22 September 2020 | MartinHafer
Someone murdered Ed Norton!
"Looks like that brother of yours only uses his head to hang his hat on!"...Gene Autry
The story begins with some guys playing craps. Suddenly, the light goes out and someone shoots Ed Norton to death! Now it's not at all certain who did it, but the folks in town are complete idiots and assume Larry (who owned the gun and was in the game) did it. However, first, the lights were off. Second, Larry had put his gun into the pot because he ran out of money. So it's obvious someone did it (heck, they have a corpse!) but not at all certain who did it...and since Gene is the only non-stupid person in the film, he investigates. As for Larry, well, he rarely helps himself and again and again, Gene has to keep Larry from getting himself killed! As for Larry's sister, well, she's not much better!! Will Gene get to the bottom of Norton's death? And, will he prove who DID do it (hint...it was not Ralph nor Trixie nor Alice)?
This film is good BUT lacks two things I enjoy....a sidekick (no Smiley, Pat or Gabby on hand in this one) and the music wasn't particularly good compared to Autry's best movies. Fortunately, the supporting cast included Chill Wills, Jack Holt and Robert Shayne...so it's not all bad when it comes to casting. Unfortunately, having EVERYONE (but Gene) that dumb made the plot a bit difficult, though at least the Sheriff (Chill Wills) wasn't sure who committed the murder. This is a major weakness in the plot...as was Larry being so stupid and ungrateful all the time. Overall, one of the weaker Autry films...though he was just fine in it.
By the way, I noticed one reviewer was looking for the unedited version of this film. I watched the unedited version on Amazon Prime...and it ran almost 79 minutes instead of the 52-54 that most of the trimmed versions of Autry's films are....so you are losing a lot of story if you watch the versions cut down for TV viewing in the 1950s.