To quote a contemporary reviewer, "Gladys Swarthout's voice can be heard, if you listen carefully, above the groans and bone-creakings of the plot in Rose of the Rancho." And the plot of this ancient operetta remains "bone-creaking" to the point of distraction. Not that operetta must necessarily make sense, but the somewhat realistic settings here only add to the drama's artificiality. On top of all this, the bombastic Swarthout is no Jeanette MacDonald (nor even a Grace Moore) and John Boles, as the government agent, remains as tedious and wooden as ever. Add a couple of forgotten vaudeville stars -- Willie Howard, who sings Rainger and Robin's "Got a Girl in Cal-i-for-ni-ay", and Herb Williams -- and you have a potpourri as old as "them thar hills."
by Hans J. Wollstein review