19 April 2011 | frontrowkid2002
Utah: Republic Pictures' answer to Oklahoma stage play
In 1945, Roy Rogers had become Republic's King of the Cowboys. His films were shown not only across the country, but in allied countries which were depending on US films for entertainment. In major cities, like New York, Roy's films got booking dates in first run theaters. Studio president Herbert Yates was in New York City when he saw the Broadway production of "Oklahoma." Taking note of the musical western elements, he decided that the Rogers' pictures would all feature a musical production number at the end. This is why the entire cast, including Gabby Hayes and a flock of sheep, perform on stage before a group of townspeople. This would be the agenda until 1946 when William Witney, Republic's serial director, took over the helm. It was his idea to "toughen up" the King of the Cowboys and add some realistic and bruising fight scenes.