"The Gent", SASS #7368
Cowboy Chronicle" the official newsletter of the Single
Action Shooting Society
Courtesty of Roy Rogers Museum
Writing this simple
review of the wonderful new “Happy Trails Theatre” DVD
& VHS release of classic Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
films from Good Time Entertainment has proved far more
difficult than I first imagined.
“Why?” you might
insightfully ask. Well, that’s a good question.
The answer, I think,
is one of difficulty in expressing the complex sea of
emotions I felt as I watched these great movies, the
absolutely terrific video bios on Roy & Dale and
the fantastic short feature / documentary on “Sidekicks”
(Pat Buttram, Gabby Hayes, Pat Brady, Andy Devine, et
But, perhaps the thing
that contained the greatest “magic,” and left me speechless,
was each DVD’s “Happy Trails Theatre” opening and closing.
These intros & exits, that wrap around the
movies themselves, were shot in the late ‘80s and feature
Roy & Dale sitting on a simple TV Studio Stage Set
with a “Special Guest” or two.
that natural, friendly and relaxed style that is so
uniquely their own, Roy & Dale sit and “chat” with
special people such as Gene Autry, Pat Buttram, Iron
Eyes Cody, Penny Edwards, and others. (I’ll
let you discover the rest as you watch for yourself.)
There they are, just being themselves, talking
with their friends about making those great films we
venture to say that a very large percentage of my fellow
SASS members grew up as I did, watching with wide-eyed
imagination as our heroes, Roy, Gene, Hoppy, Wyatt,
Bat and, of course, the Lone Ranger & Tonto, took
care of justice and the bad guys on the small B&W
TV screens in our homes or the big silver screens at
the Saturday matinee.
sat in our “shootin’ gear & cowboy hats” as we watched
them protect the helpless with respect & compassion,
foil evildoers with a fast draw or a faster fist, and
treat the ladies like ladies (even when they were
almost as tough as the guys). They were tough.
They were smart. And they were gentlemen.
was another age – another time. It was a time
with another set of values. Oh, people weren’t
perfect. In fact, they were pretty flawed.
when a kid looked for a hero, someone to aspire to be
like, everyone just had these crazy notions that
a hero figure needed to be a straight-shooting man who
was honest, loyal, brave, strong but compassionate,
and a believer in justice for all - even the bad guy.
I guess it really was
another era. At least, it sure was another Hollywood.
you know, somewhere deep down in our hearts, we’re still
those little cowboys & cowgirls in our hats, gun
belts and boots who looked up to Roy, Gene and those
other great actors who took the message they were delivering
as seriously as the art of their craft.
we all know they only portrayed characters on celluloid,
but, in their hearts, they understood they were showing
us how to “Do The Right Thing,” and defend the
helpless no matter what the cost.
how to believe in yourself, when you know you’re doing
what’s right and everyone else believes you’re wrong.
They did all that while showing us the importance
of loyalty & friendship.
we all knew they were just low budget B movies, serials
and TV shows, but, when you’re an 8 or 10 year old kid
watching Roy & Dale put things right and risking
all to take care of their friends, you also see yourself
up there on that screen.
The imagination of a
child is a special and powerful gift.
I say to my fellow cowboys and cowgirls, get yourself
a big stack of “Happy Trails Theatre” DVDs or videos,
sit down for a Saturday in front of that old TV and
watch Roy, Dale, Gabby and the gang fighting the good
fight as they take time for a good song or two.
Better yet, get some
popcorn, or cookies & milk, gather your kids, grandkids
or anyone’s kids around you, and take them back to those
thrilling, yet melodic, days of yesteryear – your yesteryear!
love the movies & special features, but, most of
all, they’ll love watching you smile like a kid, hour
The list price on these classics is
only $9.95, but I think you and your little sidekicks
will agree they’re worth their weight in gold.
go to www.royrogers.com,
or your local video store and fill up your saddlebags
with all the “Happy Trails Theatre” DVDs or videos you
can rustle up. And be sure to check out a world
of classic movies at www.goodtimes.com.
as Roy would say, “Goodbye,
good luck and may the Good Lord take a like’n’ to ya.”
About the Author:
The Gent, (aka George Flynn), is
an Actor/Writer/Director in Colorado who is also the
President of Amazing Unbelievable Entertainment.
what he’s doing to bring back those “Thrilling Days
of Yesteryear” visit www.AmazingUnbelievable.com,
Copyright 2002, 2005 Amazing Unbelievable Entertainment
Eagle Drive, #458
Loveland, CO 80537
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