Unlike his friendly rivals Hoppy and Gene whose movies usually dealt with Hollywood cowboy fantasy, Roy Rogers films sometimes mixed fact with fiction. Two of his best early movies were "Billy the Kid Returns," where Roy played the Kid, and "Days of Jesse James," where Don "Red" Barry played Jesse. In "Nevada City," the real stagecoach bandit Black Bart is featured, played by Fred Kohler Jr. The outlaw Black Bart was noted for his poetry, a sample of which he would leave when he robbed a stage. He would sign his poem "the Po8." In "Nevada City," an example of Black Bart's poetry is read aloud by Roy. He robbed coaches laden with gold from the area around Sacramento, California, during the Gold Rush. The movie story takes place in California which is true to the facts surrounding the infamous outlaw. Besides this, the rest in the movie is Hollywood.
The comedy in the film is supplied by Gabby Hayes, who has come to personify the movie cowboy sidekick. Gabby has some funny lines in this oater. The jail scene is hilarious. Roy and Gabby have been locked up for allegedly aiding and abetting Black Bart. A supposed drunk is placed in the cell with them. The drunk does a typical inebriated routine. He takes out a rope and asks Gabby if he knows any tricks. Gabby has a clever comeback, "How do you think we got in here to start with?" Using the rope, Gabby tries to lasso the jail door keys hanging on the wall. He makes several unsuccessful attempts then makes the rye comment, "This is like trying to rope a mo-skeeter on a dark night." The fun continues.
This Roy Rogers outing is all action. Not long after this film, Roy turned more and more to his singing (he had helped start the legendary Sons of the Pioneers) until many of his films became musical extravaganzas, not unlike Broadway shows of the day. So enjoy this fast-paced Roy Rogers oater to see why he came to be called "The King of The Cowboys."
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