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>
Oddball entry in the Autry cowboy cycle. The year is 1947, perhaps the peak year for film noir in Hollywood. The presence of shadowy lighting, darkened streets, and ambiguous characters in "Twilight..." shows how the European film style reached into even the unlikeliest of genres, the matinée Western. About a third of the way through, the movie takes a really surprising turn since Bob Steele was then a cowboy star in his own right. How he came to take this role which could have gone to dozens of non-star supporting players is a mystery to me (I don't want to give away the surprise). But it does seem a curious piece of casting.
The plot is also unusual for a Western-- it's a not-very-well-hidden "who dun' it ?" -- a novel idea, but with a plot too complicated and a mystery too meandering to work very well. There are a few character surprises, along with some mangled Spanish accents. Don't expect much gun play or hard riding, but there is enough knife throwing to satisfy a Ninja warrior. As I recall, the central song "The Old Lamplighter" was a huge popular hit of that day and is nicely staged here. Anyway, the film amounts to something of a curiosity among the Autry Westerns, so the hour should be worth a tune-in..
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