Song Of Arizona Cover Now if you think about it for a moment or two, a cowboy needs to be able to sing properly if he want to be able to shoot properly. I mean, how else is he going to feature in the following 68-minute movie made in 1946? It was Directed by: Frank McDonald; and Starred: Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes, Lyle Talbot, with Trigger.

Song Of Arizona

Now I know I should have told you about your father's death earlier, Chip (Tommy Cook). But please, you've got to believe me, son. I do have a valid reason that would justify my delay.

You see, prior to his passing, your old man decided to change the error of his ways, and asked me to ride on out to Carson City so I could do two things on his behalf. Firstly, he told me to inform your half-sister Clare (Dale Evans) about his tragic demise. And then, whilst I was there, he also gave me permission to sell his garage for your schooling costs at Gabby Whittaker's (George Hayes) school for boys.

Well, as you may have heard, Chip, Gabby has been having quite a few financial difficulties lately. And now... errrmmm? He still has some financial difficulties because your father's garage burnt down quite some time ago, and I wasn't able to raise the funds required. 

Nonetheless. That's most probably why what next transpires all gets rather rhythmical when you look up at me and say, 'Well, if you think Gabby's been having some problems, Roy (Roy Rogers), what about me then? I was abducted by my father's henchmen who tried to get me to tell them where he hid his ill gotten gains!!''. As a musical number takes center stage - a family drama searches for a meager wage - a school is funded by some stolen loot - and at the end of the day, my God, isn't Gabby Hayes one hell of a hoot!

Essentially I'd say 'Song of Arizona' is one of those great poetic film's that tells a sad tale full of pathos, family spirit, financial difficulties, as well as the sanctity of good old fashioned western values.

Song Of Arizona Starring Gabby Hayes
Now it starts off in a very simple fashion, really -- conveying that Gabby desperately needs some money so he can finance his school for boys. It then segways into a family drama, where we see a tough looking outlaw -- as played by Lyle Talbot -- kick the bucket, thus paving the way for Roy to see if he can make the best out of a bad situation.

And he does, in a manner of speaking. But prior to this, the 'family drama' portion of the plot takes precedence -- giving Roy, Gabby, Tommy, and Dale, a very good sounding board to convey all the emotions needed to transform this great movie into a really marvelous movie. 

Honestly, film fans. It was as though the very heart of it shone through all of those great scenes it had on offer. For instance, you couldn't help but feel sorry for Tommy's character when the bad-guys roughed him up for his father's money. You couldn't help but cheer Roy on when he managed to get his hands on those said-same bad-guys. And you couldn't help but feel for Gabby's plight when he got shot, or when the threat of loosing his school loomed over him.

Also, something else about this movie I thoroughly enjoyed were those two fairly elaborate musical productions' too. Now the first one involved Roy and Dale doing a very country and western styled double-act set during a rodeo show. Where as the second one was a Halloween themed piece, where we saw Gabby and a little boy -- who dressed up like him -- doing a more cutesy styled number that was just adorable to follow!

As per usual these segments allowed for the narrative to breathe within the confines of its plot. As well as allow us -- the audience -- to sit back and have some fun while we wait for whatever else is going to come up next.

Song Of Arizona  Starring Roy Rogers

A good example of this can also be seen in those scenes where the two school boys tried to play a trick on that old woman's Grandson. Well, without giving too much away, let's just say this flicks jovial focal point shone through both of these two segments. Showing us that one way or another, the moral to this tale is... what goes around, comes around, hint-hint.

Song Of Arizona Vintage 1946 Film Poster
Anyway. By now I'm sure you got the basic gist of what I thought about this wonderful western. So why don't we all now sit back, relax, and check out the following filmic-facts. (1) 'Republic Pictures' first released this production in America on the exact same day Ted Williams refused $500 thousand dollars to play in the Mexican Baseball League. It was on the 9th of March, 1946. (2) The majority of this movie was shot on location at 'Iverson Ranch', Chatsworth, located within the Californian state of Los Angeles. (3) Way before heading off to Hollywood and directing this movie, Frank McDonald was once employed as a railroad worker, maintaining the trains. (4) There are two versions of this film now available to the public. There's the original 68-minute version, as well as an edited-down 54-minute version. (5) After writing the basic story-line for this flick, Bradford Ropes wrote two films for Abbot and Costello called 'Buck Privates Come Home' and 'The Time of Their Lives'. (6) Gabby Hayes' real name isn't Gabby Hayes. It's George Francis Hayes, and he was born in Stannards, New York, on the 7th of May, 1885, and died in Burbank, California, on the 9th of February, 1969. (7) If you look closely at that scene where the calf escapes from the rodeo with a lariat draped around its neck, you'll notice that when Roy and Dale eventually recapture it, the lariat suddenly goes missing. Ops! Slight continuity hitch! (8) After this shindig sung for the saps, Roy Rogers starred in his next adventure, 'Rainbow Over Texas'; Gabby Hayes starred in the western, 'Badman's Territory'; and Lyle Talbot starred in the film-noir, 'Strange Impersonation'.

Song Of Arizona Film Poster Starring Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes

Overall I'd say 'Song of Arizona' is a great movie, because it's well acted, well directed, and has some lavish musical numbers and a great moral centre too.

Look after others, and they will look after you. Nuff said.


ROY ROGERS IN SONG OF ARIZONA (1946) ROY ROGERS IN SONG OF ARIZONA (1946) Reviewed by David Andrews on January 08, 2015 Rating: 5
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