Trouble In Texas

Rita Cansino with Tex Ritter in Trouble in Texas

A Grand National Picture (1937)

Executive Producer: Edward L. Alperson
Producer: Edward F. Finney
Director: R. N. Bradbury

Screenplay: Robert Emmett,
from story by Lindsey Parsons

The Stars:
Tex Ritter as Tex Masters
Rita Cansino as Carmen Serano
Horace Murphy as Lucky

"Down the Colorado Trail," "The Looney Cowboy Band," "Song of the Rodeo," "Cowman's Lament," "Headin' for the Rio Grande": by Tex Ritter

Black and White, 63 mins. running time

This was the last film Rita made under the name Rita Cansino (although two "Cansino films" were released after). It was also the last of her less than memorable low-budget westerns. This time co-starred opposite singing cowboy, Tex Ritter (father of John Ritter), who was also a newcomer to films at the time.

Rita plays Carmen Serano, a government agent who goes undercover to investigate a gang of rodeo racketeers headed by a bandit named Barker (Earl Dwire). Her mission is to find the connection between these "promoters" and the puzzling deaths of rodeo stars. Whenever they are part of the rodeo, any man that appears to be an obvious winner, mysteriously dies, and the bandits make off with the prize money. One of these murdered rodeo stars was the brother of singing cowboy Tex Masters (Tex Ritter). Just as Carmen is to start her investigation, he arrives in Middleton to take part in the annual rodeo. He also comes in the hope of solving the mystery surrounding his brother's death. When Tex begins setting records and winning several events, Barker and his gang decide he must be done away with. With Carmen undercover as part of the gang, and Tex also investigating, they begin an affectionate relationship and also figure out how the gang has been operating. Once the gang discovers they've been caught, they try to skip town, but with Tex on their trail, they don't make it very far.

The highlight of Trouble in Texas is Rita's dance number. In her first films, she may not have seemed completely at ease in front of the cameras yet, but she always came to life once she heard the music. Rita was never inhibited when dancing, and in these moments of her early career, her star quality is revealed. Fox had let her contract lapse the year before and she was now free-lancing at independent film companies. Within a short time, however, she would be under contract to Columbia Pictures, dubbed Rita Hayworth and on her way to stardom.

with Tex Ritter
Rita Cansino, assisted by a tres gallant Tex Ritter.

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