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The Big Show
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Big Show More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Talk about being replaced by a back up

8/10
Author: Thomas Fasulo from Gainesville, Florida
21 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this movie, Gene Autry is a stunt man for Tom Ford, and then does a stand-in for Ford at a Texas Centennial celebration when Ford goes on a fishing trip. At the end of the movie Gene is the star and Tom Ford is now his stunt man.

But look! When the Sons of the Pioneers do their singing part in the back of the wagon, who is the guy singing, right front? Why, it's Leonard Slye, one of the original members of the Sons of the Pioneers.

The movie was filmed in 1936. Five years later, when Gene Autry left the studio to serve in World War II, the studio needed another singing cowboy and Leonard Slye was chosen. Of course, the studio had to change his name, so Leonard became Roy Rogers.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Too much singing, but it's nice singing and the film is fun...

6/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
24 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film finds Gene Autry playing dual roles--a fat-headed movie actor as well as a nice-guy stuntman named 'Gene Autry'. However, when the actor goes on vacation and cannot be located, the press agent is able to convince Gene to imitate the guy. The problem is that Gene is BETTER than the actor and his singing is very impressive. But, the actor, other than being a jerk, cannot sing and he feels threatened by this. To make things worse, the actor is engaged and Gene's new girl finds out about this girl and thinks Gene is a two-timer. Can Gene extricated himself from this mess?

This is an unusual film cause even for a B-western it has a lot of singing. While I usually hate this, the singing is among the best I've heard in a B. And, I was surprised to see the Sons of the Pioneers in the film as well--since they mostly appeared in Roy Rogers films. And, another surprise was having TWO sidekicks--Max Terhune and Smiley Burnett. This is actually the second Autry film with both sidekicks--the other being "Ride Ranger Ride"--which, incidentally used the same theme song you'll find in "The Big Show". Overall, a fun film with a silly plot--but so much fun that fans of the genre won't mind.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Fall Guy

7/10
Author: FightingWesterner from The Lonesome Prairie
23 March 2010

Gene Autry is the stunt double for a conceited western star and has to impersonate him after the actor bails out of a big personal appearance at the Texas Centennial, not knowing that the reason star went on vacation was to avoid paying his gambling debts. Gene gets in way over his head when he turns out to be a bigger hit than expected and gangsters show up to collect their money.

A pleasant, fictionalized account of how Gene Autry became a star, The Big Show offers an irresistible glimpse at the duties that befall a Saturday matinée western star. Despite a loose plot, it's really a lot of fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek fun.

Autry sings some great songs and along with sidekick Smiley Burnette, joins three legendary western groups, The Sons Of The Pioneers (with Roy Rodgers), The Light Crust Doughboys (a personal favorite), and The Beverly Hill Billies. Max Terhune and his dummy even show up for a quickie appearance. Sadly, The Doughboys and the singing group The Jones Boys are deleted from most, if not all video prints.

Although not really much of a western, Autry fans should be satisfied.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Texas Centennial

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
15 June 2011

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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