8 October 2013 | dougdoepke
'8' on the Matinée Scale
Autry's first movie under the banner of Republic is a good one. Catch those great panoramic shots of gangs hard-riding across the flats, taking aim at each other courtesy director Kane. They're real eye-grabbers, unusual for a matinée western. In fact, the 60-minutes is full of imaginative touches like the brawl inside the traveling show wagon, with the losers getting dumped unceremoniously onto the rocky roadway.
And I kept wondering where grizzled old Gabby from the credit crawl was. But there he was, hiding behind a brown mustache, a nice suit, and even a set of false teeth. Yes sir, it's Gabby like I'd never seen before. Plus, Gene's all duded out in cowboy finery of his own, trying to get a bead on whoever murdered his dad, and you just know he will. Even at this early stage he's got an easy way with a song, including the great title tune. And who is that black kid with feet faster than the proverbial flying bullet. Yes indeed, that's quite a medicine show old Gabby puts on. And I love the way he fills his bottles of elixir with muddy water, just the thing to cure everything from a nosebleed to gout.
Anyhow, I think there's a flaw in IMDb's rating system. I'd hate to put this programmer-- good as it is-- up against quality A-pictures. So instead, I give it an '8' on a scale strictly for those great old matinees that are still a lot of harmless fun.