AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Silver Spurs
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Aug 1943
Production Date:   began 26 Apr 1943
Duration (in mins):   68
Duration (in feet):   6,122
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers)  
  with Trigger   The Smartest Horse in the Movies
    Smiley Burnette (Frog Millhouse)  
    John Carradine (Lucky Miller)  
    Phyllis Brooks (Mary Hardigan)  
    Jerome Cowan (Jerry Johnson)  
    Joyce Compton (Mildred "Millie" Love)  
    Dick Wessel (Buck Walters)  
    Hal Taliaferro (Steve Corlan)  
    Forrest Taylor (Judge Pebble)  
    Charles Wilson (Mr. Hawkins)  
    Byron Foulger (Justice of the peace)  
    Bob Nolan and The Sons of the Pioneers:    
    Pat Brady    
    Hugh Farr    
    Karl Farr    
    Lloyd Perryman    
  and Tim Spencer    
    Jack Kirk (Sheriff Barton)  
    Tom London (Ed)  
    Kermit Maynard (Deputy sheriff)  
    Charles "Slim" Whitaker (Heavy)  
    Bud Osborne (Heavy)  
    Jack O'Shea (Heavy)  
    Fred Burns (Driver)  
    Arthur Loft (Bulldog Bailey)  
    Helen MacKellar (Mrs. Davis)  
    Eddy Waller (Mr. Davis)  

Summary: Newspaper editor Bulldog Bailey, reporter Mary Hardigan and Lonely Hearts Club correspondent Mildred "Millie" Love become suspicious when cowhand Buck Walters arrives in the newspaper office and requests a mail-order bride for his boss, wealthy rancher Jerry Johnson. Knowing that Jerry is a wild-living playboy, Mary suspects that the arrangement is a set-up to bilk him out of his inheritance and agrees to investigate by posing as the bride. Millie accompanies Mary and Buck north to the Frontier Lodge, which is owned by Lucky Miller. Mary is unaware of how accurate her suspicions are, for Lucky desires to obtain control of Jerry's ranch, through which an oil drillers' collective wants to run a railroad spur line. Due to the conditions of his father's will, Jerry is unable to sell his land, but Lucky intends to kill him after he is married and then obtain the ranch from the widow. The drunken Jerry has agreed to marry as a lark and is pleased to see how pretty Mary is. Mary and Millie also meet Jerry's foreman, Roy Rogers, and Roy's pal, Frog Millhouse. Roy has been trying to get Jerry to sign a right-of-way that will allow the spur line to go through, but Jerry constantly changes his mind, usually at Lucky's instigation. Fed up with Jerry's contrary nature, Roy quits, and the day after Mary's arrival, prepares to leave the ranch with Frog and their fellow workers, The Sons of the Pioneers. Mary, who has been forced to go through with the wedding, is now married to Jerry, but with Millie's help, tries to get Frog and Roy to take them back to the city. Jerry misunderstands and a fight with Roy ensues, during which Steve Corlan, one of Lucky's henchmen, shoots and kills Jerry and replaces Roy's rifle with the murder weapon. Sheriff Barton attempts to arrest Roy, even though Roy's own rifle has a distinctive notch on it, thereby proving that the murder weapon is not his. Roy and his friends then escape in order to find the real killer. Soon after, Mary sees Roy's rifle in Lucky's tackroom, but when she telephones the news to Bailey, Lucky learns that she is a reporter. Steve attempts to kill Mary and Millie, but they are rescued by Roy and taken to his ghost town hideout. Roy and Frog then capture Buck, but he is killed by Lucky before he can confess. Roy is then arrested for Buck's murder and while Frog helps break him out of jail, Lucky and his men go to the hideout to retrieve Millie and Mary. Roy and Frog arrive in time to help their own men during the ensuing shootout, and as the Sons round up the gang, Roy and Frog battle with Lucky and Steve. The sheriff arrests Lucky and Steve based on Mary's testimony, and at a celebratory party soon after, Mary announces that she will donate Jerry's ranch to the oil well cooperative as a tribute to Jerry. As everyone cheers, Roy and Mary slip off together, and Roy is thrilled to hear that Mary has decided to stay. 

Production Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
  Arthur Siteman (Asst dir)
Producer: Harry Grey (Assoc prod)
Writer: John K. Butler (Orig scr)
  J. Benton Cheney (Orig scr)
Photography: Reggie Lanning (Photog)
Art Direction: Russell Kimball (Art dir)
Film Editor: Tony Martinelli (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Otto Siegel (Set dec)
Music: Morton Scott (Mus dir)
Sound: Tom Carman (Sd)
Country: United States

Songs: "Back in Your Own Back Yard," music and lyrics by Al Jolson, Billy Rose and Dave Dreyer; "Jubilation Jamboree," music and lyrics by Tim Spencer; "Horses and Women," music and lyrics by Smiley Burnette; "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," music and lyrics by Bob Nolan; "Buffalo Gal (Won't You Come Out Tonight?)," music and lyrics by William Cool White; "When It's Springtime in the Rockies," music by Robert Sauer, lyrics by Mary Hale Woolsey and Milton Taggart; "Highways Are Happy Ways," music and lyrics by Larry Shay, Tom Malie and Harry Harris; "Far Away," music and lyrics by Hugh Farr.
Composer: Tom Malie
  Smiley Burnette
  Dave Dreyer
  Hugh Farr
  Harry Harris
  Al Jolson
  Bob Nolan
  Billy Rose
  Robert Sauer
  Larry Shay
  Tim Spencer
  Milton Taggart
  William Cool White
  Mary Hale Woolsey

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Republic Pictures Corp. 13/7/1943 dd/mm/yyyy LP12217 Yes

PCA NO: 9390
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

Genre: Western
Sub-Genre: with songs
Subjects (Major): Frame-ups
  Land rights
  Ranch foremen
  Women reporters
Subjects (Minor): Drunkenness
  False arrests
  Ghost towns
  Lonely Hearts clubs

Note: Most of the songs were missing from the viewed print. According to a HR news item, the picture was shot on location at Kernville, CA. Silver Spurs was the first film in which Roy Rogers' horse "Trigger" was billed as "The Smartest Horse in the Movies." The HR review commented, "The animal plays a well-trained part in aiding his master...and the billing is a tip-off that Trigger will be trusted with more to do in the future." Modern sources include Henry Wills in the cast. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   24 Jul 1943.   
Daily Variety   19 Jul 43   pp. 3-4.
Film Daily   20 Jul 43   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Apr 43   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Apr 43   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   7 May 43   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Jul 43   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   20 Jul 1943.   
Motion Picture Herald   24 Jul 1943.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   5 Jun 43   p. 1351.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   24 Jul 43   p. 1442.
Variety   21 Jul 43   p. 22.

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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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