Gene Autry, Vol. 1 [DVD]
- SKU: 13712084
- Release Date: 02/24/2004
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- Digitally mastered
- Interactive menus
- Scene access
- Enhanced audio 5.1
Though it bears the same title as an earlier Gene Autry western, Roy Rogers' Man From Music Mountain isn't a remake. Rogers is appropriately cast as a cowboy who's hit it big as a radio singing star. Returning to his hometown for a special remote broadcast, Roy finds himself in the middle of a deadly feud. Nothing will be settled so long as cattleman Victor Marsh (Paul Kelly) resorts to villainy to achieve his goals. Fortunately, the newly deputized Roy figures out a way to straighten out the mess without undue bloodshed. Rogers' leading lady this time out is the multitalented Ruth Terry, who was in just about every other Republic B-picture of the mid-1940s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Gene Autry is the star (but not the title character) of Oh, Susanna!, a Republic musical western. What plot there is consists of Autry running afoul of masked robbers. Thrown from a speeding train, Autry is rescued by comedy relief Smiley Burnette and grizzled Earle Hodgins. Autry takes a few more singing breaks, then brings the robbers to justice. A 1951 William Elliott western, also titled Oh, Susanna! is not a remake. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Old Corral
A typical Gene Autry everything-but-the-kitchen-sink musical Western, The Old Corral featured the spectacle of Autry getting robbed at gunpoint by his future rival, Roy Rogers. Rogers, who was then known as Dick Weston, and his fellow highwaymen (the singing group the Sons of the Pioneers) go about their illegal activities like true gentlemen, of course, refusing to rob female passengers Nora Cecil and Hope Manning. The latter, playing Eleanor Spencer, is wanted by both the authorities and the Chicago mob after witnessing gangster Mike Scarlotti (John Bradford) murder rival Tony Pearl (Buddy Roosevelt). En route to Los Angeles by Greyhound bus, she hooks up with small town saloon owner Martin Simms (Cornelius Keefe) who offers her a job singing in his Turquoise City establishment. Both Simms and Turquoise City sheriff Gene Autry, however, recognize Eleanor as the key witness in the Pearl murder case and the former is quick to notify Scarlotti. Arriving to silence the girl for good, the Chicago mobsters are met by Sheriff Autry, Deputy Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette), and their erstwhile prisoners, the O'Keefe brothers (Rogers, Bob Nolan, and the Sons of the Pioneers, the brothers having taken a break from harmonizing in their cell). The outcome, of course, is a given and the entire gang is soon behind bars. Milburn Morante, a veteran silent screen comedian who was rarely very funny, is actually amusing this time around as a farmer with car troubles, and Lon Chaney Jr. is well cast as Simms' lumbering henchman. Leading lady Hope Manning later signed with Warner Bros., changed her name to Irene Manning, and starred as Fay Templeton opposite James Cagney's George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Aside from all the aforementioned pleasures, The Old Corral is probably the only chance to see silent screen cowboy star Buddy Roosevelt playing a tuxedo-clad mobster. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
The Old Barn Dance
An enjoyably silly Gene Autry romp, this music Western had an early ecological message: Horse-power instead of tractors. Or at least tractors manufactured by greedy Thornton Farming Equipment. Having lost his horse-trading business to Thornton (Ivan Miller), Autry signs with Helen Valkis' local Grainville radio station. But unbeknownst to the singer, the program is sponsored by none other than Thornton, and when the farmers cannot live up to the greedy manufacturer's finance plan, they blame Autry. In typical Autry style, Autry not only bests Thornton on the business front, but also receives more attention at the local fair than the Thornton-sponsored Big City entertainment. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Roy Rogers - Roy
- Ruth Terry - Laramie Winters
- Paul Kelly - Victor Marsh
- Ann Gillis - Penny Winters
- George Cleveland - Sheriff Joe Darcey