horses. Roy puts a stop to hunting on his land. Pop decides there's money in kidnapping Trigger and demands a $100,000 ransom. McFarland's stepson, Ted, and his dog Tramp, run away and are found hiding in Roy's barn. A trap is set to catch the kidnappers.Written by
Kidnappers abduct Trigger in lively Roy Rogers Trucolor western
UNDER CALIFORNIA STARS (1948) is a fairly typical postwar Roy Rogers vehicle with a routine B-western plot enlivened by some excellent Trucolor photography. Roy plays himself, the movie star dubbed `King of the Cowboys,' and is briefly glimpsed on the Republic Pictures soundstage before the action quickly shifts to Roy's rural property, the Double R Ranch, for the occasion of a radio broadcast celebrating the star's tenth anniversary in movies. The event is marred by the kidnapping of Roy's palomino, Trigger, by a group of henchmen working for Pop Jordan, a local horse trader. Ted, a boy who ran away to Roy's ranch after mistreatment by his stepfather, witnesses the kidnapping but is warned to keep quiet or they'll kill Ted, Trigger AND Roy.
Given the fame of Roy and his horse, it seems a mite foolhardy to go around kidnapping Trigger, especially since the event makes national headlines. But, in the insular alternate universe of the postwar B-western, the matter is left entirely up to the local sheriff of Saddleback, a town which offers no sign of a gas station, diner or paved road. Neither the FBI nor the state police nor any other pertinent law enforcement agency is called, nor do they show up on their own. (Had J. Edgar Hoover never heard of Trigger? Was he too busy chasing commies? Or did he simply not exist in this world?)
Eventually, Roy and his crew, which includes Cookie Bullfincher (Andy Devine) and Roy's backup singers, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, work with the sheriff to come up with a plan to trap the kidnappers when they show up for the ransom money. There is lots of outdoors action and furious horse-riding, before a violent confrontation or two ends the problem. The action is shot almost entirely on location, with none of the studio-shot closeups that one finds in a later Roy western like NORTH OF THE GREAT DIVIDE (1950).
There's a surprising amount of bad behavior and violent death on display. Even though these films were set in the modern era, they featured typical B-western type villains who were invariably local businessmen who are secretly corrupt and embark on capers which threaten Roy in one way or another. A somewhat alarming development in this film is the constant threatening of Ted, the runaway boy, first by his stepfather, Lige, Pop Jordan's chief assistant, and later by another henchman, Ed, who threatens to blow Ted's head off if he says a word about who kidnapped Trigger. These darker elements serve to counterbalance the song and comic interludes. The lead villains here are authentically crusty, hefty western types, well-played by George Lloyd and Wade Crosby.
Andy Devine provides the comedy relief, a role that would be taken by Gordon Jones and Pat Brady in future Rogers westerns. Singer-actress Jane Frazee is the female lead, playing a cousin of Cookie who comes to the ranch to train horses. The catchy title song is heard more than once, culminating in a lovely duet performed by Roy and Jane. The film is not as well-plotted or packed with incident as such later Rogers Trucolor westerns as THE GOLDEN STALLION and TRIGGER JR., but it remains a must for Roy's fans. Unfortunately, public domain videotapes in circulation don't serve the Trucolor process well. This one remains a prime candidate for restoration by Republic Pictures Home Video.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this