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>
This film was one of Autry's Columbia features that was edited for television. When it opens, Autry is riding Champ in a long shot and you can just barely hear him singing until he gets closer to the camera. I dubbed the song from his soundtrack CD album of movie songs, and right at the beginning, you can hear a gunshot. It probably was like that on the edited film I saw, but the card game is not shown only referred to throughout the film, until Gene recreates the game at the end of the picture, causing the villain to make his escape on a stagecoach conveniently parked outside. When Melody Ranch Theater aired on the Nashville network, I wondered if they ever showed the complete version or just the one that was already available to television. I always did like the song and recall it was used in the background when they did a documentary on the TV westerns of the Fifties, showing Chuck Conners spin his rifle, etc.
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