Jane Pritchard sides with the Carsons in a generations-old feud which her family wages with the descendants of Wild Bill Carson, first United States Marshal of Carson Corners. Will Carson insists that a Pritchard killed his grandfather when the Marshal came into town on a marauding expedition led by The Hawk. Will maintains his grandfather had joined the gang to trap the leaders and a trigger-happy Pritchard had kept him from doing so. A crew from Signet Pictures comes to town to film the story of Wild Bill's life. Will is in love with Jane's sister, Marjorie but her banker-father opposes the match. Will and Marjorie argue, and she becomes infatuated with Bob Merritt, who is to co-star in the film with Evelyn Trent. Jane and Sheriff Clem Perkle get rid of Merritt by telling him the townspeople are going to ride him out of town on a rail. Movie director J. Wallace Rutledge agrees to let Will play the role of his grandfather. On the day a bank robbery scene is to be filmed at ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the first movie Gene Autry made in which his character name was not Gene. See more »
Pat O'Malley is credited as "Sam Pritchard" in the end credits, but he's only called Lem Pritchard. See more »
[Jane brings flowers to Wild Bill Carson's grave]
Gosh, I wish I'da known Wild Bill.
You know, Janey, you're the first and only Pritchard to honor Granddad.
Oh, why shouldn't I - he deserves it. Besides, I think it's just about time all this feuding stopped... and you could stop it if you were only half the man your Granddad was!
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Calling this an Autry Western is a bit of a stretch. Gene's in it, but his part is overshadowed by an over-emoting Jane Withers whose boisterous personality is, I think, a matter of taste. Then too, you may need a score card to keep up with the meandering plot that mixes a family feud with a town's survival with a love triangle with a movie shoot, and finally with real bank robbers. If this sounds complicated, it is, but despite the mix, the results are still pretty entertaining. The opening Autry-Withers duet "Wanderers" is delightful. Too bad we don't see more of Charles Middleton (Flash Gordon's Ming the Merciless) whose graveyard voice and Grim Reaper looks always made me cover my little-kid eyes back in matinée days.
This was a big studio production, Twentieth-Century Fox, which probably accounts for the odd mix, especially a cast that includes familiar Western types like Tom London and Eddie Acuff, but also city dudes like Jack Carson and Robert Lowery. For viewers interested in seeing how horse operas were filmed, this is an opportunity. Carson plays a fast-talking movie producer come to town to shoot an oater based on the town's most famous cowboy citizen. The behind-the-scenes look is fascinating and I'm sure the crew got a kick out of filming "a movie within a movie". But there's not much hard riding or fast shooting, so for fans of more conventional B-Westerns, this one may be a "skip it".
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