Montana ranch owner Cyrus Bigbee sends his foreman, Gene Autry, and Rawhide Buttram to his Canadian timber land to stop the marriage of his daughter Sandy to Todd Markey, whom he dislikes. Sandy wants to turn the property into a dude ranch, with Carolina Cotton and the Cass County Boys (Fred S. Martin, Jerry Scoggins and Bert Dodson) among the entertainers, and runs up against local timbermen who want it for cutting timber. When a Mountie is murdered, with suspicion pointing to Todd, Gene finds the real culprit and brings peace to the area. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
[after accidentally knocking out his boss, Rawhide Buttram volunteers to help Gene Autry in Canada]
I'm not sure Canada's far enough to send you!
You gotta admit it's a step in the right direction.
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A change of settings - at least story-wise - makes this Gene Autry entry interesting to watch. Though actually shot at Big Bear Lake, California, the scenery looks Canadian to some degree although the mountains are a bit low. Gene and comical sidekick Pat Buttram (Rawhide), are sent northward to check on the boss' daughter, Sandra Higbee (played by Arkansas' own Gail Davis, TV's "Annie Oakley), who has opened a dude ranch must to the chagrin of the local lumber jacks. Gene and Rawhide uncover more than just a feud between the lumber company and the dude ranch and must find the real culprit behind the shady goings-on. There is a hilarious fisticuffs among Gene, Rawhide and two lumberjacks, played by veteran character actors, Gene Roth and John Merton, when Gene and Rawhide first arrive at the dude ranch, that's not to be missed.
Another gal from Arkansas, Carolina Cotton, gets to strut her stuff and even sings two songs she composed, "Yodel, Yodel, Yodel" and "Lovin Ducky Daddy," showcasing her talents as an early rockabilly performer. But, alas, this was her final film. Gene gets to croon the Eddy Arnold standard, "Anytime," and performs the title tune written by the legendary songwriter, Cindy Walker. The Cass County Boys are in good form singing a modernized version of the authentic trail driving folksong, "The Old Chishom Trail." Gene joins them in "Mama Don't Allow No Music," one of the "Honey Babe" variations that permits each member of the band to show off his musical talents on different instruments.
This was one of the last films Gene would make (he made only six more), but it still holds up well and Pat Buttram is always a treat to watch. There's a funny skit in this one when he and the boss show up at a masquerade party unknowingly wearing similar Jim Bridger outfits including a skunk-skin cap and a fake beard.
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