Federal Agent Gene Autry and his sidekick Frog are sent to Mexico to prevent foreign powers from gaining control of Mexican oil refineries and fomenting revolution among the Mexican people.... 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 »
Cornelius J. Courtney:
Folks, this is your pal, Cornelius J. Courtney, tellin' you that this program is brought to you by that nationally famous head cold remedy "Nose Posse." Aaahh! Manufactured, endorsed by that benefactor of humanity, Thomas Summerville. Ah, that most delicate of organisms, the nose, the snoozle, the proboscus, let Nose Posse guard it for you. It deserves that protection - take it from me, a man who knows his noses. At-chaaa! And now, after a brief pause for station identification, Gene Autry will...
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Wonderful Ann Miller During Her Teen Years Dancing and Lovely Gene Autry Singing in Melody Ranch (1940 Republic)
Melody Ranch (1940 Republic) starring Gene Autry, Ann Miller, George "Gabby" Hayes, Jimmy Durante, Jerome Cowan, and Barton MacLane is an OK "behind the scenes in Network Radio" movie mixed with a standard "B" cowboy movie plot where a new sheriff (Autry) saves a town dominated by bad guys terrorizing the town until "the man on the white horse" arrives, saves the day, and rides off into the sunset with the prettiest girl in town (Ann Miller, only 17 years old in 1940 if her standard biog 1923 birth date is correct...even if it isn't, she was very young and beautiful in this black and white movie, which includes a song and dance sequence, "My Gal Sal," which shows off Miller's incredible dance abilities and breathtaking shapely legs.)
Jimmy Durante is also featured in this movie. He was a major Broadway stage show comedy star along with Bob Hope and Ethel Merman in the Cole Porter "Red, Hot, and Blue" stage musical of 1938 only two years before this movie, a major entertainment world star back then, and still relatively young (in his 40's).
Durante's non-western, non-cowboy persona is justified by casting him as a radio show personality part of the "Gene Autry Radio Show" which is a centerpiece of the movie.
Ann Miller plays the role of a radio show actress courted by the radio show's "big boss" producer, played by Jerome Cowan in yet another "likeable, classy rich guy who doesn't get the girl" (see Cowan in both Shall We Dance [1937 MGM] starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers where he woos and loses Ginger Rogers, and also in The Maltese Falcon [1941 Warner Bros.] starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor where he woos and loses Mary Astor.....Mary shoots Jerome dead in The Maltese Falcon [1941 Warner Bros.] which is a harsh way to be rejected).
Barton MacLane plays the head bad guy. One of three bad guy brothers in a small, dusty western town called "Torpedo" which, in the movie, is Gene Autry's home town.
Gene's home town calls him home from his radio show singer career to be the sheriff back in Torpedo, terrorized by Barton MacLane and his two brothers (brothers who are bad guys also appear in Stagecoach  in the town of "Lordsburg," and also in the movies titled My Darling Clementine [1946 Fox] starring Henry Fonda and in Gunfight At The OK Carral [1956 Paramount] starring Burt Lancaster in a town called "Tombstone.")
Melody Ranch (1940 Republic) starring Gene Autry and Ann Miller is a more expensive than average, more romantic than average, more polished than average "B" western movie from Republic Pictures.
It was placed on the justifiably prestigious Library Of Congress National Film Registry List probably as an homage to "B" cowboy movies made before World War II.
It is an OK but not great movie with some of the best singing ever done by Gene Autry and show stopping dancing and sexy leg display by then young, 17 year old Ann Miller (she died at age 80 in 2004, RIP). The LC National Film Registry List honors American movies noted for aesthetic, historic and/or cultural importance, and Melody Ranch (1940 Republic) was picked mostly due to importance historically and culturally, it appears.
Written by Tex Allen, SAG Actor. Visit WWW.IMDb.Com and choose "Tex Allen" "resume" for contact information, movie credits, and biographical information about Tex Allen.
He has reviewed more than 42 movies posted on WWW.IMDb.Com (the world's largest movie information database, owned by Amazon.Com) as of January 2011.
These include: 1. Alfie (1966) 29 July 2009 2. Alien (1979) 24 July 2009 3. All the Loving Couples (1969) 17 January 2011 4. All the President's Men (1976) 16 November 2010 5. American Graffiti (1973) 22 November 2010 6. Animal House (1978) 16 August 2009 7. Bullitt (1968) 23 July 2009 8. Captain Kidd (1945) 28 July 2009 9. Child Bride (1938) 24 September 2009 10. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) 22 September 2010 11. Destination Moon (1950) 17 January 2011 12. Detour (1945) 19 November 2010 13. Die Hard 2 (1990) 23 December 2010 14. The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993) 19 November 2010 15. Jack and the Beanstalk (1952) 26 July 2009 16. King Solomon's Mines (1950) 1 December 2010 17. Knute Rockne All American (1940) 2 November 2010 18. Claire's Knee (1970) 15 August 2009 19. Melody Ranch (1940) 10 November 2010 20. Morning Glory (1933) 19 November 2010 21. Mush and Milk (1933) 17 January 2011 22. New Moon (1940) 3 November 2010 23. Pinocchio (1940) 6 November 2010 24. R2PC: Road to Park City (2000) 19 November 2010 25. Salt (2010) 24 August 2010 26. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) 21 January 2011 27. Sunset Blvd. (1950) 1 December 2010 28. The Forgotten Village (1941) 21 January 2011 29. The Great Dictator (1940) 1 November 2010 30. The King's Speech (2010) 19 January 2011 31. The Last Emperor (1987) 20 January 2011 32. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) 9 January 2011 33. The Man in the White Suit (1951) 5 August 2009 34. The Philadelphia Story (1940) 5 November 2010
Written by Tex Allen, SAG-AFTRA movie actor. Visit WWW.IMDb.Me/TexAllen for more information about Tex Allen.
Tex Allen's email address is TexAllen@Rocketmail.Com.
See Tes Allen Movie Credits, Biography, and 2012 photos at WWW.IMDb.Me/TexAllen. See other Tex Allen written movie reviews....almost 100 titles.... at: "http://imdb.com/user/ur15279309/comments" (paste this address into your URL Browser)
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