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Public Cowboy No. 1 (1937)

Passed  -  Western  -  23 August 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 93 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Rustlers using modern technology (airplanes, shortwave radios, refrigerated trucks) are Gene's target.


(as Joe Kane)


(screen play), (original story)
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Title: Public Cowboy No. 1 (1937)

Public Cowboy No. 1 (1937) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Complete credited cast:
Smiley Burnette ...
William Farnum ...
Sheriff Matt Doniphon
Arthur Loft ...
Jack Shannon
Frankie Marvin ...
Deputy Stubby
House Peters Jr. ...
Jim Shannon
James C. Morton ...
Eustace P. Quackenbush
Maston Williams ...
Thad Slaughter
Frank LaRue ...
The Judge (as Frank La Rue)
Milburn Morante ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cow-Boy Público nº 1  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) (restored) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Victor 'High Fidelity' Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Ezra - Newspaper Printer: I'm ready for that lead article.
Helen Morgan: Well, I had it here a minute ago.
[looks at Gene]
Helen Morgan: What did you do with it?
Deputy Sheriff Gene Autry: Is this it?
[Gene tosses Helen a string of paper dolls]
Helen Morgan: Why, you belong in a kindergarten or a padded cell. Now get out of here!
See more »


Featured in Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen (2007) See more »


(1937) (uncredited)
(also known as "Wanderers of the Wasteland")
Written by Felix Bernard and Paul Francis Webster
Sung by Gene Autry, William Farnum, and others
Reprised by them at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

A Solid 8 on the Matinée Scale
30 January 2014 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Good imaginative mix of music, action, comedy, and man vs. machine. Gene's trying to stop a gang of cattle rustlers. Trouble is they're using modern technology like airplanes (spotters) and refrigerated trucks (hauling carcasses) to elude capture. Old Sheriff Doniphon and younger deputy Autry are not having much success, so ranchers call in a high-falutin' motorized detective company (think Pinkertons). So how's this all going to work out—will the new win out over the old. There's a little more story depth here than usual.

Catch ace director, old Joe Kane using an off-angle camera shot to heighten effect of careening cars. Good touch even if on the arty side. Then there's cutie Ann Rutherford showing why she had such a durable Hollywood career. Heck, I even got laughs out of Frog and buddy donning a cow hide, especially when the horny and apparently near-sighted bull chases them. Okay, these are basically kid's shows, not to be taken seriously. So I have no problem with all the goofy anachronisms as long as they add to entertainment, which they do.

On the matinée scale (not to be confused with adult westerns) I give this Autry entry a solid 8.

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