Silver City Bonanza (1951)

Approved   |    |  Western

Silver City Bonanza (1951) Poster

Blind Pete Horne knows the location of the Lost Spanish Silver Lode, but is knifed before he can tell anyone. His seeing eye dog, Duke, brings Rex Allen and Gabriel Horne to Pete's lifeless... See full summary »


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29 November 2005 | horn-5
There is a lot more of interest in this one, for music and film fans, than just a couple of players from television.
The small girl, Alix Ebsen, six or seven years old, that plays the kid sister Susie MacIntosh, was Buddy Ebsen's daughter. Part of the plot involved a birthday party for the Susie character, in which Rex Allen and Mary Ellen Kay do a duet on "Lollipop Lane" (written years ago by Fred Rose and Johnny Marvin). The singing only lasts a couple of verses, then the song becomes an extended instrumental in which ex-hoofer Buddy Ebsen does a dance with with his real-life young daughter. The enjoyment that Mr. Ebsen derives from this sequence is shown on his face throughout.

The music for this number was supplied by four uncredited members of the then-current line-up of the Sons of the Pioneers; Karl Farr, George "Shug" Fisher, Lloyd Perryman and Frankie Messina. In 1950, the Sons of the Pioneers shared a radio program with Rex Allen, sponsored by Phillips Petroleum, and in 1951 the Pioneers had their own "Lucky U Ranch Gang" program (sponsored by Planter's Peanuts, so the sponsor's initial stayed the same). Band members working on the program at the time this film was made were brothers Hugh and Karl Farr, Lloyd Perryman, Ken Curtis, George "Shug" Fisher and Tommy Doss, plus former Spade Cooley vocalist Ginnie Jackson and fiddle player Wade Ray and accordionist Frankie Messina. But only the four mentioned above were in this film, marking one of the rare times The Sons of the Pioneers didn't receive a screen credit and were seen on screen. Their uncredited music is heard in many films.

Midway through the film, Rex Allen and Gabriel Horne (Buddy Ebsen) are in town seeking information, and Rex is talking to a theatre manager played by Frank Jenks. They are standing in front of a one-sheet poster from Allan Lane's "Vigilante Hideout" (Now Playing) and behind them as a Coming Attraction is a one-sheet from Lane's "Code of the Silver Sage." It wasn't so much that theatre manager Jenks was a victim of block booking, but more like Republic Pictures Corporation never missed a chance, when the film time-period allowed (and sometimes when it didn't), to plug their own movies.

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