Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo ... See full summary »
As the sheriff of a small western town, Autry sings his way into a relationship with Eleanor, a singer from a Chicago nightclub who earlier witnessed a murder. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Old Corral starts out a whole lot like the Bing Crosby Paramount classic, She Loves Me Not. If you'll remember chorus girl Miriam Hopkins witnesses a gangland murder and flees from the mob. Here it's Irene Manning who's a nightclub entertainer who sees John Bradford do the same thing and flees out west.
Well, those big city gangsters are way out of their element when they're tangling with Gene Autry. Of course not everyone in the west is as friendly as Autry. There's Cornelius Keefe and Lon Chaney, Jr. who recognize who Manning is before Autry does. They own the local saloon and under the guise of giving her a break, hire Manning to entertain, but in the mean time call Bradford hoping to curry favor with the gangland boss.
If that's not enough sheriff Gene has to contend with the Sons of the Pioneers and their lead singer, one Leonard Slye who play a brother singing group who take to being outlaws as a way to gain notoriety and a radio contract. Of course in two years that lead singer left the group and started putting out his own westerns for Republic and Herbert J. Yates under the name of Roy Rogers.
I agree with a previous reviewer that Manning's soprano and Autry's western twang don't exactly mesh. It might be why Gene mostly didn't go in for singing co-stars throughout his career, unlike his famous rival at Republic. Of course Gene didn't marry a co-star the way Roy did.
The scene where Manning is trying to make a go of saloon singing and falling on her derrière until Gene helps out is reminiscent of Jeanette MacDonald trying to sing for her supper in Rose Marie. Jeanette had a co-star though who was more suitable to her voice.
The Old Corral is kind of dopey, especially the bit about The Sons of the Pioneers. Still it's a great bit of history, an historic meeting between Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
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