4 user 2 critic

Heart of the Rio Grande (1942)

Gene and Smiley help an all-too-proper girl Connie in her attempt to run a cattle ranch.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Connie Lane
Randolph Lane (as Pierre Watkins)
Tadpole Millhouse
Hap Callahan
Skipper Forbes
Jimmy Wakely Trio ...
Singing Ranch Hands


As foreman of a dude ranch, Gene has two problems. One is a guest, the spoiled daughter of a millioniare, and the other is the disgruntled ex-foreman that Gene replaced, now just a ranch hand. Gene eventually gets the daughter straightened out but has to fire the ex-foreman and this leads to trouble when he returns intent on revenge. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A STAMPEDE OF ACTION AND SONG! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 March 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deep in the Heart of Texas  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(edited) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen (2007) See more »


Oh, Woe Is Me
Written and Sung by Smiley Burnette
See more »

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More of a musical than a western
12 February 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

This Gene Autry outing is more like a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney musical than a western. (Too bad Judy and Mickey weren't in the show.) There's not only singing but also a bit of dancing. Two of the songs have become standards, "Deep in the Heart of Texas," which serves as the theme and was the working title for the film, and Johnny Bond's "Cimarron" (Johnny Bond appears in the film as a member of the Jimmy Wakely Trio). Jimmy Wakely went on to star in his own shoot-'em-ups. He later teamed with pop singer Margaret Whiting to have a number one hit with the Floyd Tillman classic "Slipping Around," one of the first country pop songs to deal in an honest manner with adultery.

The story is not much, involving a spoiled rich girl who goes west to a dude ranch and is horse broken by Gene and his cowhands. Her father flies west to take his daughter away from what he considers to be a cruel, harsh environment only to rediscover himself and his daughter. In the meantime Gene has all kinds of trouble with an ornery galoot who once was the foreman.

Frog Millhouse is around for laughs as is his clone Tadpole. Tadpole looks and acts like a young Frog and is just about as humorless. This go around Frog does have a few funny lines to deliver. I'm not sure exactly what the relationship was supposed to be between Frog and Tad. Since Frog was unmarried, perhaps Tad was adopted or taken in by his older lookalike. They did relate well to each other on the screen but there's still not much to laugh about beyond their looks. Frog's real talents, his music and his songwriting, do get showcased and that's a plus for the movie.

Gene Autry fans should like this one, especially those who love his music. Others may find it a bit tedious.

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