Big Jim Lassiter is trying to put together a western crime syndicate, but postal inspector Gene, with the help of agent Burnette (posing as a horse doctor), are out to stop him.





Complete credited cast:
Champ - Gene's Horse
Elaine Lassiter
Thurston Hall ...
Big Jim Lassiter
Wade Trimble
Dick Curtis ...
Lon Kramer
Sheriff Barlow
Gregg Barton ...
Bill Trask


Postal Inspector Gene Autry (Gene Autry)and Smiley Burnette (Smiley Burnette)arrive in Red Bluff to investigate a series of mail robberies. Gene becomes suspicious of Big Jim Lattimer (Thurston Hall), uncle of Elaine Lassiter (Gail Davis) after Smiley finds burned fragments of U.S. Postal Bonds, following a bank holdup, on the Lassiter ranch. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gene And Champion Carry The Mail For Uncle Sam in Whirlwind! See more »







Release Date:

16 April 1951 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Twiddle O'Twill
Written by Fred Rose and Gene Autry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gene & Smiley, Postal Inspectors
19 November 2009 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

This action-filled western has Gene playing a postal inspector investigating a gang empire headed by the nefarious Big Jim Lassiter (veteran character actor, Thurston Hall) who help finance their operations by robbing the mail stage. Gene poses as a robber known as the Whirlwind because he moves surreptitiously across the prairie like a dust devil. Gene hooks up with a fellow undercover postal inspector who turns out to be Smiley Burnette. It's a treat for fans to see the two together in the twilight years of the Saturday matinée cowboys. The romantic duties are performed this time around by the captivating lady from Arkansas and TV's Annie Oakley, Gail Davis, playing Elaine Lassiter, niece of Big Jim, who took her in following the mysterious death of her father, Big Jim's brother. In the process of getting the goods on Big Jim, Gene and Smiley tangle with some of the toughest of the budget western badmen including the likes of the unflappable Dick Curtis who was also adept at slapstick comedy. Playing henchman Lon Kramer, Dick and Smiley have a grand old time, especially in their first encounter where Smiley whips Lon and his buddies in a fisticuffs filled with belly laughs. Harry Harvey as the crooked sheriff, Harry Lauter as a shyster attorney, and a bevy of bad guys, including Bud Osborne and Kenne Duncan, make for a delightful outing. Stan Jones, who wrote the title song, has a bit part. A talented singer/songwriter and member of the classic Sons of the Pioneers, Stan is today best remembered for penning the oft-recorded "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Also in the music department, Gene and Smiley harmonize beautifully on the novelty ditty "Twiddle O'Twill," co-written by Gene with help from Fred Rose who is credited with discovering Hank Williams Sr.

A note of interest, Gene shows off his skill as a telegrapher, a job he was doing in Oklahoma when discovered by Will Rogers.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Whirlwind (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: