Cast & Crew
George "gabby" Hayes
Just after the Civil War, Vance Corgin returns home to Purvis County, Texas, after spending a year in the North as a Confederate prisoner of war. His friends are up in arms against Ambrose Ballard, the county adjutant who, aided by lawyer Wilbur Cravens, has raised the taxes for his own profit. Their resistance is led by Vance's old pal, innkeeper Gabriel "Gabby" Hornaday. On the night he returns, Vance attends a meeting at which Gabby speaks. The meeting is also attended by the extremely nearsighted Cravens, who does not recognize Gabby. He does recognize Vance's singing voice, however, and so Ballard arrests Vance for sedition. Soon after, Colonel Davis, the county's military commander, arrives and asks Vance to take an amnesty oath pledging allegiance to the U.S. constitution, in exchange for which he will be freed. Davis explains that if all the residents take the oath, martial law will be suspended, they will be able to elect their own officials and Ballard will be removed from power. Vance takes the oath and convinces his friends to do likewise, despite the protests of Gabby's niece, Jeanie Grayson, who believes that Vance is giving in to the Northerners. Soon after, the residents hold their first election, at which Vance is elected sheriff, and Davis appoints Cravens the judge, as he is the only lawyer in town. Davis then goes to Ballard's office, where he is on the verge of discovering Ballard's records detailing his graft. Ballard's secretary, Stacy, shoots Davis, for which Ballard falsely accuses Gabby and his friends, Sam and Belle Starr. Ballard reinstitutes martial law and soon has Belle and Gabby put on trial for sedition. After Ballard declares the two guilty and sentences them to be shot, Vance, who went into hiding to escape being arrested himself, succeeds in breaking Belle out of jail. He is forced to leave Gabby behind, however, and Sam is injured while Vance's men are chased by Ballard's gang. As Vance takes Sam to safety, he passes an isolated cabin and sees Stacy, whom Ballard ordered to hide out. The other ranchers decide to free Gabby, although Vance warns them that Ballard will use their actions as an excuse to kill him. Vance and Belle return to the cabin, where they find that Stacy has been shot by the nervous Ballard. Stacy confesses that he murdered Davis, and Vance sends Belle to get General Wright, Davis' commander, while he goes into town. Once there, Vance is able to calm the ranchers, while Stacy shoots Ballard for his double-crossing. Vance explains the situation to Wright, and after all returns to normal, Vance gets on with the important task of romancing Jeanie.
George "gabby" Hayes
Robin Hood of the Pecos
Alleviating the situation even more is the presence of an elusive masked night-rider, a "Robin Hood of the Pecos," inclined to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Believe it or not, this mysterious masked man isn't the star of the film, Roy Rogers. It's Rogers' grizzled sidekick and frequent costar, George "Gabby" Hayes, who receives second billing before the title.
Repeating her Belle Starr characterization from the Roy Rogers picture Young Bill Hickok (1940), Sally Payne plays the rambunctious, gun-toting legend, while the more sedate love interest for Roy is played by Marjorie Reynolds. Director Joseph Kane was a B-movie specialist who helmed over a hundred features, several of them Roy Rogers Westerns, although his best known film is probably Fair Wind to Java (1953), an adventure film set on the volcanic island of Krakatau and starring Fred MacMurray.
Producer: Joseph Kane
Director: Joseph Kane
Screenplay: Olive Cooper, Hal Long
Cinematography: Jack A. Marta
Film Editing: Charles Craft
Music: Cy Feuer
Cast: Roy Rogers (Vance Corbin), George 'Gabby' Hayes (Gabby Hornaday), Marjorie Reynolds (Jeanie Grayson), Cy Kendall (Ambrose Ballard), Leigh Whipper (Kezeye), Sally Payne (Belle Starr).
by Scott McGee
Robin Hood of the Pecos
All of the songs were cut out of the print viewed. For more information about legendary outlaw Belle Starr, who lived at the time of this film's setting, see the entry above for Belle Starr. Modern sources include the following players in the cast: Chick Hannon, Ted Mapes, Al Taylor, George Kesterson, Frank McCarroll, Bob Burns and Chuck Baldra.