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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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Cast

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)
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Betsy Baxter (archive footage)
Dorothy Christy ...
Queen Tika (archive footage)
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Argo (archive footage)
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Mal (archive footage)
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Rab (archive footage)
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Prof. Beetson (archive footage) (as Frank Glendon)
Peter Potter ...
Mike (archive footage) (as William Moore)
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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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Genres:

Sci-Fi | Western

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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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User Reviews

 
Silly, weird fun
17 December 2010 | by (Nova Scotia) – See all my reviews

This is an oddly entertaining film. Odd, because I had never seen one of these old westerns with Gene Autry or any of his contemporaries like Roy Rogers before and I was expecting a straightforward western. Instead, I got to see a crazy blend of sci-fi and western.

The film has Autry, and the two juvenile characters of Betsy and Frankie, discovering the underground empire of 'Murania' far beneath Autry's ranch. This empire is ruled by an evil queen, who along with an altogether creepy contingent known as the 'Thunder Riders', threaten civilization as we know it.

Autry sings a lot and his acting is pretty cornball but he's extremely likable and, hence, manages to entertain. The two juvenile actors are very likable too and the film is generally enjoyable. It's also strangely fascinating as the Thunder Riders I mentioned previously bear an eerie resemblance to the KKK and every time I saw them appear I wondered whether this was intentional or accidental.

Anyway, the film was fun, mainly due to the unexpected weirdness of it all. Well worth a viewing.


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