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Rodeo Rhythm (1942)

Approved
72 min | Action, Drama, Music

One of the rarest, which is okay as it seldom even appears on the want lists of dedicated P.R.C. collectors (especially those who have seen it), and one of the oddest of the "who-let-this-out" films. Filmed on location in the Kansas City ...See moreOne of the rarest, which is okay as it seldom even appears on the want lists of dedicated P.R.C. collectors (especially those who have seen it), and one of the oddest of the "who-let-this-out" films. Filmed on location in the Kansas City area, with only B-western star Fred Scott and actress Loie Bridge the only two in the cast who had ever been in a film (and Scott had none after this), and the only other Hollywood connections were director Fred C. Newmeyer, who hadn't had a directing job since 1937 and who chose to be billed as Fred Neymeyer here; cameraman Edward A. Kull, billed as Eddie Kull and editor George Halligan, who may have assumed it wouldn't be seen by anybody and kept his own name on the credits. At this period in time, actress Loie Bridge was a Kansas City residence herself. Sister of actor Alan Bridge, the pair had their start in Kansas City co-managing a stock company at the Empress Theatre, before brother Al headed for Minneapolis and, later, the bright lights of Tinseltown. Loie stayed at home in Kansas City running stock companies, with an occasional role in California in early 1930's B-westerns that usually had brother Al in the cast. Loie left Kansas City for good it appears circa 1942-43 and had a fair career as a character actress. Roy Knapp, a Kansas City dry cleaner, opened a kid's riding academy in that city circa 1926 and,in a few years, his troupe of riding young daredevils (ages from 4 years old to late teens) were performing in rodeos and livestock shows all over the American Midwest. One of the riding stars of the troupe was a 5-year-old girl named (correct spelling) Roylene "Small Fry" Smith, who evidently became Donna Jean Meinke somewhere along the way, according to the cast listing on the IMDb. While the film is a showcase for Roy Knapp's "Rough Riders," it is not a story of the group, although "Knapp" is the character role names for Scott and Bridge, who play brother and sister. She plays Tillie Knapp, struggling to keep the Knapp Orphanage open. The highlight event at the Orphanage each year is the annual summer vacation visit the kids make to the ranch of her brother Buck, who sends her money to pay for the trip. Alas, this year, Alex Twitchell, local money-bag version of Snively Whiplash, has purchased the mortgage due on the orphanage and the Knapp Ranch, and demands immediate payment. Tillie gives him all the money that had been saved for the trip. To keep the kids, orphans all, from being disappointed, her old vaudeville partner, Joe Stegge, takes her and the kids to the ranch in his truck. The kids learn that Uncle Buck and Aunt Tillie are in dire straits and enlist the aid of Jim Corey, a former member of the orphanage, and Ellie Knapp, Buck's daughter, to help them put on a rodeo and use the money to help Aunt Tillie. Whiplash, uh, Twitchell arrives and legally ties up all of Buck's property, which includes the ponies the kids were going to ride in the rodeo and pay off the old homestead. But Twitchell is in a car wreck, and the kids save his life by taking him from under the car and rushing him to the hospital. Twitchell releases the ponies and the rodeo is held and enough money raised to pay off the mortgage. But Twitchell says the money is for them and he not only is going to retire the mortgage himself, he is going to build them a bigger and better Orphanage. While producer Leo J. McCarthy wrote the story, he and the two other writers chose to be uncredited also or, at least, PRC chose not to credit them. Aside from the riding ability of the kids---and they were good---this film is a good measurement of the talent level of Kansas City stock company players at the time, which also indicates that Kansas City was among the last to know that Vaudeville had died. But Victor Adamson and Robert J. Horner made worse films without leaving California. Not by much, though. Written by Les Adams See less
Read more: Plot summary
Director
Fred C. Newmeyer (as Fred Neymeyer)
Writers
Leo J. McCarthy (story) | Gene Tuttle (screenplay) | Eugene Allen (screenplay)
Cinematographer
Edward A. Kull (as Eddie Kull)
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Mar 13, 1942

Release date
Mar 13, 1942 (United States)

Contacts

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Cast

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15 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Fred Scott
Buck Knapp Buck Knapp   See fewer
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Pat Dunn
Jim Corey Jim Corey   See fewer
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Loie Bridge
Aunt Tillie Knapp Aunt Tillie Knapp   See fewer
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Patricia Redpath
Ellen Knapp Ellen Knapp   See fewer
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Jack Cooper
Joe Stegge Joe Stegge   See fewer
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Gloria Morris
Gloria (as Gloria Morse) Gloria (as Gloria Morse)   See fewer
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H. 'Doc' Hartley
Sheriff Bates Sheriff Bates   See fewer
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Donna Jean Meinke
Juanita - aka 'Small Fry' (as Roylene 'Small Fry' Smith) Juanita - aka 'Small Fry' (as Roylene 'Small Fry' Smith)   See fewer
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Vernon Brown
Slow Burn Slow Burn   See fewer
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Landon Laird
Lawyer Lawyer   See fewer
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John Frank
Grandpa Twitchell Grandpa Twitchell   See fewer
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Roy Knapp's Rough Riders
Kid Rodeo Performers Kid Rodeo Performers   See fewer
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Roy Knapp
Roy Knapp Roy Knapp   See fewer
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Constance Joan Keyes
Connie - Orphan Connie - Orphan   See fewer
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'Sonny Boy' Bridges
Sonny Boy - 5-Year-Old Trick Rider (uncredited) Sonny Boy - 5-Year-Old Trick Rider (uncredited)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

6 / 10 | 8 votes