Today’s film puts a twist on the mistaken identity plot. Roy Rogers plays Brett Starr, a well-known lawman. He heads to Tombstone, Arizona with the goal of cleaning up the town. The Mayor – “Speedy Luke Keeler” – mistakes Brett for the lawman’s old nemesis, Shotgun Cassidy, and hires him to “clean up” the town. In reality, “Shotgun” is supposed to get rid of the Carson family. They’re sitting on the largest silver mine in the county, and the mayor wants it for himself. Interestingly enough, Brett looks nothing like Shotgun.
Sheriff of Tombstone (1941)
54 minutes (black and white)
Producer: Joseph Kane
Director: Joseph Kane
Screenplay: Olive Cooper
Cast: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Gabby Hayes, Elyse Knox, Addison Richards, Sally Payne, Harry Woods, Zeffie Tilbury, Hal Taliaferro, Jay Novello, Jack Ingram, George Rosenor, Jack Kirk, Frank Ellis, Art Dillard, Herman Hack, Vester Pegg, Al Haskell, Ray Jones, Jess Cavan, Fred Burns
Plot: The old mistaken-identity plot is dusted off for this film. Roy and Gabby arrive in Tombstone where Roy is mistaken for Shotgun Cassidy, a gun-slinger that the double-dealing mayor has sent for to further his own plan for town domination. Roy is actually in the mayor’s office confronting the mayor and ready to arrest him when the real Shotgun Cassidy shows up. This puts a kink in Roy’s plans as he now has to dodge the law while trying to bring the lawless men to justice.
Songs: “Ridin’ On a Rocky Road”, “Two-Gun Pete”, “Don’t Gamble With Romance”, and “Old Sky Ball Paint”
This film is included on a 6-DVD set here.
Side note: “Old Sky Ball Paint” was written by Bob Nolan. Although the Sons of the Pioneers hadn’t joined Roy at Republic yet, the group stayed close friends with their pal. They allowed Roy to use their songs in his films, even though they weren’t there with him. In Sheriff of Tombstone, Roy and Gabby sing “Old Sky Ball Paint” as a duet while Roy’s sister-in-law is bandaging a bullet wound on the lawman’s hand.
Years later (probably in the 1960s or 70s) Roy sang this song on television with the Statler Brothers. Roy inserts some beautiful yodels after each chorus.