Since the first covered wagon pioneers came west, the Adams family has bred fine horses on their ranch near Buckaroo ad bronze statues of succeeding generations of Adams men stand in the town square. Their horses have always been famous and until recent years regularly won the government cavalry horse reward. The current holder of the family name, Jeff Adams (Joseph Crehan) is proud of his horses and the ranch but he prefers gambling to business; so, for several years, he has let the contract for horses slide into the hands of suave and shifty Buckaroo businessman Brock Danver (Onslow Stevens) who has his eyes set on the Adams ranch and means to get control of it. He also has an eye on Jeff's pretty, stage-struck daughter Kim (Ruth Terry.) Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), a light-hearted, foot-loose , singing cowboy rides into town>Kim likes Roy's singing, and save him from being thrown into jail as a saddle-tramp sans cash, by Danver's stooge-sheriff Mac Marclay (LeRoy Mason) - she gives Roy and his brawny pal Teddy Bear (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) jobs as wranglers on the Adams ranch. Roy soon catches onto Danver's scheme to wreck to wreck the Adams horse-raising business in order to further his own prospects , and sets about thwarting Danver's plot. Jeff Adams , tempted by Danver to ride a half-wild stallion Trigger (Trigger) for a five-hundred dollar bet. Jeff is killed in the ride and Danver orders Trigger shot. But Roy defies the order as he knows Danver wants the horse shot to destroy the Adams' best blood-line and hides Trigger in a faraway meadow in the hills. Under Roy's patient training and handling, Trigger becomes a fine, usable horse. Meanwhile, Danver takes control of The Adams' family business affairs, and persuades Kim that it would be useless for her to continue ownership of te ranch, and offers to take it over for nothing---in settlement of the debts and mortgages her father ran up in Danver's crooked gambling house. Then, Roy steps in.
Horse breeders Adams and Brock are vying for the Army contract. When Adams is killed trying to ride his horse Trigger, Roy saves the horse from being shot. He trains him and then plans to ride him in the race to win the contract.
I read in a history of the movie western that at one point in his career the films of Roy Rogers were more musical than western. That was never more true than in describing Hands Across The Border. Republic might well have just dispensed with the plot and made this one a western musical revue.
The film has all kinds of numbers done by Roy Rogers, Sheila Terry, the Sons Of The Pioneers, dancing by Janet Martin and the Wiere Brothers and comic relief by Guinn Williams and Mary Treen. Even the sequences involving Trigger could just as easily been worked into a revue.
The very thin plot has cowboys Rogers and Williams hired by Joseph Crehan a ranch owner with a lovely daughter, Sheila Terry. Crehan and rival owner Onslow Stevens are competing for an army contract to sell cavalry horses. This mind you in an age of mechanization. Crehan gets killed trying to ride Trigger, but it's Roy who eventually rides Trigger and saves him.
Onslow Stevens's part is strange as well. He's built up to be the bad guy as he usually is. But when the film is over all this guy really has done is pay some attention to Sheila Terry in an effort to get that contract one way or another. He never really does anything all that villainous except look like one.
The last quarter of the film is simply a reprise of all the numbers that had been done before in the film. Later on Roy's films got a little more action in them. This one probably disappointed the kids. In order to escape trouble in a town that doesn't take kindly to vagrancy, Roy Rogers and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams pretend to be entertainers hired for a party at a local ranch, where they talk themselves into a job. When the kindly ranch owner is killed trying to break a wild horse, Roy and company try to save the horse from being destroyed by the ranch's soon-to-be new owner.
An okay and offbeat (at least for Roy Rogers) cowboy melodrama, this is pleasant enough, with an unusual (and unusually loose) plot that does away with the usual "Roy versus armed heavies" storyline in favor of laid back horse-play and an abundance of song and dance numbers, some of which are pretty odd.
There's some really nice location photography and good horse-riding stunts that show why Trigger was so popular.
This is also a good showcase for co-star Duncan Renaldo, who a few years later would gain great fame as The Cisco Kid in movies and television. a5c7b9f00b
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