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>
This film is listed in Harry Medved's "Fifty Worst Movies" book but this really doesn't make sense, as it's a decent little B-western. I usually agree with Medved but this time the film isn't particularly bad, nor good--just a very typical programmer.
While much of the film doesn't make sense (such as the extensive use of phones and trucks in the West and a guy patronizingly named "Mucho Dinero"), the film is rather likable and is pretty indistinguishable from other Gene Autry films. The usual singing, light banter and adventure is all here, though I must admit the "action" was very, very muted. I guess Gene was getting older and exerting himself just wasn't in his contract! However, he did sing some lovely songs and I was surprised how much I enjoyed the title song--especially since I usually hate cowboy music! So is it a bad film or not? Well, it all really depends on your perspective. All of Autry's and Roy Rogers' films were pretty cheesy--with very simple plots, incredibly dumb sidekicks and lots of pointless singing. If you can't stand them, then this film is a "must avoid" film. However, if you like the genre, then it's pretty typical and well made compared to these films--though not the average non-B Western.
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