Two swindlers, Allen (Joe Sawyer) and Flood (Murray Alper), posing as motion pictures producers, are selling fake stock in a movie and inducing the citizens of Sage City to invest their savings in a phony film which they say will star John Wayne. When Gene Autry (Gene Autry) and Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) discover the producers are phony, they trail the pair to Mexico with the aid of their friend and reformed Mexican ex-bandit Pancho Grande (Harold Huber). There the trio suspects Allen and Flood's cohorts, Gibson (Sidney Blackmier) and Homer Gerard (Arthur Loft) are about to pull the same swindler on Don Carlos Alvarado (Julian Rivero), a wealthy, well-respected citizen of San Ramon who has agreed to finance the swindlers' movie in exchange for a role in the film for his daughter Maria Elena (Fay McKenzie). She falls in love with Gene who warns her about the dishonest promoters. They devise a plan to expose the crooks who then make a last-ditch effort to rob the bank-car ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
TOPS EVERY OTHER AUTRY HIT - Gene in his most likeable role...more songs...more thrills...more beautiful senoritas...a glamorous screen production that gives the most in entertainment and fun! (original poster)
Harold Huber at His Worst, Gene at His Second Best!
The plot of Gene Autry's 49th (out of 94) film revolves around that old "The Producers" gag in which suckers are fleeced by con men who are purporting to make a money-making movie. The robbers flee to Mexico, so naturally Gene and Frog follow suit.
At least this development give Gene a chance to sing his hit number, "South of the Border", early on in the piece. And this outing certainly proves a must-see for fans of Harold Huber (at his hammiest worst) and vivacious Fay McKenzie (whom Autry said on his "Melody Ranch" TV program was here making her movie debut. Not strictly true, although all her many previous parts were no more than bits. Gene also made a big point of the fact that Billy Gilbert was her uncle).
In other respects, the movie is extremely well produced. In fact production values are exceptionally lavish by "B" standards, with lots of colorfully-dressed extras running around strikingly designed sets, followed by a really extended action climax, packed full of picturesque shots of riders against stand-out natural backgrounds.
We are also treated to some thrilling stunts, although some are marred by obvious process screen effects. Particularly disconcerting is a manifestly fake climactic shot in which Gene is supposed to jump off a cliff into the back seat of a speeding convertible!
Perhaps it's just as well there's no action at all for the first half-hour, although we are handed a fair amount of stylish local color, including a fast track of Gene and his lady love strolling through the local markets and an even larger slice of ho-hum comic tomfoolery with Smiley Burnett playing stooge to the egregious Senor Huber.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this