Today we’ll be looking at The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944). This film was Dale’s first role opposite Roy, and a change of pace for the leading lady role. Up until this point, the leading ladies didn’t have much to do with the plot, and especially with the action. Allow me to quote Roy from his biography, King of the Cowboys:
“I could never see why, if a guy is going to like a girl In the picture, why they can’t have them doing something, instead of standing around with a grin and looking pretty, you know? When Dale came along, she got into the fights and everything! She gave the leading lady a better part, and the people liked it! She could play the smart aleck newspaper gal and it just made the whole picture good.”
Note: Roy commonly referred to his films as “pictures”.
Here is Dale’s thoughts on her first role with Roy. This quote is also from King of the Cowboys:
“When I went to work with Roy I thought I was just going to do one picture, The Cowboy and the Senorita. But the exhibitors liked it and so they said, “Don’t break this team up!” Well, I didn’t want to be part of a team. I didn’t want to be typed as just a cowgirl. I mean, I sang in nightclubs and with dance bands and on the radio. I loved horses, but the only thing I ever rode were goats on my uncle’s farm in Texas. So I didn’t think I was right for a western. but the people liked it and I think the reason they like it was because I was sort of a foil for Roy. I was the smart aleck and he taught me better about the West. I was a real tender foot and I think the kids kind of got a kick out of that. The girls, though, the little girls didn’t lie me much, ’cause they liked Roy. So many of them said, “I’m gonna marry Roy Rogers when I grow up!” but I got fan mail from a lot of boys. Dale Evans”
So here we go with The Cowboy and the Senorita!
The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944)
77 minutes (black and white)
Producer: Harry Grey
Director: Joseph Kane
Screenplay: Gordon Kahn
Cast: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Dale Evans, Mary Lee, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, John Hubbard, Fuzzy Knight, Dorothy Christy, Lucien Littlefield, Hal Taliaferro, Jack Kirk, Jack O’Shea, Rex Lease, Lynton Brent, Julian Rivero, Bob Wilke, Wally West
Specialty Dancers: Capella and Patricia, Jane Beebe and Ben Rochelle, Tito and Corinne Valdez
Plot: Dale Evans appears for the first time in a Roy Rogers film. John Hubbard, gambler-overlord of the town, convinces Ysobelle Martinez to sell a valuable gold mine to him on the basis that there is no gold left so the property is worthless. Trouble is, the mine is bequeathed to Ysobelle’s younger half-sister Chip (Mary Lee) to be recovered on her 16th birthday – just a few days off. She believes that her father left her a buried treasure and runs away to search for it. Roy and his sidekick Teddy Bear (Williams) wander into town just in time to get accused of kidnapping Chip. They escape the authorities and stumble across Chip while hiding out in the woods. Chip explains the situation and Roy and Teddy Bear decide to help her keep her inheritance.
Songs: “The Cowboy and the Senorita”, “Bunk House Bugle Boy”, “What’ll I Use for Money”, “”Round Her Neck She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”, and “The Enchilada Man”
The Cowboy and the Senorita – YouTube: