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In his will Langham leaves his ranch to his daughter Cody but makes Gene the executor. When Gene refuses to let her marry Cummings, Cummings tries to have Gene killed. Cummings now demands money and Cody stages a fake kidnaping to raise it. But the plan backfires when Cummings learns of the hoax and turns it into a real kidnaping. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
This Gene Autry oater is a gold mine for his many fans
This is one of the very best of the Gene Autry shoot-'em-ups from early in his singing cowboy career. Even Frog is funny this time. Where the producers found a female frog (Cupid Ainsworth as Jane Crocker) is a wonder. They later found a tadpole too. The ending is hilarious when Jane chases Frog to ride unwillingly away into the sunset.
Some of the lines are a scream. 'Lucky' Langham dies from a fall during a horse race. Not so lucky. His daughter, Cody, a spoiled girl from Chicago comes to claim her inheritance. One of the wranglers on the welcoming committee asks, When do we start shooting?" To which Frog replies, "After I give my speech." The wrangler retorts, "I wouldn't take no chances, Frog." When Cody and her friend Jane speed through the town upon their arrival doing damage and even killing a pig, Gene comments, "She's driving too fast." Frog corrects Gene, "She ain't driving too fast; she's flying too low." The pig's owner tells Cody that Hamabella was like one of the family. Cody looks the pig owner over and says, "Poor Hamabella!" Toward the end of the film, Larry Cummings (Craig Reynolds) tells the kidnapped Cody, "You must have overestimated your value; this time he (Gene) didn't even bother to sing a song."
Many of Gene's westerns were based on popular songs he sang. "There's a Gold Mine in the Sky" though not written by Gene or Smiley has become a cowboy classic. Several of the songs in the film were written by Gene, Smiley, and an up and coming songwriter Fred Rose who went on to discover Hank Williams Sr. and help form one of the biggest publishing companies in the world, Acuff Ross Publishing Company of Nashville. Gene began his career as a recording artist along the lines of the popular blue yodeler Jimmie Rodgers. On many of his early records it's difficult to tell that it's not really Jimmie Rodgers singing. Toward the end of "Gold Mine in the Sky" Gene does a blues type number called "As Long as I Have My Horse" which gives the listener an idea of what his early singing was like, much less pop oriented than later. Look for a young Pee Wee King (of "The Tennesse Waltz" and "Slowpoke" fame) as a member of the Golden West Cowboys.
The story and script are well written by Betty Burbridge who wrote many a cowboy script for both screen and later television. A spoiled girl from Chicago goes west to claim a ranch when her father is killed. The foreman, Gene, by will is given authority over her in selling the property or marrying someone. Her gangster boyfriend from Chicago and his hoodlum friends arrive to try to take over. Gene sees through it all and uses several different machinations including a faked kidnapping that turns real to keep her from making a mistake.
There's also plenty of action under the guiding hand of Joe Kane who directed many a Republic western before turning to television. Almost always Republic delivered the goods and one reason was the skillful hand of Kane. Republic also had the meanest-looking outlaws and the best stunt men around. Look for a young George Montgomery as one of the cowboys. So get ready for some fancy riding, roping, and shooting.
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