Gene protects young Larry Evans, wrongly accused of murder, while trying to find the real badguys.



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Complete credited cast:
Dave Randall
Larry Evans
Don Mason
Sam Gardner
Jake Harper
Bill Otis (as Fred Kohler)
Jim Hedge
Champ, Gene's Horse


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ranch | murder | sheriff | compass | horse | See All (61) »


THE WEST ISN'T BIG ENOUGH TO ESCAPE GENE'S VENGEANCE! (original Insert Card - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 February 1953 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Red River Valley  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Right after Gene throws Mary in the pond, she gets on her horse and starts chasing Gene and her brother. By the time she catches up with them, her hair and clothes are completely dry. See more »


Gene Autry: Get out of those clothes!
Larry Evans: What?
Gene Autry: You heard me. Chuck the duds and get in the creek!
Larry Evans: In the creek? But it's ice water! You wanna give me pneumonia?
Gene Autry: Yeah, but you'll catch lead poisoning if they catch you in that gray check shirt, riding a palomino.
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A Boy From Texas, A Girl From Tennessee
Written by Jack Segal, Joseph McCarthy and John Benson Brooks
Sung by Gene Autry
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User Reviews

Playing Tag
13 October 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Not one of Autry's better entries from the post-war period. With Columbia Pictures' backing, the result should have been better than it is. Gene is chasing after fugitive Russell Arms to clear him of murder charges before a vengeful posse can catch up. It's a novel idea for an Autry Western since almost all the screen time is taken up with the three parties playing tag with one another. However, the script has trouble integrating the mystery part into the chase. So we get passages like Gene and Arms watering their horses with Gene saying to Larry (Arms) something like "By the way, Larry, where were you standing when the shots were fired?", and then riding off. Ten minutes later, we get a similarly disconnected question with a similarly fleeting answer. It's like trying to follow a bread-crumb trail where the crumbs are a mile apart. With a different, better integrated, approach the two plot angles could have really gelled into a single current of suspense and excitement. I know, some will say this is, after all, only a matinée Western, so why expect more. But it's also a time when Autry was trying to break the matinée formula. With a better script, this entry could have equaled the superiority of contemporaries like Sioux City Sue or Trail to San Antone.

What Loaded Pistols does have is the sparkling and gorgeous Barbara Britton, whose smile could light up a city block. Too bad her career never equaled her talent. Also, the comic relief is down-played and comes from the nimble Chill Wills instead of the annoying Sterling Holloway. Then too, I like the way the songs are integrated into menial tasks, such as fixing breakfast, instead of the usual, more elaborate production numbers. I know many Autry fans object to anything negative about his movies. Nonetheless, I don't think Columbia Studios served him as well here as they did in other productions.

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