5 user 1 critic

Rovin' Tumbleweeds (1939)

As a congressman, Gene exposes a crooked politician who is delaying passage of a flood control bill.


George Sherman


Betty Burbridge (original screen play), Dorrell McGowan (original screen play) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon




Complete credited cast:
Gene Autry ... Gene Autry
Smiley Burnette ... Frog Millhouse
Mary Carlisle ... Mary Ford
Douglass Dumbrille ... Stephen Holloway
Pals of the Golden West ... Singers and Musicians
William Farnum ... Senator Timothy Nolan
Lee 'Lasses' White Lee 'Lasses' White ... Storekeeper
Ralph Peters ... Satchel
Gordon Hart Gordon Hart ... Congressman Fuller
Victor Potel ... Man in Store (as Vic Potel)
Jack Ingram ... Blockade Boss Blake
Sammy McKim ... Eddie
Reginald Barlow Reginald Barlow ... Higgins
Eddie Kane Eddie Kane ... Congressman
Guy Usher Guy Usher ... Charles C. Craig


A flood has wiped out the ranchers. Congressman Fuller was against the Flood Control bill so Gene runs against him in the next election and wins. Gene goes to Washington but has no success in passing the bill as Holloway is using his influence to block it. Then just as Gene returns home another disastrous flood hits. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Washington Cowboy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs


(edited) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the final scene, Gene and Mary share a hug and their cheeks touch, with Mary coming away with mud on the left side of her face. However going in, that side of Gene's face was clean. See more »


[first lines]
[leading the ranchers as they try battle mounting floodwaters]
Gene Autry: Watch out for a break on the left, men. Hey! Pile them four deep over there!
See more »


Composer unknown
Performed by Smiley Burnette
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Surprisingly Relevant to Today
3 June 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

I don't think anyone watches one of these old matinees for anything other than unchallenging fun. After all, they were made mainly for kids. That being said, this one has more adult content than most. Yes, Gene is elected to Congress, of all places, following a successful stint on the radio. More importantly, he's expected to serve as an empty suit (cowboy suit) by his big money backers wanting to steal land away from flood-ravaged small farmers. It's not like the money men don't have some popular support. Local townsfolk resent the influx of refugees from the flood for driving down local wages. But needless to say, Gene turns out to be anything but an empty suit.

Clearly, the screenplay is not only more serious minded than most, but also reflects many conditions of the ravaged 1930's. Actually, this low-budgeter does a good job creating a sense of desperation among the flood-affected—note the intense crowd scenes, plus the chaos of old flivver cars. There's also Congress and its influence peddling where Gene finds out some hard truths. There's little hard riding or typical gunplay, so matinée fans expecting the usual may be disappointed. But, for folks willing to try something different, there's food for thought (except the utterly incredible ending) that appears still topical, even 70- years later.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed