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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Loaded Pistols one of the early films Gene Autry made for Columbia Pictures finds Gene in one of his few films without a sidekick. I guess he left Smiley Burnette over at Republic with Herbert J. Yates.
Autry has his hands full in this one. Someone got Russell Arms to put up his pistol during a crap game and when the lights went conveniently out one of the other participants in the game was dead. Quite frankly anyone during the darkness could have picked up that gun and fired it, but Jack Holt and Robert Shayne have their own reasons for wanting to see Arms get the blame and they whip up public sentiment against him.
Although no one would have blamed him from walking away from the situation Gene sticks his neck out for Arms. Not that Arms is looking for help in fact he and his sister Barbara Britton are more of a hindrance than a help to Autry. But Barbara Britton who was one of the most beautiful actresses ever to appear on the screen is more than enough reason for Gene to stick it out.
Chill Wills is also in this film as a foxy sheriff who doesn't quite believe the neat frame that Holt and Shayne have put Arms in, but he's not about to buck public opinion.
Loaded Pistols is a bit too long by about 15 minutes. Still it's a competently made B film that Gene Autry fans were pleased with in 1948 and today.
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