Gene Autry (Himself) and Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) encounter Caroline Stanhope (June Storey) who has come to town with her father, Colonel Stanhope (Eddy Waller), to enter her horse in the rodeo, hoping to clear enough money to clear the mortgage on their home back in Carolina. She ignores Gene's advice that the horse is too temperamental for the rodeo noise and commotion, and the horse sprains an ankle. The Colonel, taken by a couple of crooks, loses a thousand dollars in wagers and refuses to turn over his only asset, the horse, in lieu of the cash. Gene, wishing to help, offers Stanhope a thousand dollars for the horse but Caroline thinking Gene is in with the crooks, loads the horse in a trailer and heads back for Carolina. Gene, thinking the Stanhopes are in a scheme to beat him out of his money, takes Frog and follows them. There, they discover the Stanhopes are honest people, who, along with their neighbors are hard-pressed by poverty and a threatened foreclosure of ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I don't know what the younger generation is comin' to. I never thought I'd see the day when a Stanhope lady, my own granddaughter, would go traipsin' off up North do a thing like this.
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This Autry-Republic entry is more plot-heavy than most. Basically, however, it's the standard matinée premise of baddies trying to swindle land from honest owners. Here, however, the conflict is transferred to southern plantation owners, plus a thoroughbred (Champion) whose ownership keeps changing hands. Nonetheless, Republic works in some good rodeo footage, plus a steeplechase race, of all things. No fast shooting or much hard riding for action fans. Still, there's the big fists and clubs battle at the end. Lots of good songs, especially the Stephen Foster "Old Folks at Home" sung traditional style by a Black folk chorus. Some good bits by Frog Burnette without being buffoonish, and I really like spunky little Mary Lee who's also something of a delightful songbird. All in all, it's excellent Autry entertainment, despite the Negro stereotypes of the time.
A "7" on the matinée rating scale.
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