Melody Ranch (1940)

Passed  |   |  Romance, Western  |  15 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 4 critic

His Arizona hometown of Torpedo invites Gene back to be the honorary sheriff of the Frontier Days Celebration.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 6 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Julie Shelton
Mark Wildhack
Barbara Jo Allen ...
Veronica Whipple (as Barbara Allen - 'Vera Vague')
Pop Laramie
Jerome Cowan ...
Tommy Summerville
Mary Lee ...
Penny Curtis
Joe Sawyer ...
Jasper Wildhack (as Joseph Sawyer)
Bud Wildhack (as Horace MacMahon)
Clarence Wilson ...
Judge Henderson
William 'Billy' Benedict ...
Slim (as William Benedict)


With a longer-than-usual running time on original release and booked and sold to the exhibitors as a "Gene Autry Special", which Republic would do once a year from 1939-1943 in order to get higher rates than on the regular series entries from the theatre owners. Hey, Jimmy Durante and Ann Miler cost more than Smiley Burnette and June Storey. This "special",(which alternates between tongue-in-cheek and for-real and hard to distinguish which is which since there was very little for-real in most of the fantasy-land settings Autry's Republic films were laid in), finds Gene returning to his hometown of Torpedo as guest of honor at the Frontier Days Celebraion, Once there, he encounters his childhood enemies, the Wildhack brothers (Barton MacLane, Joe Sawyer and Horace MacMahon in pecking order), now the local gangsters (and playing it with relish.) The Wildhacks own a saloon next door to the school, and when their shooting and brawling endangers the safety of the children, Gene protests ... Written by Les Adams <>

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Romance | Western


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Release Date:

15 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eldorado  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(original) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The 'Melody Ranch' set built for this film consisted of a long, one story house and a much larger gambrel-roof barn with a practical interior. The house portion's exterior was revamped after filming, and the set was a fixture on Republic's back lot for several years. It was featured in the show My Three Sons (1960). See more »


Cornelius J. Courtney: Hey, Gene. Listen, I've been thinking it over, and I think maybe I ought to go with the others on the bus.
Gene Autry: Oh no you don't. Get up on that horse and shut up.
Cornelius J. Courtney: But, Gene...
Gene Autry: Remember, this was your idea.
Cornelius J. Courtney: I'd forgotten.
See more »


References The Great Train Robbery (1903) See more »


Torpedo Joe
(1940) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Jule Styne and Eddie Cherkose
Sung by Mary Lee with piano accompaniment
See more »

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User Reviews

Gene Autry cleans up his hometown Torpedo
5 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is my favorite western film. I would gladly recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean entertainment. It features 2 great actors Gene Autry and Jimmy Durante. It provides the family with great entertainment that even young children can enjoy. This film features some very nice songs, among them the title song "Melody Ranch" and "We Never Dream the Same Dream Twice". It is one of the best examples of adventurous musical westerns. Comedy routines including Jimmy Durante make the movie appealing to fun loving audiences as well. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes Gene Autry and his western style of crooning the songs of the old West.

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