In my opinion, Roy Rogers's best B-Westerns were the ones in the late forties-early fifties that were directed by William Witney, the "action ace." Of these Witney-Rogers ones, TRIGGER JR. is one of the best. Roy, Trigger, Trigger's almost-full grown son Trigger Jr., sidekicks Gordon Jones and Pat Brady, Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage, along with Roy's circus/wild west show, arrive at the ranch of Colonel Harkrider (veteran character actor George Cleveland), formerly partners with Roy's father Jonathan Rogers in the circus. They wish to winter at the ranch, as it is circus press agent Splinter's (Jones) idea that this will get the circus free publicity. The Colonel's daughter Kay (Dale Evans) also hopes that the prescence of the circus will get vigor back in her father, and that he will resume command of the circus when it leaves in the spring. The Colonel, however, is not too keen on circus life since the death of his older daughter during her bareback riding act. Her son, young Larry (Peter Miles) has ever since been afraid of horses, and the Colonel considers him a coward. The villain of the piece is Manson (Grant Withers), head of the so-called "Range Patrol" which is supposed to keep ranchers' horses from straying onto neighbouring ranges and prevent wild horse from making off with the herds. However, they have accomplished nothing, charged the ranchers exorbitant fees, and they are even suspected of rustling horse. Therefore, the Colonel wants to call together the ranchers to ask for a disbandment of the Range Patrol. Manson, who, needless to say, is rustling while collecting his huge fees, does not want his nice little racket to be wrecked, so he arranges for the escape of a vicious wild hores which the ranchers had ordered destroyed, and turns it loose on the ranchers' stock. The "Phantom" as the killer horse comes to be called, begins vicious raids on the ranch horses, striking them down and killing them with his hoofs. Just as Manson had planned, this gives his Range Patrol an excuse to stay around and "protect" the ranches from the Phantom. How Roy, Trigger Sr. and Jr., the Harkriders, Splinter, and the Riders of the Purple Sage defeat Manson's schemes makes for masterful entertainment. Both Trigger and little Larry prove key factors in the defeat of Manson, and he and his horse are finally brought to bay. This movie has plenty of action, comedy, and drama. Some of the action, such as a violent "hoof fight" between Trigger and the Phantom, is unique and not usually found in B-Westerns. Music is not as well represented as in Roy's earlier films such as BELLS OF ROSARITA, as there are only three songs, but there is nothing wrong with that. And two of the songs are, in my opinion, among the best of the ballads rendered by Roy. They are the delightfully informal "May the good Lord take a likin' to ya" and the eriee and haunting "Stampede!" So two thumbs-up for TRIGGER JR., Roy, Dale, Wit--and Trigger, of course.