Roy Rogers has been sent to bring in Jesse James. After Wyatt’s bank is robbed and Jesse is blamed, Roy is able to work himself into Jesse’s gang. Learning that Jesse does not have the banks money, Roy realizes Wyatt robbed his own bank posing as Jesse. Roy now sets a trap for Wyatt that he hopes will recover the money.
Plot: When Jesse learns that Krager is cheating settlers, he and his gang rob trains to obtain money for them to purchase their land. Krager, finding a Jesse look alike in Burns, hires him to wreck havoc on the ranchers. When Jesse kills Burns he switches clothes and goes after the culprits.
The last of the Frontier-era films starring Roy Rogers. From this point forward through the last of the Roy Rogers’ film at Republic, the time period was always the modern west, or the mythical version of such. The exception to all of his remaining films not being set in a historical period was in Heldorado that contained a flashback segment. Here, Roy plays a dual role of the title character, Jesse James, and an identical look-alike gambler, Clint Burns. In order to blacken the name of Jesse James, who is aiding the homesteaders and farmers in their fight against a land-grabbing scheme by the agents of a railroad, Burns is hired to impersonate Jesse. The scheme is successful at first with all but Jesse’s old friend, Sheriff Gabby Whittaker, and a newspaper reporter, Polly Morgan, who can distinguish the two men intuitively. Jesse ends that problem by taking out Burns, who had been impersonating him, and then he impersonates Burns in order to get to the root of the problem.
John Russell plays Joe Gray, a gangster who learned the truth about The American Way from his buddies during WW2 and, after distinguished service, decided to go straight. But his former commander, William J Stephens (Brian Donlevy), who is now a crusading Senator heading a committee investigating organised crime, subpoenas him. Gray must face his ex-girlfriend Connie Williams (Claire Trevor, the best thing in the picture) and his old friends, who are out to stop him testifying at all costs.
The Kefauver Committee’s ongoing investigation of organized crime, which was televised in the US, spawned several “Torn from Today’s Headlines!” films in the early 1950s. In Republic’s Hoodlum Empire, Joe Gray’s “reclamation” at a public hearing prompts a series of flashbacks that fill in the backstory. Part of the fun is to guess who all the “fictional” criminals are really supposed to be: Luther Adler’s character may be called “Nick Mancani,” for example, but to all intents and purposes Adler is playing Frank “Fifth Amendment” Costello. Other famous underworld personages are impersonated by Claire Trevor, Forrest Tucker and Roy Barcroft. Filling out the cast is the notoriuous “Worst Actress Ever”, Vera Hruba Ralston, the casting-couch “protégé” of Herbert Yates, 70 year-old owner of Republic Studios. For many years, her inability to master English, let alone acting, defied Yates’ efforts to make her a movie star.
Plot: The Governor sends Roy to help bring in a gang of saboteurs. Roy joins a traveling show and soon learns the saboteurs communicate during Maurice’s mind reading act that uses a hidden receiver. But Maurice is on to Roy. Roy narrowly escapes when Maurice leaves him tied up in a warehouse they are blowing up. But Maurice then kills a man and blames Roy who now finds himself in jail.
Sabateurs are blowing up government warehouses (during World War II). Roy and his pals work undercover to put an end to their operations. Songs include A Gay Ranchero, Ride ‘Em Cowboy, Ride, Ranger, Ride, Red River Valley, and I’m an Old Cowhand.
A nightclub singer loses her husband in an automobile accident, and soon afterward witnesses the murders of two narcotics agents, and suffers a nervous breakdown. The police come to believe that all three murders are related, as they had suspected her husband was involved in a heroin smuggling ring, and now they think she may have been involved in it – especially after they find a large stash of heroin hidden in her apartment.
Police detective falls for singer, gets involved with gangster killing.