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The Golden Stallion

The Golden Stallion(1949)

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On the plains spanning the Mexican-American border region, a gang of smugglers tracks a herd of wild horses roaming freely across the border. They praise the lead horse, whom they call the "bell" mare, and then lasso another horse, which has been branded with a large "X." After they remove the horse's false horseshoe, they open it up and retrieve a small bag of diamonds inside. They then deliver the diamonds to their boss, Oro City Hotel proprietor Jeff Middleton. Meanwhile, rancher Roy Rogers and his men visit their friend, Stormy Billings, owner of the Circle B Ranch. Roy plans to lease the ranch, where he will train roping horses for the local cattle companies, and reveals that he will draw his stock from the wild herd roaming the border. Later, when Roy and his men corner the herd in a canyon, Roy removes the saddle from his horse Trigger and sends him into the herd to calm the other horses. The gang attacks suddenly, however, and Trigger is swept away by the stampeding herd. Roy and his men return to the ranch and tell Stormy's friend, Pepita "Pepi" Valdez, that they are in no mood for the square dance that she has arranged for later. Before long, Trigger returns to the Circle B and coaxes the lead wild mare into the fenced yard. Overjoyed, Roy leads the mare into the stable, and the dance begins on a happy note. Soon, however, Middleton's henchman Art enters the stable and tries to grab the mare. The mare becomes frightened, knocks Art backward, killing him, and then gallops away. Roy discovers Art's corpse, and later, Middleton accuses Trigger of being the killer. When the authorities order that Trigger be destroyed, Roy "confesses" to killing Art in order to spare his companion. Roy is then ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and serve a number of years in jail, while the authorities auction off Trigger to the highest bidder: Middleton's henchman Ben. Some time later, the gang teaches Trigger to lead the wild herd back and forth across the border so that they can continue their diamond smuggling. Soon Stormy writes to tell Roy that after the "bell" mare gave birth to a colt, Trigger brought his offspring to live with them at the ranch. Since then, she says, the colt, which they named Trigger, Jr., has grown substantially. Three years later, when Roy is released on parole, the sheriff, who believes in Roy's innocence, agrees to help him stage his own escape and death. After the gang learns of Roy's "escape," they go to the ranch to wait for his arrival. From their hiding place, the gang sees Roy ride up, but before they can act, the sheriff also arrives and shoots at Roy with blanks. Satisfied that he is dead, the gang leaves, and later, captures the branded horse. Instead of the diamonds, however, the gang discovers sand inside. Then, to the gang's amazement, Roy appears, captures them and then lassos Trigger, taming him once again.