Utilizing a script from 1939's "She Married a Cop" with a 1946 Hit Parade song for the title, Gene Autry's screen return following his WW II Army Air Corps service, "Sioux City Sue" has ... See full summary »
While trailing Forest Ranger Charles Carter (Jason Robards Sr.), who is suspected of permitting lumber man Henry Mitchell (Douglass Dumbrille) to cut restricted timber, Gene fires at a dangerous mountain lion and apparently kills Carter. Actually, Bill Wright (Damian O'Flynn), Mitchell's associate, killed Carter because the ranger had discovered tussock moth infestation in the forest, and if the infestation was not reported, the trees would die and have to be cut, thereby profiting Mitchell and Wright. In order to compensate the best he can, Gene sells his sportsman's camp and gives the money to Carter's daughter Helen (Patricia Barryas Patricia White) . En route to Texas, Gene discovers the infestation and is assigned by the Forest Department to supervise the program of spraying the area with DDT from the air. After the first day of spraying, the DDT is blamed by furious stock men for the many animals found dead of poisoning. Gene suspects a strange plane heard flying in the night ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you think about it, this really isn't a western.
This is an unusual Gene Autry film because it really is NOT a western. It is set out in the western United States but aside from that and the presence of a few horses, it's not at all what you'd expect from Autry. This is not really a complaint--just an observation about the type of film it is.
When the film begins, Gene has just left the rangers. No, not the type they have from Texas--FOREST rangers. In recognition of his work, they gave him a rifle and Gene uses it to kill a mountain lion that isn't doing anyone any harm. However, at the same time, a baddie shoots another ranger--and Gene assumes his errant shot killed the guy! Well, this plot actually was resolved reasonably quickly and folks realized Gene wasn't a killer--though they didn't catch the baddie responsible until late in the film.
The same jerk-face that killed the ranger is also trying to take advantage of an outbreak of moths that will destroy the timber industry. So, when Gene comes up with a plan to use crop dusters and the miracle pesticide DDT, this evil jerk starts poisoning animals and blaming Gene! What's next? See the film.
This is a reasonably entertaining B-movie. It's also of particular interest to music historians, as in addition to Gene's contributions to early country music, there also is some very early gospel music in this one. Overall, worth seeing if you are a fan.
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