Today’s film is Billy the Kid Returns. Made in 1939, this was Roy’s second film and his first time playing a double role. He plays the outlaw, Billy the Kid, as well as a wandering cowhand who happens to look exactly like Billy. Roy Rogers fans get a surprise during the opening scene as Billy shoots a man at point-blank range and rides off on a stolen horse. All is rectified, however, as Billy is brought to justice and the cowhand makes his first appearance. Right from the start you know that this new character is a good guy. He’s singing a happy tune, riding Trigger, and at the end of his song he saves a nester’s stock from some rustlers.
Billy the Kid Returns (1938)
53 minutes (black and white)
Producer: Charles E. Ford
Director: Joseph Kane
Screenplay: Jack Natteford
Cast: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Smiley Burnette, Lynn Roberts (Mary Hart), Morgan Wallace, Fred Kohler, Sr., Wade Boteler, Edwin Stanley, Horace Murphy, Joseph Crehan, Robert Emmett Keane, Betty Roadman, Rudy Sooter, Art Dillard, Jack Kirk, Betty Jane Hainey, Al Taylor, Ray Nichols
Plot: Roy gets to play a dual role in this feature: Billy the Kid and Roy Rogers. Roy, a wandering cowhand, is confused with the famous outlaw Billy the Kid. Billy has just been killed by the sheriff, Pat Garrett but no one knows yet. Sheriff Garrett hires Roy to play Billy in an attempt to bring local bad men to justice.
Songs: “Born to the Saddle”, “Trail Blazin’”, When the Sun is Setting on the Prairie”, “When I Camped Under the Stars”, “Dixie Instrument Song”, “Sing a Little Song About Anything”, and “Give Me the Range”
This film is available on DVD here.