24 June 2012 | MartinHafer
Rather typical of the genre...
Mr. Kenyon is having problems. His employees mostly sit around singing with his young daughter (Jean Porter)--a problem typical to most ranches. So, he fires his employees and his older daughter (Dale Evans) hires a bunch of woman to run the place. At the same time, Roy has come into town and gets run over by Dale and conked over the head and robbed. So, his trail naturally is to the Kenyon spread--to woo Dale and find the thieves.
This film has a lot in common with Roy Rogers' other movies. It's set out west--but in a weird modern one with cars, telephones and the like. When Dale meets him, she hates him--only to eventually be won over by the rugged and virtuous Rogers! He also has a dopey sidekick--though instead of the familiar Gabby Hays, he's got the more larcenous but equally unattractive Edward Gargan. Gargan isn't the women-hater that Gabby usually plays but he's enjoyable nonetheless. And, of course, there's Trigger who manages once again to save the day. Familiar...but also enjoyable.
In the 1950s, most of Roy Rogers' films were hacked apart in order to make them fit into a one-hour time slot. Because of this, many of his films (particularly those in the public domain) have been truncated severely. Oddly, in many cases they left in all the songs--making the pacing of the films rather poor. Fortunately, "San Fernando Valley" is not one of these shortened films--and the pacing is much, much better. Instead of the usual song-chocked movie, this one actually has a bit more story and doesn't seem so rushed. It's not at all a great film but (the acting and writing are rather broad) it's a bit better than the average Rogers film. For fans of the genre, it's well worth seeing. For others, it might seem a bit silly and predictable (which they are....but that's part of their old fashioned charm). Plus, the weird orange dance number at the end is pretty weird--and something that might throw off potential fans, as it's MEGA-weird now that I think about it!!