Movie Review: North of the Great Divide (1950)

Well-plotted Roy Rogers’ flick is friendly to Indians and the environment to boot
Reviewed by Brian R. Wright

Summary: Annual run of the salmon gives Indians of the Northwest their livelihood. This way of life is threatened by canneries on both US and Canadian sides. The owner of the cannery on the US side is a d**k who has his henchman do dirty deeds, and who will overfish the river, which along with the Canadian cannery will starve out the Indians in the near term. Roy Rogers is an Indian Agent of the federal interior department, and good friends with the Indian leaders and helps to stave off trouble and, yes, save the day, with his quick and agile horse Trigger… and his dog who does a lot of running and faithful, enthusiastic work, but is uncredited. [I believe the dog’s name is Bullet.]

I thought I’d give a nod to Mr. Rogers for his work, especially after seeing a film he made toward the beginning of his screen career, 1940, at the age of 29: Colorado. Which was quite good. He basically became a star, “The King of the Cowboys,” during that decade, in the Gene Autry mold… meaning a singing cowboy. Then Roy went on to TV, in the Roy Rogers Show (1951-1957), with his real-life wife, Dale Evans. This is when I was a boy (born 1949), and, as many of my peers of the first TV generation, considered him right up there in the pantheon of childhood heroes. He was also one of the top 10 breadwinners in the Western genre in his day. The Wikipedia article on him lays out the facts that his screen persona and his real persona were virtually the same.

For those wondering why he “didn’t serve” in The Bad War, you may consult this decently written piece in Music Weird. Continue reading