Sheriff of Tombstone (1941) Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Elyse Knox, Addison Richards Movie Review

Sheriff of Tombstone (1941)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Roy Rogers in Sheriff of Tombstone (1941)

Roy of the Tombstone

Having cleaned up Dodge City, Brett Starr (Roy Rogers) and Gabby (George 'Gabby' Hayes) decide it is time to move on and head to Tombstone a place which has been without law for some time. But they become suspicious when they get there and discover that gunman Shotgun Cassidy (Harry Woods) has been hired by the Mayor to be the law, although he hasn't shown up yet. So Brett decides to masquerade as the gunman with Gabby as his sidekick to get to what is going on in Tombstone and why a badman would have been hired in the first place.

Having started his movie career as a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers appeared in a few westerns before then becoming a star in his own right and appearing in a whole lot of westerns. And if you look at Rogers' career as a movie star it is a tale of two halves as during the first half the studio actually tried to make him a proper western star appearing in a range of movies which focused on him being a hero. But then during the second half the studios tended to use Rogers as a western figure, the actor who could sing and you knew you could put in a movie and guarantee an audience just because of his fan base and not because the movie was any good.

The irony is that whilst Roger's first half of his career was better than the second the movies he starred in felt like those rejected or already done by other western stars for being too generic and unimaginative. As such "Sheriff of Tombstone" is one of those movies which you almost feel like you have watched before but with a different actor such as Jack Perrin, Rex Lease or Tim Holt in the lead role. And so what we have Brett masquerading as Cassidy to get to the bottom of what is going on, of course someone will recognize him and threaten to blow his cover, there is also a girl for him to win whilst 'Gabby' Hayes provides comedy relief. It is all typical and there is nothing to make it feel new or different.

What this all boils down to is that as a Roy Rogers' western "Sheriff of Tombstone" is entertaining and one of his better ones. Yet at the same time when compared to other westerns from the early 40s this one is forgettably generic.