5 user 1 critic

Rovin' Tumbleweeds (1939)

Passed | | Western, Musical | 16 November 1939 (USA)
As a congressman, Gene exposes a crooked politician who is delaying passage of a flood control bill.



(original screen play), (original screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Holloway
Singers and Musicians
Senator Timothy Nolan
Lee 'Lasses' White ...
Gordon Hart ...
Congressman Fuller
Man in Store (as Vic Potel)
Blockade Boss
Reginald Barlow ...
Higgins - a Migrant
Eddie Kane ...
Guy Usher ...
Mr. Craig - Mary's Boss


A flood has wiped out the ranchers. Congressman Fuller was against the Flood Control bill so Gene runs against him in the next election and wins. Gene goes to Washington but has no success in passing the bill as Holloway is using his influence to block it. Then just as Gene returns home another disastrous flood hits. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Western | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Washington Cowboy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(edited) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the final scene, Gene and Mary share a hug and their cheeks touch, with Mary coming away with mud on the left side of her face. However going in, that side of Gene's face was clean. See more »


[first lines]
[leading the ranchers as they try battle mounting floodwaters]
Gene Autry: Watch out for a break on the left, men. Hey! Pile them four deep over there!
See more »


A Girl Like You and a Night Like This
Music and Lyrics by Gene Autry and Johnny Marvin
Performed by Gene Autry
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Relevant to Today
3 June 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

I don't think anyone watches one of these old matinees for anything other than unchallenging fun. After all, they were made mainly for kids. That being said, this one has more adult content than most. Yes, Gene is elected to Congress, of all places, following a successful stint on the radio. More importantly, he's expected to serve as an empty suit (cowboy suit) by his big money backers wanting to steal land away from flood-ravaged small farmers. It's not like the money men don't have some popular support. Local townsfolk resent the influx of refugees from the flood for driving down local wages. But needless to say, Gene turns out to be anything but an empty suit.

Clearly, the screenplay is not only more serious minded than most, but also reflects many conditions of the ravaged 1930's. Actually, this low-budgeter does a good job creating a sense of desperation among the flood-affected—note the intense crowd scenes, plus the chaos of old flivver cars. There's also Congress and its influence peddling where Gene finds out some hard truths. There's little hard riding or typical gunplay, so matinée fans expecting the usual may be disappointed. But, for folks willing to try something different, there's food for thought (except the utterly incredible ending) that appears still topical, even 70- years later.

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