The only Gene Autry film where the leading lady, Barbara Britton, is equally billed above the title as the co-star, thereby knocking his horse Champion out of the honors, if one chooses to overlook the 1941 novelty from 20th Century-Fox that had Jane Withers and Gene Autry above the title in that order. This Autry entry has Larry Evans, whose gun had been used to kill rancher Ed Norton in a poker game, escaping a lynching party headed by ranchers Dave Randall and Bill Otis. Norton's friend Gene Autry, investigating on his own, discovers that Larry's gun had been put in the poker pot with the chips, after Larry had lost all of his money, and anyone could have used it when the lights went out. He finds Larry and his sister Mary Evans in a hideaway, and sends Mary back to town and hides Larry in the cabin of miner Jim Hedge. Finding out that Randall and Don Mason have tried to buy the Evans ranch, Gene decides to take a look at it. Hedge shows up and says he can't figure out what could ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The likable Gene Autry and a good story make this a worthwhile B-Western in spite of a pace that is rather slow at times. The story starts with a shooting in the middle of a dice game, and when Gene thinks the sheriff is accusing the wrong man, he has to perform a difficult balancing act. Autry wants to find out who the real killer was, and why he did it, but he also has to stay on the good side of both the sheriff and the rather excitable suspect, who does not always appreciate Autry's help.
It's a scenario with some good possibilities, and as it unfolds, they get some decent mileage out of the situation. Chill Wills gets a couple of good moments as the sheriff, and Barbara Britton is lively as the suspect's loyal sister. Overall, it's better than average for a B-Western.
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