7 February 2005 | tom-ord
Very Different In Restored Uncut Version
This Autry film is one of a hand full of his films that for years has been available to the public only in the 53 or 57 minute cut versions. Recently I had the opportunity to see the restored and uncut version on the Starz Westerns channel a few weeks back and what a difference the added 6 or 7 minutes make. The restored version includes a scene of Gene saddling up and singing a nice trail song as he leaves his ranch following his banishment by his father for warning the rival group. Along the way he meets Millie Branum ( Betty Bronson), a young starving girl he befriended earlier by giving her a calf. Millie gives him his rope back and asks him if he will ever return. Gene replies that he doesn't know and Millie blurts out that she will be waiting for him. As Gene rides away continuing his song you see Millie watching him leave as tears stream from her eyes. Also restored are scenes of newspaper headlines superimposed over rodeo footage of Autry's success on the rodeo circuit. Finally an announcement that he is coming back to Pine Ridge with a traveling show. There is more nice restored footage of the show's parade into town with Champion prancing and marching to the music. (The Champion shown in these scenes is not the original screen Champ since he had only three white stockings . The horse used in these scenes has four white stockings.)However, Gene spots his Dad from the parade route and rides over to him, sticks out his had and says " hello Dad". His father turns and walks away. This movie also contains some of Autry's best riding of all his movies. Many closeup chase scenes and running stirrup mounts that clearly show that it is in deed Gene performing these feats. In all a much more enjoyable movie in the restored version.