- SKU: 19801232
- Release Date: 11/15/2011
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- Bonus features
- Closed Captioned
Gene Autry's second starring western for Republic was the well-named Melody Trail. Unlike Autry's inaugural vehicle Tumbling Tumbleweeds, which offered an equal blend of action and music, this second effort is virtually all music, with occasional comedy relief from Smiley Burnette. The story finally takes flight when a baby left in Gene's care is kidnapped, and travelling gypsy Frantz (Willy Castello) is suspected. All turns out okay, albeit with a minimum of fisticuffs and gunplay. The film's mass-wedding finale (an intriguing precursor to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) features several lovely starlets who figure significantly in the storyline, the most prominent of whom is 18-year-old Ann Rutherford. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rhythm of the Saddle
Its somewhat risible title aside (how can a saddle have rhythm?), this is one of the better Gene Autry westerns of the late 1930s. The story is built around a Frontier Week rodeo, owned by pretty Maureen (Peggy Moran). Despite doing land-office buisness, Maureen is in danger of losing the rodeo thanks to the chicanery of villain Pomeroy (Leroy Mason). But trick rider Autry and his saddle pal Frog (Smiley Burnette) can be counted upon to come to the rescue, even though he finds himself at the mercy of Pomeroy's minions somewhere during the fourth reel. One of the minor characters is played by Archie Hall, the legendary wheeler-dealer later immortalized in the 1961 Jack Webb picture The Last Time I Saw Archie. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Boots and Saddles
A superior Gene Autry Western in every way, Boots and Saddles features child prodigy Ra Hould (aka Ronald Sinclair) as Edward, Earl of Granville, a young Briton arriving in the West to claim his inheritance: a sprawling ranch. Foreman Gene Autry and sidekick, Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette), who had promised Master Edward's late father that they would turn the boy into a true Westerner, are shocked by the young nobleman's haughty demeanor and his plan to sell the indebted property to the highest bidder. Gene, however, manages to change the boy's mind in the last minute, much to the dismay of the potential buyer, Jim Neale (William Elliott), a wealthy neighbor to whom Edward's father was indebted. Planning to sell ponies to the army, Gene, Frog, and young Edward quickly alienate the local commander, Colonel Allen (Guy Usher) , whose daughter, Bernice (Judith Allen), Gene mistakes for a servant wench. Allen, however, changes his mind about purchasing Gene's horses after observing the wonder horse Champion in action, proposing instead a race between Gene, Neale, and their crews for the profitable contract. Not about to lose out to Gene, his rival for Bernice's attentions, Neale decides to play dirty but Gene still manages to win the race. At the finishing line, Frog reveals Neale's treachery, and Bernice and Gene make up. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
The Big Show
The Big Show is a modestly budgeted but elaborately turned out Gene Autry western. Autry plays "himself," a famous cowboy star, and his own stunt man. When Autry-the-star reneges on a agreement to make a personal appearance at Dallas' Texas Centennial (represented through newsreel shots), Autry-the-stunt man takes his boss' place. This causes confusion with the ladies, and with a gang of mobsters who were hoping to extort money from Autry-the-star. Ever protective of his own image, Gene Autry saw to it that both of his cinematic alter egos prove worthy of their salt in a climactic fist-fight with the villains. Also appearing in The Big Show is a radio aggregation called the Sons of the Pioneers, featuring future Gene Autry rival Roy Rogers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Gene Autry - Himself
- Smiley Burnette - Frog Millhouse
- Ann Rutherford - Millicent Thomas
- Wade Boteler - Timothy
- Al Bridge - Matt Kirby