14 November 2009 | krorie
Action Packed Oater That Should Please Gene Autry Fans
The opening musical/comedy skit may be a bit much and even downright offense to the modern viewer, but it does provide a historical glimpse of a dead art form, the minstrel show, which evolved into vaudeville and thus found a place in early Hollywood movies. Since the story takes place in 1860, the skit is apropos for the plot of the film. The producer takes the show westward via wagon train and with it many-a showgirl, including a runaway, Lettie Morgan (played with aplomb by beautiful Ann Rutherford, aka Polly Benedict of the Andy Hardy series), whose aunt has just told her that she is not as rich as she thought she was, to ward off an undesirable suitor. The wagon train runs smack into trouble and to the rescue ride Captain Tex Autry, aka Gene Autry, and his band of cavalry buddies, including, of course, the redoubtable Smiley "Frog" Burnette. As Rosanne Rosannadanna would say, from there if it's not one thing, it's another. Tex (Gene) is framed by the bad guy, Utah Joe, played with standout surliness by Allan Sears. And the rest of the movie involves Tex (Gene) and his buddies trying to prove his innocence and Utah Joe's guilt. This includes a rousing shootout between the cavalry and renegade Indians who have been stirred up by Utah Joe. The wagon filled with explosives provides a fitting closing for this action-packed, early Gene Autry entry that most should enjoy. Unfortunately, the songs are not up to Gene Autry standards, even though he and Frog, both talented songwriters, helped pen most of them.