4.6/10
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6 user 4 critic

Men with Steel Faces (1940)

Approved | | Sci-Fi, Western | 2 May 1940 (USA)
Re-edited feature version of serial The Phantom Empire (1935). Singer Gene Autry discovers a race of advanced humans living beneath the earth.

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(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast overview:
...
Gene Autry (archive footage)
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Frankie Baxter (archive footage)
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Oscar (archive footage) (as Lester 'Smiley' Burnette)
Betsy King Ross ...
Betsy Baxter (archive footage)
Dorothy Christy ...
Queen Tika (archive footage)
Wheeler Oakman ...
Argo (archive footage)
Charles K. French ...
Mal (archive footage)
Warner Richmond ...
Rab (archive footage)
J. Frank Glendon ...
Prof. Beetson (archive footage) (as Frank Glendon)
Peter Potter ...
Mike (archive footage) (as William Moore)
Edward Peil Sr. ...
Dr. Cooper (archive footage)
Jack Carlyle ...
Saunders (archive footage)
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Storyline

Re-edited feature version of serial The Phantom Empire (1935). Singer Gene Autry discovers a race of advanced humans living beneath the earth.

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Sci-Fi | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Radio Ranch  »

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Edited from The Phantom Empire (1935) See more »

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Strange, yet decidedly rubbish
19 May 2015 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Sometimes when you look back on an old movie, its central idea appears so strange to modern sensibilities as to make it appear almost surreal. Radio Ranch is one such film. On the one hand it is about a singing cowboy who operates a radio station from his ranch. Now if that idea wasn't bizarre enough in itself, there is a second plot-line about an underground city called Murania which is ruled over by an evil queen and her steel helmeted minions. The above synopsis makes this an early example of that most specific of sub-genres, the western/sci-fi hybrid. Perhaps its random weirdness is a result of it having been cobbled together from various episodes of a serial called 'The Phantom Empire'. I've found that any films edited together from episodes of series always seem to be terrible though and Radio ranch quite frankly is no exception. Its strangeness only takes it so far really and tedium eventually sets in. Certainly an oddity but one with limited interest or entertainment value ultimately, if I am being absolutely honest.


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