8 September 2012 | MartinHafer
Although it's full of kids' stuff, it manages to work really well.
If you've seen many Roy Rogers films, you probably noticed that many of them involve kids. This was an image Republic Pictures cultivated--and over the years, his films became more and more kids-oriented. For me, this is a problem. His earlier films seemed less schmaltzy and I really didn't like the cute kids and schmaltzy plots (such as one where he stops bad guys from stealing Christmas trees!). However, "Ridin' Down the Canyon" managed to have a very kids-oriented plot but it still worked very well. I think one of the big reason was that the music was much better than usual--with Roy's Sons of the Pioneers at their very best.
The plot involves a boy, Bobby, and his sister. Their horses keep getting rustled (a VERY common plot in the Rogers films) and the boy sneaks off to find Roy because he KNOWS Roy can help him. However, in an odd case where art and real life converge, in this one Roy is a movie and radio star and because it's NOT the old west, he's not sure what he and his band can do. Will Roy just give up on the kid or will he somehow find a way to restore the child's faith in the wonderfulness of the Rogers mystique? So, the film has great music, great support from Gabby Hayes and it's fun. So, even with the cutesy kid, it's still among the better films of the genre.