7 September 2007 | wes-connors
The Sanitarium in the Sierras
Roy Rogers returns to an old boyhood hometown in the Sierras, where he discovers poachers killing off the area deer. Mr. Rogers finds an abandoned fawn, and brings it to "The Sanitarium" - an animal refuge run by old friend Harry Cheshire (as Cap. Foster); there, he finds Mr. Cheshire treating the fawn's mother for a bullet wound. When the animal-loving Cheshire stumbles upon the gang of poachers, he is murdered. Rogers must find those responsible. Sheriff Andy Devine (as "Cookie") lends an occasional hand.
The characterizations are very good; especially, the introduction, and disposal, of the character played by Harry Cheshire ("Cap Foster"). The characters played by Stephanie Bachelor ("Miss Loring") and Hal Landon ("Bert") are also nicely drawn. Memorably, Rogers is dramatically beaten and left for dead in a meat freezer. Of course, Rogers escapes frozen death - and the ensuing shootout is quite exciting. During the obligatory shootout, note that the shots fired actually mean something; there is no pointless shooting, so a sense of real danger prevails. "Good Girl" Jane Frazee and "Bad Girl" Loring have a cool fistfight, too.
Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers demonstrate some excellent harmony and backing vocals on "A Cowboy Has To Sing". On the other hand, "Oh, What a Picture" is dreadful - not only for Mr. Devine's "comedy" vocal, but also for ruining the dramatic pace of the film. A redundant comedy interlude follows almost immediately ("What are You Going to Do Then?"); only one, if any, is really needed. The title song "Springtime in the Sierras" has a strained film tie-in.
***** Springtime in the Sierras (1947) William Witney ~ Roy Rogers, Jane Frazee, Andy Devine