Under California Stars (1948)

70-71 mins | Western | 1 May 1948

Director:

William Witney

Cinematographer:

Jack Marta

Editor:

Tony Martinelli

Production Designer:

Frank Hotaling

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to HR news items, production on this film was delayed due to a contract dispute between Roy Rogers and Republic, to which he had been under contract since 1937. Rogers, who had made more than seventy films at Republic, was "reported to want to make fewer, but higher-budgeted films," according to a 14 Nov 1948 HR news item, which also noted that Rogers wanted a pay raise. The actor did not report to the studio in early Nov, as scheduled, to begin production on Under California Stars , but did eventually agree to star in the picture "only under condition that it 'would not prejudice the claims of either side.'" The dispute was settled in Mar 1948, when the studio signed Rogers to a new contract "calling for fewer pictures annually and a hike in coin," according to a HR news item. Rogers also sang "Dust" in Under Western Stars , his first starring role for Republic (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

According to HR news items, production on this film was delayed due to a contract dispute between Roy Rogers and Republic, to which he had been under contract since 1937. Rogers, who had made more than seventy films at Republic, was "reported to want to make fewer, but higher-budgeted films," according to a 14 Nov 1948 HR news item, which also noted that Rogers wanted a pay raise. The actor did not report to the studio in early Nov, as scheduled, to begin production on Under California Stars , but did eventually agree to star in the picture "only under condition that it 'would not prejudice the claims of either side.'" The dispute was settled in Mar 1948, when the studio signed Rogers to a new contract "calling for fewer pictures annually and a hike in coin," according to a HR news item. Rogers also sang "Dust" in Under Western Stars , his first starring role for Republic (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4855). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 May 1948.
---
Daily Variety
6 May 48
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 May 48
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 47
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 47
pp. 1-2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 47
p. 3, 15
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 47
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 48
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Apr 48
p. 4139.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 May 48
p. 4162.
Variety
12 May 48
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Trucolor supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Under California Stars," "Rogers, King of the Cowboys" and "Little Saddle Pals," music and lyrics by Jack Elliott
"Dust," music by Johnny Marvin, lyrics by Gene Autry
"Serenade to a Coyote," music and lyrics by Andy Parker.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 May 1948
Production Date:
mid November--mid December 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
17 February 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1592
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Trucolor
Duration(in mins):
70-71
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12906
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After completing his latest motion picture, cowboy star Roy Rogers broadcasts live on the radio to celebrate his tenth anniversary in movies. Later, at his ranch in Saddleback, Roy is welcomed home by "Cookie" Bullfincher and the Sons of the Pioneers. They tell him that a gang of men posing as wild horse wranglers has actually been rustling Roy's ranch horses. At the gang's hideout, horse thief Lije McFarland plots to capture Roy's horse Trigger. When his disabled, young stepson, Ted Conover, enters with his dog Tramp, Lije tells him to get rid of the animal. At Roy's ranch, meanwhile, Caroline Maynard, one of Cookie's many cousins, is giddy at meeting Roy in person. Roy then meets Ted, who explains that two years before, a horse kicked him, but when the physician recommended an operation, Lije refused it. Upon hearing this story, Roy takes pity on Ted and offers him a job at the ranch, The gang decides to exploit Ted's position in order to capture more horses, and during an anniversary party at the ranch, a couple of rustlers sneak into Roy's stables. When Ted goes to the stables and notices Trigger gone, one of the men threatens to hurt him unless he keeps quiet. After the rustlers take some of Roy's other horses, Trigger breaks out of his stable and follows the gang. The next morning, Trigger's disappearance is announced in the newspapers. Gang leader Jonas "Pop" Jordan then writes a ransom note demanding $100,000 for the release of Trigger. That evening, when Roy enters Ted's bedroom to say goodnight, he is startled to find Ed, one of Jordan's ... +


After completing his latest motion picture, cowboy star Roy Rogers broadcasts live on the radio to celebrate his tenth anniversary in movies. Later, at his ranch in Saddleback, Roy is welcomed home by "Cookie" Bullfincher and the Sons of the Pioneers. They tell him that a gang of men posing as wild horse wranglers has actually been rustling Roy's ranch horses. At the gang's hideout, horse thief Lije McFarland plots to capture Roy's horse Trigger. When his disabled, young stepson, Ted Conover, enters with his dog Tramp, Lije tells him to get rid of the animal. At Roy's ranch, meanwhile, Caroline Maynard, one of Cookie's many cousins, is giddy at meeting Roy in person. Roy then meets Ted, who explains that two years before, a horse kicked him, but when the physician recommended an operation, Lije refused it. Upon hearing this story, Roy takes pity on Ted and offers him a job at the ranch, The gang decides to exploit Ted's position in order to capture more horses, and during an anniversary party at the ranch, a couple of rustlers sneak into Roy's stables. When Ted goes to the stables and notices Trigger gone, one of the men threatens to hurt him unless he keeps quiet. After the rustlers take some of Roy's other horses, Trigger breaks out of his stable and follows the gang. The next morning, Trigger's disappearance is announced in the newspapers. Gang leader Jonas "Pop" Jordan then writes a ransom note demanding $100,000 for the release of Trigger. That evening, when Roy enters Ted's bedroom to say goodnight, he is startled to find Ed, one of Jordan's men, pointing a gun at him. Ed offers to return Trigger for the lesser sum of $10,000. Ed is found shot in the back the next morning, however, so Roy goes to withdraw the ransom from the bank. Meanwhile, Ted, concerned about Trigger, goes to the hideout and is assured by Jordan that the horse will be returned safely as soon as the ransom is paid. At Roy's ranch, ranch hand Bob Nolan discovers another note requesting that the money be brought to Twin Rocks. The next morning, Roy finds a horse tied up at the specified location and deposits counterfeit money into its saddlebag. He then follows the horse back to the hideout, where the rustlers learn they have been duped. Later, Ted pleads with Lije to spare Trigger and gives them real money, which he has stolen from Roy's desk. Roy soon discovers that he has been robbed and follows Tramp, who leads him to Ted. When a fire breaks out in the gang's stables, Ted tries to save Trigger, while Jordan shoots at him. Roy arrives and rescues Trigger and Ted, who is overcome by smoke. Lije shoots Jordan and tries to take the money, but Roy wrestles him to the ground. The mortally wounded Jordan shoots Lije and then falls limply from his own horse. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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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.