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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Singing cowboy Gene Autry enlivens an otherwise dull B-grade Western.
Gene Autry is essentially the only reason to watch Red River Valley (aka Man of the Frontier). He's a pretty good actor, an even better singer, and looks good in his cowboy costume. He's an interesting person to watch. Unfortunately, he's about the only thing to recommend this film. I found the whole affair dull and, quite frankly, uninteresting. Granted, the makers of this film weren't trying to create a masterpiece. It's pretty clear that their primary objective was to quickly and cheaply make a picture with a story that would appeal to most people and that would exploit the vocal abilities of their star. Autry doesn't arrive onto the scene until several minutes into the film. When he does, he waits around for twice as long until he gets to sing. Why wait so long to have him get back to doing what he does best? I don't know. As for the rest of the cast, few of them aspire to even slightly memorable portrayals of their roles. Smiley Burnette is probably the only exception to this. The townspeople, the judge, the romantic interest, all of them are totally forgettable in their roles. Not having see any of Autry's other western vehicles, I can't honestly say that I have anything to compare this film to. This is just my first impression. Still, despite it's numerous flaws, it's still fun to watch Autry do his stuff on screen.
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