Call of the Rockies

1944

Call of the Rockies

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Handsome, young Sunset Carson (formerly Michael Harrison) made his B-Western debut in this average oater from Republic Pictures. But for the first and only time in B-Western history, the nominal hero had to accept second billing to his comic sidekick, former Gene Autry associate Smiley Burnette, who retained his popular guise of "Frog" Millhouse and performed his own "Tain't Worth It". On their way to deliver mining goods to businessman J. B. Murdock (Harry Woods), "Frog" and Sunset find themselves confronted by young mining engineer Ned (Kirk Alyn) and his pretty accomplice Marjorie (Ellen Hall), who desperately needs the supplies to rebuild the dangerously fragile Round Nugget Hill gold mine. Saved from a cave-in by Ned, the nasty Murdock reneges of a promise to help the youngster and instead conspires with Dr. Lee (Frank Jaquet) to steal the engineer's plans to stabilize the mine. In an attempt to flush out the villains, "Frog" disguises himself as a French mining expert, but his cover is blown and Murdock assigns his henchman, Hansen (Tom London), to get rid of the corpulent interloper. In the end, Hansen turns on his employers, who are promptly arrested by Sheriff Jack Kirk). At this point in the film, Smiley Burnette turns to his mostly juvenile audience, asking them to help him persuade Sunset to keep him on as his partner. Carson apparently agreed and would go on to make four Westerns with Burnette before embarking on a moderately successful solo starring career.

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