U.S. Marshal Gene Autry and his deputy Scat Russell cross into Canda while pursuing bank robbers Pierre LaBlond and Raoul Duval. They meet wounded Canadian Mounted Policeman Terry Dillon, whose partner has been killed by the bandits, and take him to a cabin where they meet Duval's niece, Marie. Jack Duvan, Marie's brother, hates all lawmen and regards LaBlond as his hero. The elder Duval and Bastiste are captured by the Mounties in a raid which uncovers stolen U.S. gold bullion. LaBlond frees the bandits and takes Marie hostage and forces her to flee with him. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
"We better get out of here before somebody starts some trouble".
Gene Autry takes to the north country in this tale of Northwest Royal Mounties, and this is one of those few black and white old Westerns I would like to have seen in color, not only for those great Mountie uniforms, but also the rugged, though simulated wild woods of the Canadian Rockies. Pat Buttram's along for this ride as Gene's partner Scat Russell, and together they're on the trail of a gang of robbers who've been raiding border banks in Montana. There's also a secondary story involving the Canadian outlaws, led by Pierre LaBlond (Carleton Young), who are attempting to seize a couple million acres of Hudson Bay Company land to declare a Republic of the Northwest.
I was somewhat surprised to hear how frankly the picture dealt with a topic that's particularly hot in the political arena today. The unseen leader of the Canadian brigands in this picture is Louis Fontaine, and his goal is described as setting up a welfare state, with money and resources taken from the rich financial interests and 'redistributed' to the less well off. The concept doesn't get a lot of play beyond being merely mentioned, but it did catch me by surprise.
The picture has some light moments provided by a hefty Indian squaw (Jody Gilbert) who takes a fancy to sidekick Russell. After he wins a game of marbles against the young boys of Silver Lake, Big Indian wants to marry the 'Great White Ram of the Mountains'. I thought Scat made an impression with the story about his wife and ten, no, twenty kids, but she was still after him at the end of the picture.
Even though Gene doesn't get to wear a Mountie uniform in the story, it's cool to see him in a change of pace venue, even though when you get right down to it, this one's a Western with a French accent. I don't know how many cowboy stars wound up in Mountie stories, but one that comes immediately to mind is a Charle Starrett programmer from 1934 called "Undercover Men". It's not as lively as this one, but he does fill out the uniform nicely.
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