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Riders in the Sky (1949)

Passed | | Western | 17 August 1950 (Mexico)
When asked about the Ghost Riders song he sings, Gene Autry (Gene Autry) tells this legend: Gene is about to resign as an investigator for the county attorney and go into the cattle ... See full summary »

Director:

John English

Writers:

Herbert A. Woodbury (story), Gerald Geraghty (screenplay)
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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Autry ... Gene Autry
Champion ... Champ
Gloria Henry ... Anne Lawson
Mary Beth Hughes ... Julie Stewart
Robert Livingston ... Rock McCleary
Steve Darrell ... Ralph Lawson
Alan Hale Jr. ... Marshal Riggs
Tom London ... Old Man Roberts
Pat Buttram ... Chuckwalla
Hank Patterson ... Luke - Stagecoach Driver
Ben Welden ... Dave
Dennis Moore ... Bud Dwyer
Joseph Forte Joseph Forte ... Willard Agnew (as Joe Forte)
Kenne Duncan ... Travis
Frank Jaquet ... Coroner
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Storyline

When asked about the Ghost Riders song he sings, Gene Autry (Gene Autry) tells this legend: Gene is about to resign as an investigator for the county attorney and go into the cattle business with his pal Chuckawalla Jones (Pat Buttram) but decides instead to help Anne Lawson (Gloria Henry) clear her father, rancher Ralph Lawson (Steve Darrell'), of a false murder charge. He looks for the three witnesses who can testify that Lawson shot only in self defense in killing a gambler, but the witnesses are terrorized by another gambler, town boss Rock McCleary (Robert Livingston), who shoots witness Pop Roberts (Tom London)Morgan. Fatally wounded, Pop gives Gene the information needed to clear Lawson, then dies crying the "Ghost Riders" are coming for him. Gene then heads for a showdown with McCleary. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrill to Gene's singing of "Riders in the Sky"! GENE SINGS THE NATION'S GREATEST COWBOY SONG HIT OF ALL TIME IN HIS GREATEST ADVENTURE DRAMA! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1950 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Purple Hills See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gene Autry Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Former Forest Ranger Stan Jones wrote "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky," a hit big enough that it crossed over from country-western charts to standard pop music. A chance meeting with Jones led Gene Autry to buy the rights to the song, and he gave Jones a part in the film. A nearly-complete Autry movie, Beyond the Purple Hills (1950), was quickly retooled to include the song. Jones himself appears as a cowboy riding herd with Autry in the opening and closing scenes, singing along with Gene's rendition of the spooky song. That same year Vaughn Monroe had topped the charts with his version (#1 US Pop for 22 weeks). Over the years many others have recorded it, including Peggy Lee, Willie Nelson, Frankie Laine, Johnny Cash, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Doors. Jones would later compose the title song to the classic TV western series Cheyenne (1955). See more »

Goofs

When Gene puts McCleary in the stage at the end of their fight, it appears that McCleary still has a gun in his holster. See more »

Quotes

Chuckwalla Jones: Oh, ah, say Gene, you didn't have no trouble gettin' the, ah...
[makes money sign with thumb and forefinger]
Gene Autry: Got the money right here in my pocket - a roll big enough to choke Champ on.
Chuckwalla Jones: Oh, don't give him no ideas. He'd eat it, too, if it was green enough.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Ghost Riders In The Sky
Written by Stan Jones
Sung by Gene Autry
See more »

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User Reviews

A MEMORABLE SCENE AND A MEMORABLE SONG
11 July 2004 | by frontrowkid2002See all my reviews

I was never a Gene Autry fan, being a Roy Rogers fan from age 5, but of all the Autry movies, I recall this one. Tom London who plays the dying prospector tells Gene that the "Ghost Riders" are coming after him. Autry goes to the window and looks out to see the image of shadowy riders coming through the clouds. At this point, Gene sings the song. It is introduced more logically into the plot than any of his other songs. There is also a reprisal at the end of the movie. Even today, when I look up into a stormy sky, the song comes immediately to mind. It was written by Stan Jones, an ex-park ranger, who appeared in Autry's films and who also wrote another Autry hit, "Whirlwind." Tom London, who had appeared in several Republic films as Sunset Carson's sidekick, has said that this particular scene got him other parts in movies and television.


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