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One of Gene Autry's early Republic westerns, the film has plenty of action and songs by Autry and Burdette, along with other musical novelty acts. Gene and his friend Frog help the valley's irrigation company solve the mystery of who's behind the terror tactics of those fighting the dam. In the process, they become implicated in a payroll robbery and must clear their names while pursuing the real robbers and trying to save the dam for the valley's drought-ravaged landowners. Written by
If you walk out now, you'll ruin the valley. Everybody will lose their homes, farms. You'll get your money! Baxter's arranging for a loan now and he'll be here to tell you himself.
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Wow, I love that torrential water rushing from the dam. Then too, director Eason shows why he was one of the best in the matinée business. He really knows how to stage action, whether jumping off sheer cliffs or fisticuffs atop a dam. I expect the concrete barrier was one of the many WPA public projects of the 30's, of which the TVA is the best known.
This is one of Gene's earliest and it's a doozy, really well produced by Republic with lots and lots of extras, locations in Yuma, AZ, and an unusual storyline. So who's trying to sabotage the dam and keep the farmers out. Gene and Frog work to find out, and you know they will since our hero is decked out in his best finery. But can Autry get the payroll money to the men in timeit's a nail-biter as Gene struggles across the barren flats. Music-wise, I couldn't get enough of the title song and ended up croaking it out til the wife left the room. And how about that jug band, just about everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. All in all, it's a great Autry mix that I expect helped put him on the matinée map.
A "9" on the matinée schedule.
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