Texas cattle baron Stiles killed John Clayborn's parents ten years earlier. Now a lawyer, Clayborn tries legally to break up Stiles' water monopoly and rustling operation. When that fails he must use force.
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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In Red River Valley, Gene Autry delivers a herd of cattle to the camp of a group of construction workers and then saves a couple of children from a charging steer which of course nears and endears him to the boss's daughter Frances Grant. The workers are constructing a kind of Tennessee Valley Authority on the Red River, but someone has been regularly sabotaging the job. Gene and Smiley Burnette take jobs as ditch riders which is the expression for security guards to patrol the dams and river. It's a job that's been fatal for the last few riders.
Of course the bad guys are now dealing with America's number one singing cowboy so we know things will be set right. The most interesting performance in the film is that of George Chesebro who acts as an agitator among the workers, but he's really in cahoots with the one trying to sabotage the job for his own nefarious ends.
If you've seen a gazillion B westerns on the big screen and small you know exactly who's behind the dirty work. Gene sings a couple of forgettable songs and of course the unforgettable title song. As for the identity of the villain, just remember these are the years of the New Deal and certain professions inevitably were villains.
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