After Gene has his watch stolen by the Gypsy he takes a job on the Thomas ranch. Thomas' dog has brought home the cradle with the Gypsy's baby and when the Gypsy retrieves his baby, Gene thinks he is a kidnaper. But as he chases after him he now sees that Thomas' cattle are being rustled. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Melody Trail" was Gene Autry's third feature-length movie.
The movie itself is typical Autry/Republic fare: heavy on action and music, while light on plot and continuity. The story follows typical Autry/Republic lines with some interesting and amusing twists, and a fair share of comic relief. Smiley Burnette makes the second of what would be several appearances with Autry, and while he overuses the "frog" voice (this was downplayed in later films), he's his usual lovable, laughable self. Of course, Autry exposes the bad guys and saves the day.
The one annoying aspect of the film is the use of fifteen-year-old Ann Rutherford as Autry's semi-romantic interest. While the love-interest is understated, it still seems out of place, as Rutherford's character appears to be in her mid teens (as she actually was). If not for that, I would give the film a couple of stars more.
The action is decent, and the stunt-work is well-done, as usual. While he's not listed in the credits, I believe I see well-known stuntman/coordinator Yakima Canutt doubling for Autry in a few scenes.
Overall, this is a decent offering, with Autry defining the character that he'd play hundreds of more times in films and on his TV show. If you wish to see the movie, it's shown occasionally on Encore Westerns.
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