Gene is a government inspector looking into what's killing cattle. The ranchers want to burn the area to clear of a poisonous weed, but Gene favors chemical spray from an airplane. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Better than average Autry programmer. Producers are an often overlooked item in the production crew. However, whoever produced this 60 minutes for Republic (not listed by IMDb) deserves real commendation. There are more thoughtful and expensive touches than usual. The location scenes are excellent with a minimum of process shots. The stampede sequence is central to the action and surprisingly is a real stampede with an actual herd on location. No stock shots, although there are a few shots of Gene against a back projection screen. Also, the aerial shots appear real, without the usual shortcuts. Great location photography of mountains, sky, and clouds-- after all, what else do cowboy movies celebrate but the great American outdoors.
The plot's an interesting mix of old and new. The appeal of the New Deal's federal government is in evidence here. Autry represents the capacity of the feds with their research labs to help the stubbornly independent ranching industry deal with a menace (killer weeds) beyond their usual skills. None of this is meant to take away from the easy-going humor and charm of this Saturday afternoon special that kept me enthralled as a boy and still does as a gray-beard adult.
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