Bells of Rosarita (1945)

Passed   |    |  Action, Music, Western

Bells of Rosarita (1945) Poster

Sue Farnum inherits a circus, but her dead father's partner is trying to take it away from her. Roy and Bob Nolan are filming a movie on location at the circus. They and a number of other ... See full summary »


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Cast & Crew

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Frank McDonald


Jack Townley (story and screenplay)

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19 April 2012 | Michael_Elliott
Good Rogers Vehicle
Bells of Rosarita (1945)

*** (out of 4)

A rather original Western has Roy Rogers and Republic Pictures in a small town filming a movie when he gets involved with a young woman (Dale Evans) who is about to lose her property due to a bad debt of her dead father. It turns out that the father actually paid the debt but there's just no proof so Roy comes to the rescue with a bunch of other Republic cowboys (Don Berry, Bill Elliott, Bob Livingston, Sunset Carson, Allan Lane). Say what you want about the "B" Westerns but I think even the most jaded people would have to give this film credit for at least being original and fun. The entire set-up of the movie production added a real twist to an already familiar story and it took this movie to a new level. Had the film simply told the story of a pretty girl being cheated out of her land then that's really nothing new. Added to the story of a movie studio and real actors coming to the rescue was a neat little trick and really sealed the deal. I thought there were some funny moments where the film takes shots at movies, cowboy stars and that type of thing and we even get a funny joke aimed at John Wayne. As you'd expect, Rogers fits his role just fine and comes across very charming during the more tender scenes but also a real action star during the fights. He gets to sing several tunes including the title track, the catchy "I'm Going to Build a Big Fence Around Texas," and a highly entertaining sequence when we get "When the Circus Comes to Town." Evans, as usual, makes for a good lead lady and we get some nice support from the one and only Gabby Hayes. The other Republic cowboy stars just make cameos but it's nice seeing everyone together and it certainly adds to the film. BELLS OF ROSARITA isn't a John Ford masterpiece but it's quite fun with a good story, fun songs and some nice action.

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