The dying outlaw Barton gets Gene to be the guardian of his three boys. The three troublemakers arrive on the Barton ranch from Chicago where they soon uncover Welsh's smuggling operation located there. So Welsh adopts the boys and boots Autry out. Gene counters by bringing three other boys and getting the Judge to declare them to be the real Bartons. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
This is probably about as close as you'll get to see Gene Autry meet the Bowery Boys. It has that feel as Gene brings three troubled street kids from Chicago out to Big Rock and the Barton Ranch. One of the wise guys is portrayed by Leo Gorcey's younger brother David, who had quite a few appearances in the series of films that started with the Dead End Kids. The trio here get involved with a gang of cattle rustlers headed by Frank Welch (Stanley Andrews), but in the end are saved by the intervention of Gene and partner Smiley Burnette. Most of the story is standard stuff for an Autry oater, except for the bit about his willingness to legally adopt the three teens.
Gene and Smiley Burnette share singing duties in the story, with quite a few tunes scattered throughout. Appropriate for the topic, Frog Millhouse (Smiley) offers a rendition of 'In the Jailhouse Now', and later chimes in with the musical story of 'Trigger Joe'. One of the Barton Boys probably had it right when he stated "That's what killed vaudeville".
For an Autry picture I was surprised to hear an off handed Lone Ranger reference when Brains Barton (Tommy Ryan) reacted to Frog by exclaiming 'Hi yo Silver'. Besides that, the other head scratcher had to do with the idea that Jim Barton asked Gene to bring his boys out West. Who then was watching them in Chicago?
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