Utilizing a script from 1939's "She Married a Cop" with a 1946 Hit Parade song for the title, Gene Autry's screen return following his WW II Army Air Corps service, "Sioux City Sue" has ...
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Utilizing a script from 1939's "She Married a Cop" with a 1946 Hit Parade song for the title, Gene Autry's screen return following his WW II Army Air Corps service, "Sioux City Sue" has Hollywood talent scout Sue Warner (Lynne Roberts) in search of a singing cowboy and finding and offering cattle rancher Gene Autry (Gene Autry) a contract. He agrees to go to Hollywood if there is a part for his horse Champion. Gene isn't aware they only want to use his voice in an animated cartoon. After the preview, he and Champ depart in a huff (Well, actually, Champ was in a trailer). The annoyed Sue also follows and gets work on Gene's ranch as a cook. Later, the studio heads, while looking at Gene's screen test, decide he is a natural and want to sign him to a contract. After a few misunderstandings, Gene realizes that Sue is sincere, and he signs a contract to star in a musical western, but first he has to stop a cattle stampede and rout a gang of rustlers trying to blow up his ranch dam.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A sort of behind the scenes look at how B-westerns are made...sort of!
When the story begins, Gene is on his way back home from the war and a couple talent scouts are out looking for a singing cowboy for the movies. After an exhaustive search with no positive results, they stumble upon Gene...who is very reluctant to be in movies! But, his ranch is in financial straits and so he agrees to go to Hollywood...and the rest is history. Or, so you'd suspect...but Gene is NOT happy with the end result of his work on the film. See the movie to see why.
This is the first film Gene Autry made after quite a few years serving as a pilot and flight instructor in WWII. So, making a film about him becoming a singing cowboy seems pretty natural. What isn't so natural is the absence, somewhat, of a sidekick. Gene's familiar partner, Smiley Burnette, had retired from the series and Pat Buttram, his next regular sidekick, was still in the future. So, they have Sterling Holloway in the film for comic relief...but he isn't Gene's friend or sidekick. This is odd....not a 'deal breaker'....but odd considering the usual Autry formula.
So is it any good? Well, the print currently on the Shout Factory Channel (on the Roku or Amazon Fire), is nearly perfect....which is unusual. Most old B-westerns are in terrible shape an often have been cut apart for TV...but this one is fortunately in excellent condition. As for the story and acting, it's pretty much what you'd expect...pleasant and undemanding entertainment. My only regret is that I love Gene's singing and while he sings quite a bit, they're not among his best songs. This actually surprised me, as you'd think after four years absence from films they'd offer up something a bit more memorable. Perhaps Republic Pictures had used their better songs for the new king of the studio during Gene's absence, Roy Rogers. Still, Autry should have been proud, as the film is every bit as good as his pre-war pics.
By the way, the Sue in the movie was played by Lynne Roberts--the daughter of the 1910s-20s vamp (the first actually), Theda Bara!
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