20 November 2020 | MartinHafer
If you watch this one, I certainly hope you can find a better copy.
"Gallant Defender" is a film I found on YouTube and I watched it because it marks the first screen appearance of Roy Rogers...before he was a star with Republic Pictures. However, I must warn you....I could not find a copy of this film anywhere else and the YouTube copy is simply horrible. The print is badly faded and degraded and the sound is even worse. The sound fades in and out and I watched it using my headphones...and the film is not in stereo so I only got sound in one side! My feeling is that unless you are a die-hard Rogers or Charles Starrett fan, you might want to watch something different. Yes, the copy is THAT bad! And, sadly, the sound is so awful that it's hard to even hear and enjoy Rogers' singing.
The story involves a typical B-western plot....a rich land baron, Munro, wants to run out all the 'nesters' (small-time ranchers and farmers) because he wants to control everything. So it's up to some heroes to right wrongs and help the poor nesters. And, like so many of these westerns, there's some music...this time provided by the Sons of the Pioneers. This musical group was founded by Roy Rogers a few years before and here he's lead singer...something which would soon change when Rogers would be offered a contract to star in a long string of westerns with Republic, though this particular film was made by rival studio Columbia.
Overall, this is a very typical sort of B-movie, though with the huge sound and picture problems, you might want to watch a different film as thousands of B-westerns were made and most are in far better shape than this one. I score this one a 4 but must deduct a point for the quality of the current print. You really can't even hear Roy sing very well nor see clearly that it's even him! If a better one becomes available please let me know.