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Public Cowboy No. 1 (1937)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Music | 23 August 1937 (USA)
Rustlers using modern technology (airplanes, shortwave radios, refrigerated trucks) are Gene's target.


Joseph Kane (as Joe Kane)


Oliver Drake (screen play), Bernard McConville (original story)

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Complete credited cast:
Gene Autry ... Deputy Sheriff Gene Autry
Smiley Burnette ... Frog Millhouse
Ann Rutherford ... Helen Morgan
William Farnum ... Sheriff Matt Doniphon
Arthur Loft ... Jack Shannon
Frankie Marvin ... Deputy Stubby
House Peters Jr. ... Jim Shannon
James C. Morton ... Eustace P. Quackenbush
Maston Williams ... Thad Slaughter
Frank LaRue ... The Judge (as Frank La Rue)
Milburn Morante ... Ezra


Shannon is running a modern rustling operation using an airplane to spot the cattle, short wave radio to alert the rustlers, and trucks to haul away the beef. When the aging Sheriff Doniphan is unable to bring them in, he is replaced by an eastern detective. But Doniphan's deputy Gene suspects Shannon and sets a trap to nab him and his gang. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Music | Western


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cow-Boy Público nº 1 See more »

Filming Locations:

Kernville, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) (restored) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (R.C.A. Victor 'High Fidelity' Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) falls off the refrigerated meat truck where he was dangling on a meat hook, the back of his jacket no longer has a hole in it where the hook would have been. See more »


Ezra - Newspaper Printer: I'm ready for that lead article.
Helen Morgan: Well, I had it here a minute ago.
[looks at Gene]
Helen Morgan: What did you do with it?
Deputy Sheriff Gene Autry: Is this it?
[Gene tosses Helen a string of paper dolls]
Helen Morgan: Why, you belong in a kindergarten or a padded cell. Now get out of here!
See more »


Featured in Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen (2007) See more »


Old Buck-A-Roo
(1937) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Fleming Allen
Sung by Gene Autry on the radio
See more »

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User Reviews

Most Bizarre Opening Scene in a Western
17 March 2009 | by thefenskSee all my reviews

This is a pretty typical early Gene Autry Western. Cowpokes and cattle and horses and cars/trucks/airplanes ... yeehaw.

Anyway, the most unusual scene in this movie, very subtle indeed, is the opening sequence. Gene, ridin' and singin' along, the titles rolling by. Check out behind him and see if you see anything odd.

What's that? Looks like a dummy or something. No, it's Smiley Burnette, riding backwards with a forward facing mask on the back of his head. Even funnier, once the titles and song are finished, Gene and another guy have a long conversation before they even mention the bizarre Smiley and his "disguise" ...

His explanation: It was a disguise so that he could keep an eye out so no one could sneak up on them from behind. Ah, Smiley. Ah, humanity.

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