Trigger, Jr. (1950)
“All-Star Big Top Thrills… as you have never seen them before!”
Director: William Witney
Cast: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Dale Evans
Synopsis: a criminal lets a killer horse loose to ruin valuable horses on nearby ranches. He hopes to shake down the ranchers for his “protection”.
WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS
Aimed squarely at pre-teen boys (i.e. it contains no kissing cowboys) from an era before video games and the internet, Trigger Jr., provides only mildly diverting entertainment today. Made on a modest budget with no pretensions towards anything other than telling a tight little tale, it succeeds in its limited ambitions.
Roy Rogers heads a travelling circus in this one, and his entourage is diverted to crusty old Colonel Harkrider’s ranch during a storm. The colonel (George Cleveland) is a former circus man himself who has abandoned the life following the death of his daughter, so he isn’t too welcoming, but his objections are over-ruled by Kay (Dale Evans), his surviving daughter. The Colonel and other ranchers are being pressured by a horse patrol led by a man named Manson (Grant Withers) into paying protection against his horses ’going missing,’ and to press his point Manson uses a mad white stallion to kill various rancher’s horses.
Trigger Jr., is entertaining enough with a few scenes that stand out as memorable. One is a fight between the eponymous Trigger Jr. and the wild stallion (who is probably the movie’s best actor), and another is the moment when Rogers actually guns down the rogue horse. Apart from that, the movie remains resolutely ordinary in all departments – other than the colour (Trucolor), which is eye-wateringly lurid.
(Reviewed 27th May 2012)