5 September 2007 | bkoganbing
Gabby's Home For Wayward Boys
In Song of Arizona Gabby Hayes runs a ranch for wayward boys with the same underlying premise that Spencer Tracy operated Boys Town with, that there's no such thing as a bad boy. Not even Tommy Cook who's the son of notorious outlaw Lyle Talbot. It seems that Talbot had deposited Tommy with Gabby and resumed his outlaw ways.
Not even the most successful of Gabby's graduates, western radio singer Roy Rogers, can deal with Tommy. In fact Lyle never even told Tommy about an older sister he has who's played by Dale Evans. How the two never knew each other might lead to some interesting speculation about Lyle's love life that the Saturday kiddie matinée crowd wasn't ready for.
Gabby's got a big debt to pay a $25,000.00 loan on the ranch that's due. But he's sitting on some treasure because Tommy's got all of his father's stolen loot that Talbot's been sending him bit by bit. Of course after Talbot's been killed by a posse, his henchmen led by perennial western villain Dick Curtis naturally want the money themselves.
It's a tangled mess, but Roy Rogers solves all the problems, financial, emotional, and romantic by the final reel.
Song of Arizona although I saw a really horrible VHS tape of it has some nice western songs in it. In fact during a Halloween type number, Gabby Hayes got to show off some of his old vaudeville shtick from when he was young. That is if you can ever believe Gabby was young.
The Robert Mitchell Boys Choir played the ranch kids and in fact they were the wayward kids that Bing Crosby turned into a choir of little angels in Going My Way. Just a change of setting in this film from urban to rural.
It's not a bad story actually, a bit better than a lot of Roy's films if you discount the G rated silliness in the plot situation.