Cast & Crew
On orders from their boss, rodeo owner Bud Millerick, cowboys Ted Daniels and Woody capture a magnificent wild horse, which Ted names "Bess" after a red-headed woman he knew in Amarillo. Later, after Ted sees Millerick mistreating his horses, he quits the rodeo and takes Bess with him to a job on a ranch. Ted teaches the horse several tricks, but eventually the ranch foreman fires him for spending too much time with Bess. While riding into town, Ted spots a poster for Millerick's rodeo. He renews his friendship with Woody and, as Millerick looks on, has Bess perform some of her tricks. Ted enters the rodeo contest, hoping to win the $250 prize money. After Ted wins the bucking bronco and calf roping events, Millerick instructs his henchman Blake to sabotage his next event by oiling the horns of the steer Ted is to catch in the bulldogging event. Ted wins but passes out shortly thereafter and is taken to Dr. Ed Gray, who examines him and informs him he has multiple fractures of the leg. Back at the rodeo, Millerick tries to make Bess do her tricks but she will not cooperate and escapes into town, where she breaks saloon and car windows. She is eventually caught and locked up in a stable by the sheriff. In the meantime, Dr. Gray treats Ted's leg, placing it in a temporary cast. As he will also have to spend some time in a wheelchair, Dr. Gray's daughter Penny arranges for him to stay with her and her father. Ted learns that Millerick left town without paying him the prize money, and as Ted has no money to pay for all the damage wrought by Bess, the sheriff is obliged to sell the horse at a public auction. Ted asks Penny to attend the auction to find out who buys Bess. Millerick sends Blake to bid for the horse, and he is successful, but refuses to tell Penny the new owner's name. Ted is upset with Penny until her father tells him that she tried to buy Bess for him. Ted apologizes and explains about his relationship with Bess. From Penny's description of the man, Ted concludes it was probably Blake. Later, while Millerick incorporates Bess into his rodeo show, the still recuperating Ted becomes becomes close with Penny. One day, while out in the hills exploring an old cabin her father owns, they kiss. Ted tells Penny that he is leaving soon and, although he doesn't want to be tied down, intends to come back with Bess. Ted finds the rodeo and watches Millerick work Bess in her routines with the aid of a nail-studded crop. When Millerick reminds Ted that he bought Bess fair and square, Ted accuses him of swindling him out of the horse and the prize money. Ted and Millerick have a fistfight, which Ted is about to win when a police officer intervenes. Ted escapes in Woody's old car and Bess runs after them. When they stop to make minor repairs on the car, Bess almost catches up with them, but Woody spots her and, not wanting to be involved with a "stolen" horse, drives off. Woody drives so fast that the car's wheels fall off and Bess catches up. A police car then approaches and they hide Bess, but when the deputy mentions that there is a $500 reward for Bess's return, Woody whistles in astonishment and Bess, thinking she is being summoned, trots out from hiding. Woody and Ted try to trick the deputy and attempt to claim the reward money. However, the deputy takes Bess into town, hitched to the rear bumper of his car. As Ted and Woody walk on, Bess escapes from the deputy and finds them. They head back to the cabin, where Ted informs Woody that he is going to settle down. Woody tells him that Millerick will find him and that they should never have taken Bess from her herd in the first place. When Penny comes to the cabin later, Ted proposes marriage. In town, Woody spots Millerick and Blake in town and warns Ted. Later, Woody tells Penny that Ted has left to return Bess to the wild. Millerick and Blake follow him, but Ted manages to lose them and turns Bess loose in her "home" herd. Millerick and Blake go after Bess, but Ted chases after them, knocks Blake out and saves Millerick from being stomped by Bess. Finally defeated, Millerick gives Ted the bill of sale for Bess and Ted tears it up. In the confusion, Bess runs off, and Ted returns to the cabin and tells Penny that Bess is back where she belongs. Ted discovers, however, that Bess has chosen to return to the cabin's corral and to them.
Harry V. Cheshire
Joseph H. Nadel
Maurie M. Suess
The film's working title was Rampage. In 1946, producer Matthew Rapf's father Harry produced a film for M-G-M entitled Gallant Bess about a beautiful brown mare . According to a August 22, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item, Eagle-Lion was sued for $75,000 by Marvin A. Park, who supplied the story idea for the 1946 film and claimed that Adventures of Gallant Bess was made without his permission. The outcome of this suit is not known.