Shannon is running a modern rustling operation using an airplane to spot the cattle, short wave radio to alert the rustlers, and trucks to haul away the beef. When the aging Sheriff Doniphan is unable to bring them in, he is replaced by an eastern detective. But Doniphan's deputy Gene suspects Shannon and sets a trap to nab him and his gang. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
After Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) falls off the refrigerated meat truck where he was dangling on a meat hook, the back of his jacket no longer has a hole in it where the hook would have been. See more »
"Rustlers using modern technology (airplanes, shortwave radios, refrigerated trucks) are Gene's target."--IMDb Summary The version of "Public Cowbiy No. 1" I saw was only 53 minutes long instead of the time listed on IMDb. This is most likely because in the early days of TV they cut down many B-westerns to make them fit TV time slots. However, it's odd that this abbreviated version STILL has so many songs in it, as usually they shortened the films by clipping off a few songs. Actually, clipping a song or two isn't a bad thing, as it tended to speed up the films and keep them much more coherent! But, with ALL the songs seemingly intact in this film, it's not among Autry's best.
The film begins with Gene Autry doing what he does best--singing a song. Soon you see the most amazingly ridiculous cattle rustlers strike nearby. Although this is a western, the baddies drive up in a HUGE modern truck--one that was awfully ridiculous. With meticulous precision, folks pop out of the truck and they quickly butcher and skin the cattle--and hide them in this refrigerated truck! What sort of western would have this any many other oddities in the old west? Yep...a Gene Autry film! You'll also see Gene's Sidekick, Frog (Smiley Burnett) using a shortwave radio, Gene chasing a truck down a highway...with his horse and airplanes! It's the weird sort of melange that even Roy Rogers films tended to avoid--and Autry films abounded with over the years.
So is it any good? Well, not particularly. But, it's also pleasant enough as a time-passer...and it IS funny to see all these modern devices along with so many old fashioned at the same time.
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