Under Western Stars (1938)
This is Dad’s (Roy Rogers) and Trigger’s first starring film. It was released in 1938 and was voted one of the best Westerns released that year.
One of the songs in the film, “Dust,” was nominated for an Oscar.
While I was director of the Roy Rogers – Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, CA, my husband Larry Barnett and I raised money to get this, Dad’s first starring movie, restored. Most of the monies were
donated by Jim Rogers of Las Vegas, NV but about a quarter of the funds were raised from our loyal museum membership.
The film was kept in storage by UCLA, so we worked with their wonderful film department. It was difficult restoring the film as 14 minutes of the original footage was missing from what UCLA had, even though they did have three or four 35mm prints of the film. UCLA eventually found 7 more minutes of 35mm film but the final 7 minutes were nowhere to be found. Other film vaults in the US were contacted, as well as those in England and The Netherlands. Finally, a whole print (the director’s copy) was located in New England but it was a 16mm print.
The magicians at UCLA took that copy and went over it, enlarging it frame by frame. I know that some of the experts can probably still spot where the film was spliced but I have a really hard time identifying where the films were joined (it is in several spots).
UCLA has been very gracious in making the restored film available to the Turner Film Festival and a couple of other museum’s and historic theaters for viewing. I have been very lucky and have introduced the film four times now.
I am sorry but the fully restored version is not available for purchase here nor, as far as I know, is it available anywhere else. But, we hope you enjoy this edited version.
Roy runs for Congress to go to Washington and bring the turmoil of the dustbowl to attention but greedy villains are out to use peoples hardships to make a profit!
Filmed on location in the Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California.
Directed by Joseph Kane
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Stuart E. McGowan
Stuart E. McGowan
Maple City Four
Music by Alberto Colombo (uncredited)
Cinematography Jack Marta
Edited by Lester Orlebeck
Distributed by Republic Pictures
April 20, 1938 (USA)
Country United States
Roy Rogers as Roy Rogers
Trigger as Trigger
Smiley Burnette as Frog
Carol Hughes as Eleanor Fairbanks
Maple City Four as Singers
Guy Usher as John Fairbanks
Tom Chatterton as Congressman Edward H. Marlowe
Kenneth Harlan as Richards
Alden Chase as Tom Andrews
Brandon Beach as Senator Wilson
Earl Dwire as Mayor Biggs
Jean Fowler as Mrs. Wilson
Dora Clement as Mrs. Marlow
Dick Elliott as William P. Scully
Burr Caruth as Larkin
Slim Whitaker as Tremaine
Jack Rockwell as Sheriff
Frankie Marvin as Deputy Pete