Utilizing a script from 1939's "She Married a Cop" with a 1946 Hit Parade song for the title, Gene Autry's screen return following his WW II Army Air Corps service, "Sioux City Sue" has ...
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Utilizing a script from 1939's "She Married a Cop" with a 1946 Hit Parade song for the title, Gene Autry's screen return following his WW II Army Air Corps service, "Sioux City Sue" has Hollywood talent scout Sue Warner (Lynne Roberts) in search of a singing cowboy and finding and offering cattle rancher Gene Autry (Gene Autry) a contract. He agrees to go to Hollywood if there is a part for his horse Champion. Gene isn't aware they only want to use his voice in an animated cartoon. After the preview, he and Champ depart in a huff (Well, actually, Champ was in a trailer). The annoyed Sue also follows and gets work on Gene's ranch as a cook. Later, the studio heads, while looking at Gene's screen test, decide he is a natural and want to sign him to a contract. After a few misunderstandings, Gene realizes that Sue is sincere, and he signs a contract to star in a musical western, but first he has to stop a cattle stampede and rout a gang of rustlers trying to blow up his ranch dam. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I hoped you let me stay around for a while.
I don't think you'd like ranching. It's hard work.
I can earn my keep.
You know anything about horses?
Do I! I parlayed a two dollar bet into a bundle that big!
[Sue holds her fingers three inches apart]
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A highly enjoyable Autry western, boosted by a spirited supporting cast, a non-formula script, and a sprinkling of very listenable songs including the delightful title number. Autry was always an unlikely cowboy hero, short, stout, and wooden, yet his way with a song was always pleasant and natural, while his horsemanship and fight scenes were as convincing as any. His secret of success may well have been his ordinariness. Unlike a towering John Wayne, Crash Corrigan, or innumerable other icons of the Saturday matinée, Autry was always within reach of the audience, a reassuring nearness for those of us who knew we would never grow into the boots of a Wayne or Corrigan. Anyway, I suppose the audience for this kind of innocent bucolic fun dwindles each year as we matinée kids age and shuffle off, leaving such fare to film historians and curiosity seekers. Historians should find this film particularly revealing for its behind-the-scenes look at the making of musical westerns, and also for a fluttery Sterling Holloway, a most unlikely comic relief for the macho western, which, I suppose, amounted to someone's comment on the film industry since he appears as a production assistant. The leading lady also goes against type. A hard-driving studio scout, who overshadows the laid-back Autry, she defies patriarchal expectations by remaining with the studio at film's end. All in all, this programmer rises above the low expectations of a cowboy movie and remains well worth a look on several levels.
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