An Eastern doctor is on the run from authorities in New York. Out west he comes to the aid of friends besieged by an outlaw gang known as the border legion. In the end, he is cleared of any wrong-doing back east.
George 'Gabby' Hayes,
Dust storms and drought make herding horses a tough job for the boys. When the new owner of the ranch, Lydia Phelps, shows up, the ranch is in dire financial straits. The Martin Ranch has ... See full summary »
Steve, revue producer in Rio de Janeiro, is still in love with his ex-wife Vicki, his star Linda is in love with Steve and Tito is in love with Linda. Because of this they all get small ... See full summary »
Mr Casey's daughter, Connie, wants to go to Pottawatomie College and without her knowledge he sends four football players as her bodyguards. The college is in financial trouble and her ... See full summary »
The Continental Telegraph Co. is putting a telegraph line to the town and the fort. They know that the telegraph is needed to stop the activities of the outlaws, but only the outlaws can ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
"Melody Ranch" (1940) is one of Gene Autry's best-known and most popular Oaters. In reality,while not his best, it's still entertaining as all get-out!
The only neative is the screenplay by Jack Moffitt, F. Hugh Herbet (norelation to the comic character actor), Bradford Ropes and Betty Burbridge: It's got a little too much comic corn.
The film boasts an unusually strong cast,including Gabby Hayes, Gene's love interest Ann Miller (who never ever looked more stunning - she's a total knockout here at age 17), bad guy Barton MacLane, and Jerome Cowan (a year before Mary Astor bumps him off when he played Bogie's Sam Spade partner Miles Archer near the beginning of "The Maltese Falcon").
Serving as Gene's back-up band...Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys! The fella who gets the lion's share of the corny jokes is that wonderful legend, Jimmy Durante. His role is similar to his Banjo in "The Man Who Came to Dinner" four years later, in 1944.
I absolutely love the two-reel B film "Oater" westerns of the '30 & '40s and the western TV series of the '50s. This one comes close to being included among them but the high corn factor keeps it off the list. But Ann Miller is really great to look at here.
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