Watching 1939: Rough Riders’ Round-Up (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Rough Riders’ Round-up (1939)

Release date: 
March 13, 1939

Roy Rogers, Trigger, Lynne Roberts (billed as Mary Hart), Raymond Hatton, Eddie Acuff, William Pawley, Dorothy Sebastian, George Meeker, Duncan Renaldo, Jack Rockwell, Guy Usher

Republic Pictures

Joseph Kane

At the end of the Spanish-American War, Roy (Rogers) and his unit of Rough Riders are reassigned as border patrol near Mexico. The Border Patrolmen are trying to stop outlaws from smuggling gold from stay coaches. In the process, Dorothy Blair (Hart/Roberts) is kidnapped during a raid.

1939 Notes:
• By the numbers:
– Roy Rogers was in nine films released in 1939. He made his big break the year prior in 1938.
– This was Dorothy Sebastian’s first film in two years. Sebastian was in four films released in 1939.
– Billed as Mary Hart, Lynn Roberts was in nine films released in 1939. By the end of the year, she was being billed by Lynn Roberts.
– Raymond Hatton was in 14 films released in 1939.
– George Meeker was in 17 films released in 1939.

Dorothy Sebastian in “Rough Riders’s Round-Up”

Other trivia: 
• Working title was “Rough Rider Patrol”
• Filmed on location in Ryolite, NV.

My review: Searching for the “1939 feature”:
Running at only 58 minutes, “Rough Riders’ Round-Up” (1939) isn’t much to write home about. I was thankful for the brevity, keeping it fast-paced.

If you are a fan of Roy Rogers, here he is still early in his career and looking very young. His first starring role came the year prior in Under Western Stars. By 1939, Rogers’s fame as a singing cowboy was continuing to grow.

Rogers’s co-star is billed as Mary Hart, which she changed to Lynne Roberts later in 1939.

One of the villains in the film is played by Dorothy Sebastian. After knowing Sebastian was a huge star in the silent era, it was sad to see her in a low budget western.


I think I would have found this movie a bit more interesting if it had focused more on Rogers’s Spanish-American war service. And if he had done more singing.

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