South of the Border (1939)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Music

South of the Border (1939) Poster

Federal Agent Gene Autry and his sidekick Frog are sent to Mexico to prevent foreign powers from gaining control of Mexican oil refineries and fomenting revolution among the Mexican people.... See full summary »


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28 August 2020 | MartinHafer
| Gene and Frog battle 'certain foreign powers' in Mexico.
The United States was officially neutral during the first two years of World War II. What many do not know is that Congress passed a law that essentially restricted free speech....forcing the film industry to stay out of the conflict. Finally, in 1939, Warner Brothers ignored the law and came out with "Confessions of a Nazi Spy"....and it specifically focused on a real case where Nazi agents were working in the States. But apart from this, other studios were scared to mention the war and when they did, they were very the script in this Republic offering. While Gene Autry plays a federal agent investigating foreign intervention in the oil industry in Mexico, Germany and the Nazis or any other power were never mentioned. But who else COULD have been the evil spies who were fomenting discord in this country in late 1939?! So if you see this, understand that studios were afraid to buck this stupid law AND they were afraid of losing revenue abroad by getting involved in any way.

The story begins, not surprisingly, with a song. Soon after this, he then sings the title of Gene's best....and he sings a longer and more enjoyable version at the end. You soon learn that Gene is a federal agent and he's been sent to Mexico undercover to investigate the oil industry. It seems that there's a worry that 'some foreign power' will try to disrupt oil production. His cover is that he's come to Mexico to help with some cattle drive...and Frog comes along to help. What no one realizes is that this foreign power is building a submarine base and plans on creating a revolution in the country!! So, it looks like Gene really has his work cut out for him.

This is a very enjoyable film....and I loved the music The actor that really impressed me was German-born Frank Reicher. He is a very familiar character actor but I was shocked how well he put on a Mexican accent! And, apart from that this is a pleasant little film...worth seeing though perhaps not among Gene's very best.

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Release Date:

15 December 1939



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