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The Big Show (1936)

Passed | | Action, Comedy, Music | 16 November 1936 (USA)
At the Texas Centennial in Dallas Autry confuses two girls by being himself and his own stunt double.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Autry / Tom Ford
Marion Hill
Toodles Brown
William Newell ...
Lee Wilson
Swartz - Studio Head
The Jones Boys ...
Singers (as Jones Boys)
The Beverly Hillbillies ...
Musicians (as Beverly Hill Billies)
Musicians (as Light Crust Dough Boys)
Champion - Studio Horse
Rex King ...
Fred Collins
Tony Rico
Mary Russell ...


When cowboy star Tom Ford disappears, Wilson gets his double Gene Autry to impersonate him. But Ford owes gangster Rico $10,000 and Rico arrives to collect. He fails to get the money but learns that Autry is an impersonator and now blackmails Wilson and his movie studio. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Roundup of action actually filmed at the Texas Centennial!


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Astro por Aclamação  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(edited) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor 'High Fidelity' Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was cut to 54 minutes for television release in the mid-'50s and has only recently been restored to its original running time, thanks to the combined efforts of The Western Movie Channel, the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage and the University of California-Los Angeles. See more »


The Light Crust Doughboys and The Jones Boys appear in the credits, but do not appear in the shortened (54 minutes) version, but along with some additional action they appear in the original (71 minutes) movie. See more »


Lee Wilson: Oh why was I ever born?
Gene Autry: Now this is no time for riddles.
See more »


Nobody's Darlin' But Mine
(1935) (uncredited)
Written by Jimmie Davis
Performed by Gene Autry and Sons of the Pioneers
See more »

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User Reviews

The Texas Centennial
15 June 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

For one of eight films that Republic Pictures new singing cowboy star Gene Autry appeared in 1936, the studio did the unheard of thing and filmed part of the story at the Texas State Centennial at their state fairgrounds in Dallas. In fact the centennial was an integral part of the story.

In a film with plot elements similar to MGM's Callaway Went Thataway, Gene Autry plays two roles that of himself who is fearless stunt double who happens to sing to Tom Ford, arrogant movie cowboy who doesn't and also played by Autry.

In fact Ford has himself in some trouble with gamblers and has to lam out to parts unknown after his last pictures wraps. Which leaves the studio holding the bag because they promised an appearance by their star at the Texas Centennial. Studio head Charles Judel is nursing his growing ulcer as a result.

Then studio yes man William Newell gets the idea to get Autry to impersonate Ford and when he sings on the radio and in personal appearances, Mammoth Pictures figures it has a star with greater venues.

If you've seen Callaway Went Thataway you know what happens. The Big Show turned out to be one of Gene's better early westerns.

A lot of acts get in the act in this film and Gene has two special numbers, Nobody's Darlin' But Mine and Ole Faithful. The latter was a cowboyballad written in England and introduced in America by Bing Crosby on his radio show.

Gene gets to romance Kay Hughes and Smiley Burnette and Sally Payne are around for comic relief. One of Gene's better early Republic westerns.

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