AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Hands Across the Border
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
Release Date:   5 Jan 1944
Production Date:   16 Aug--mid-Sep 1943
Duration (in mins):   72-73
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers)  
  and Trigger   The Smartest Horse in the Movies
    Ruth Terry (Kim Adams)  
    Guinn "Big Boy" Williams (Teddy Bear)  
    Onslow Stevens (Brock Danvers)  
    Mary Treen (Sophie Lawrence)  
    Joseph Crehan (Jeff Adams)  
    Duncan Renaldo (Juan Morales)  
    LeRoy Mason (Mac Barclay)  
    Janet Martin (Rosita Morales)  
  and introducing The Wiere Bros.    
    Bob Nolan   and The Sons of the Pioneers
    Roy Barcroft (Walters)  
    Kenne Duncan (Simmons)  
    Larry Steers (Col. Carter)  
    Frederick Burton (Col. Ames)  
    Jack Kirk (Starter)  
    Mary Dillon (Specialty singer)  
    St. Clair and Day (Specialty dancers)  
    Betty Marion (Specialty dancer)  
    Chiquita (Specialty dancer)  
    Sherry Cameron (Specialty dancer)  
    The Boyd Triplets (Specialty dancers)  
    Estela (Specialty dancer)  
    Matty King (Specialty dancers)  
    Steve Condos (Specialty dancer)  
    Guadalajara Trio    

Summary: Wandering cowpoke Roy Rogers is resting by a stream when Teddy Bear, a down-on-his-luck gambler with a heart of gold, nervously tries to steal Roy's horse in order to escape a posse that is after him due to a saloon brawl. The affable Roy deduces that Teddy Bear would never hurt him and tosses him off the horse, then sticks up for him when the posse arrives. Believing that they are friends, Mac Barclay, the men's leader, wants to arrest them both. The posse, however, wants to go to Jeff Adams' ranch, where Jeff is throwing a lavish fiesta filled with singers and dancers. Once they arrive, Roy tries to convince his captors that he is one of the singers hired by Jeff's daughter Kim, herself an aspiring Broadway performer. Roy sings a number with The Sons of the Pioneers, Jeff's ranch hands, and the kind-hearted Kim hires both him and Teddy Bear to save them from being arrested. Meanwhile, Jeff engages in a verbal joust with his neighbor, Brock Danvers, with whom he competes every year for an Army contract for cavalry horses. Danvers has won for the past five years, but Jeff is convinced that his current herd will finally win and get him out of debt. Juan Morales, the Adams foreman, tells Jeff that the government men have arrived, and Jeff, Kim, Roy and Danvers go to look at the herd. Among the wild horses is a magnificent stallion named Trigger, whom both Jeff and Roy immediately realize will revitilize the herd. Danvers declares that Trigger is too wild to be useful, however, and bets that Jeff cannot ride him. Jeff is determined to tame the beautiful animal, but when he attempts to ride him, Trigger throws him and Jeff is killed. Soon after, the mourning Kim allows Danvers to run the ranch, and Roy and the men are hard-pressed to keep him from shooting Trigger, whom Roy maintains should be tamed as Jeff wanted. Roy captures Trigger on his own and begins to train him in secret, while at the same time persuading Kim to give up her Broadway ambitions and run the ranch like a true Adams. An astonishing demonstration of Trigger's new gentleness and abilities convinces Kim to fight for the Army contract, and she tells Danvers that she will neither sell him the ranch nor marry him. Roy then prepares Trigger and seven other Adams horses for the speed and endurance race, which simulates combat conditions such as explosions and gas attacks. Danvers is the lead rider of his team, and despite a few dirty tricks pulled by Danvers' men, Roy and Trigger win the race. Soon after, Kim and Juan organize a marvelous fiesta, and Roy happily performs at the party, which celebrates the cooperation between the American and Mexican ranch workers, who aided in the winning of the Army contract. 

Production Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
  Art Siteman (Asst dir)
Producer: Harry Grey (Assoc prod)
Writer: Bradford Ropes (Orig scr)
  J. Benton Cheney (Orig scr)
Photography: Reggie Lanning (Photog)
Art Direction: Fred Ritter (Art dir)
Film Editor: Tony Martinelli (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Charles Thompson (Set dec)
Music: Walter Scharf (Mus dir)
  Marlin Skiles (Orch arr)
Sound: Earl Crain Sr. (Sd)
Dance: Dave Gould (Dance dir)
Country: United States

Songs: "Hands Across the Border," music by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by Ned Washington; "Dreaming to Music," "The Girl with the High Button Shoes" and "When Your Heart's on Easy Street," music by Phil Ohman, lyrics by Ned Washington; "Cool Water" and "Hey, Hey," music and lyrics by Bob Nolan; "Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes!" music by Manuel Esperón, lyrics by Ernesto M. Cortázar; and other songs.
Composer: Hoagy Carmichael
  Ernesto M. Cortázar
  Manuel Esperón
  Bob Nolan
  Phil Ohman
  Ned Washington

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Republic Pictures Corp. 8/11/1943 dd/mm/yyyy LP12397 Yes

PCA NO: 9616
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

Genre: Western
Sub-Genre: with songs
Subjects (Major): Contracts
  Women ranchers
Subjects (Minor): Contests
  Death by animals
  Fathers and daughters
  Mexican Americans
  United States. Army. Cavalry

Note: Most of the songs were cut out of the print viewed. Some scenes were shot on location in Lone Pine, CA. According to a HR news item, this picture was the first in a "new selling classification" devised by Republic called "Premiere Feature Productions." The Premiere features were to have a minimum budget of $300,000, and the upgrade of the Roy Rogers starrers was due to "the big box office strides Rogers has made in the past year, plus his films now being bookable in top first-run houses." Modern sources include Jack O'Shea, Curley Dresden and Bob Reeves in the cast. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   11 Dec 1943.   
Daily Variety   6 Dec 43   p. 3.
Film Daily   7 Dec 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Aug 43   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Aug 43   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Sep 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Sep 43   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Dec 43   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Feb 44   p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald   11 Dec 1943.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   18 Sep 43   p. 1545.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   11 Dec 43   p. 1665.
Variety   8 Dec 43   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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