Gene Autry's horse "Champion" (Champion) is stolen by escaped convicts Jake Fargon (Walter Sande), Pete Reagon (Jock Mahoney) and Charlie Lewis (Francis McDonald). Twenty years earlier Fargo and Lewis had been captured by City Marshal Steve Autry (Gene Autry)and sent to prison after the theft of $30,000 from "Big Tim" Hanlon (Thurston Hall), a bonanza king. Gene (Gene Autry)traces the convicts to the ghost town in which the loot had been hidden way, where he also finds Hanlon and school teacher Ruth Lambert (Nan Leslie). Loco John (Clem Bevans)warns Gene the killers are around. The convicts pursue Gene and his friends through the spooky buildings. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rim Of The Canyon finds Gene Autry without a sidekick, usually a necessary character in the B western. But the film does make up for the lack of a Smiley Burnette or a Pat Buttram in it with a somewhat unusual story about a ghost town and a ghost.
Gene Autry comes to town to drive in a stagecoach race and learns of the escape of three convicts from prison, Walter Sande, Jock Mahoney, and Francis McDonald. Sande is someone that Gene's father, Marshal Steve Autry sent to prison for a $30,000.00 robbery from which the loot was never recovered. In a flashback sequence where Gene plays his father we see how the capture was made.
Getting thrown from the stagecoach and seeking shelter and help, Gene arrives in a ghost town where the local school marm has taken to spending some time. Nan Leslie is there fascinated by the ghost of a mining tycoon who haunts the place. She and Gene will need all the help they can get from this world and the next when the three escaped convicts arrive looking for the loot which by coincidence Sande stashed there.
With this glimpse into the supernatural, Rim Of The Canyon is a cut or two above the average B western. Gene was making them at this point for Columbia having left the cowboy stable of Republic and Herbert J. Yates. The stories and the treatment reflect that, there are some brutal scenes in Rim Of The Canyon that Yates would never have allowed his cowboy heroes to participate in.
Rounding out the cast in Rim Of The Canyon are Alan Hale, Jr. as Gene's rival in the stagecoach race, Thurston Hall as a very avuncular ghost who hosts Gene and Nan, and Clem Bevans playing his usual old codger prospector.
Gene wrote and sang the two songs from this film, the title song and one of his most enduring hits, You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven.
A good western for Mr. Autry even if he didn't have a sidekick.
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