In yet another version of probably Republic's most-used single plot---the basis for "The Leathernecks Have Landed"-"Rough Riders Round-Up", "Guns in the Dark", "Remember Pearl Harbor" and a couple of other films from Republic---and with revisions to fit the Autry mold, Gene Autry(Gene Autry) and his pals Dusty Morgan (Bob Steele) and Pokie (Sterling Holloway) are in Mexico where Dusty is killed. With the help of Elena Del Rio (Adele Mara), whose father has also been murdered by unknown assailants, Gene discovers that the killings tie in with a jewel-smuggling scheme. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
When Gene Autry returned from WWII's military service, he found his spot as Republic's top Western star had been usurped by Roy Rogers. Rogers had been in some of Autry's early movies as one of the Sons of the Pioneers. Autry was interested in producing his own films, but he had to first win a court battle with Republic who said that he still owed them time on his contract. Autry made a deal with the studio that he would continue to make films while the courts figured if he was still obligated to honor the contract. If he won, then he was free to go. Autry made five films during this period, using the light musical touch that he had used previously. Sterling Holloway was chosen as his sidekick since Smiley Burnette had left for Columbia. In Twilight on the Rio Grande, Autry is teamed with Bob Steele, who had been part of Republic's three Mesquiteer series. Steele's role in the film is short-lived since he is murdered. Since the plot is in Mexico, there are plenty pretty girls, singing gauchos and romance. While Gene does a good job with the title song, he never released it on record. The song could have been a hit when paired with the other featured song, The Old Lamplighter. For the record, Gene finished his series at Republic in 1947 and went to Columbia to produce his own series which competed with Rogers at the box office.
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