Down Dakota Way (1949)

Roy Deals with some Hoof n Mouth

Roy Rogers and the Riders of the Purple Sage are back in familiar territory as they travel through the area where Roy grew up and plan on taking a small diversion to pay his old friend Dolly Paxton, the local school teacher, a visit. But it appears that Dolly's stepson, Steve, has got himself involved with rancher H. T. McKenzie who hired him to kill the vet who has just discovered that his cattle have the hoof-and-mouth disease and destroy the report as well. When Roy discovers that Dolly as been fired as school teacher because of Steve, and is unwilling to believe he is a bad kid, Roy tries to get to the bottom of things especially when he discovers a McKenzie calf with hoof and mouth.

He rides, charms, stops bad guys and sings as well. Of course I am on about Roy Rogers who does all those things in "Down Dakota Way" an enjoyably but almost forgettable 1940s western due to it sticking to the Roy Rogers' formula. Maybe for those just stumbling across the delights of a Roy Rogers western the formula, including the comedy, might work but for those who either grew up on this movies or have worked through the old movies will find this coming up with nothing out of the ordinary right down to old Dolly feeling protective towards Steve with their connection being more complicated than everyone realises.

In truth the most memorable that "Down Dakota Way" gets is a musical scene as Roy and the Riders of the Purple Sage sing a witty tune about learning their ABC's which works partly because of their comical delivery of it in a classroom but also because it has a perky, catchy nature.

What this all boils down to is that "Down Dakota Way" whilst entertaining and up to the usual standards of a Roy Rogers' western it is just that, standard with nothing other than one catchy musical scene to make it stand out from the crowd.