Colorado Sunset (1939) Poster

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Autry's the man for me!
Spondonman16 March 2008
As a Gene Autry fan I like this, find it very watchable, and as charming as the previous reviewer; if you're not a fan however you'll only be able to revel in how bizarre it must appear. Most modern movies appear bizarre to me so I don't waste my valuable time watching them.

Frog buys a cattle farm for Gene and the "Texas Troubadours" to sell beef only to find they have a herd of milk cows on their hands. They have trouble delivering the milk thanks to a dodgy business Association which is pretending to be help led by baddie Robert Barrat and his semi-baddie poodle Buster Crabbe (who was seemingly trying to look like Brian Donlevy) – but do the goodies or baddies win out? They hold an election for Sheriff which again proved that Democracy = Cracked Heads. Elmo Lincoln had a small part, meaning there were two ex-Tarzan's in here. The Texas Rangers sang a few nice little ditties - I had previously thought they supported Gene in loads of his movies but have just realised Johnny Mack Brown was the guy instead. Ever smiling and nicely coiffured June Storey was here in the 4th of her 10 Autry outings playing Crabbe's sister and the announcer on the local radio station KWTR. Favourite bits: Poor Little Dogie sung by Gene to the admiring June; the charming Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere; the Vote For Autry campaign; the sight of Frog on a titchy motor scooter.

For me an hour well spent in good company, I'd welcome 'em all back anytime.
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Gene Autry fans should enjoy it.
hmpulham13 September 2006
A typical pre-World War II Gene Autry film, filled with lots of music, action and good production values. Republic Pictures was willing to spend extra here -- well above the average for a B-Western -- because Autry's films were always profit makers. In fact, Gene Autry was one of the most popular film stars of the late 1930's. Here too is the usual anachronistic mixture of horses and old western towns populated with trucks, motor cars -- even a radio station. Some will see this as ridiculous; personally, I find it rather charming. This well directed film featured a very exciting chase scene done with a polish that many big budget action films failed to achieve.
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Another Good Autry Mix
dougdoepke3 April 2014
Notice in these productions from the '30's how often Gene is protecting little guys against big predators. It's a popular theme, I suspect, for that Depression decade. Here he's helping dairy farmers against a conniving outlaw outfit, led by a double-dealing doctor. Then too, these productions liked to work radio broadcasting into the storyline, as they do here with the doc giving orders in code over the air (clever).

It's a typically good Autry oater from the period, with a bang-up climax of hard-riding and buckboard crashes. That's along with two standout songs, especially the one by lakeside, plus little Patsy Montana who can be my cowboy's sweetheart any day.

Watch for Elmo Lincoln in a dairyman's role—he was one of the screen's earliest Tarzans! Quite a trip from the jungles to the Old West. Of course, Frog gets his usual comic relief, but he also gets to battle the bad guys just like Gene. Maybe the biggest surprise is tall, handsome Buster Crabbe as a good-bad guy, and so soon after traveling the universe as Flash Gordon. He's tough competition for Gene, but our hero manages. Anyway, it's another fine matinée special from our friends at Republic and Melody Ranch.

An "8" on the matinée scale.
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Rackeeters Out West...
xerses1310 September 2012
Our 'Hero' Gene Autry must help out Frog Milhouse (Smiley Burnette) who has acquired a Dairy Farm rather then the Ranch intended. There is trouble with the local Dairy Association and a group of Rackeeters who wish to control all deliveries of milk. These are led by Dr. Rodney Blair (Robert Barrett) with Dave Haines (Buster Crabbe) doing the heavy lifting. Carol Haines (June Storey), Dave's Sister and manager of the local radio station is their unwitting dupe and future romantic interest for Gene. Don't worry, justice will prevail and the milk will get through to the Big City and the Kiddies!

Robert Barrett usually played a similar role in 'B' films over at Warner Brothers, so is quite at home roughing it up out west. Buster Crabbe over from Universal lays down his Raygun and Sword for Six-Shooters and switches from Space-Ship to Horses. Doing very well playing a heel who redeems himself in the last reel. Mr. Crabbe in the 1940s and 50s would make the switch to Westerns for most of his roles.

Like most Autry Westerns the 'west' is a combination of contemporary and traditional. The print on Encore Westerns is the restored 65", nice and clean. Usual Western themed songs are interspersed with action scenes. The climatic chase is very well handled and would not disgrace a 'A' film. These films have a innocent charm about them and are well worth the watch.
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Gene Autry shootin', fightin' and singin'.
michaelRokeefe13 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Gene Autry thinks he has bought a cattle ranch; but it ends up being a dairy farm. Villainous veterinarian Doc Blair(Robert Barrat)is terrorizing the local dairy farmers. Besides that, Blair has the sheriff(William Farnum) killed so he can have one of his own crooks (Buster Crabbe)elected to wear the star. Autry comes to the rescue and wins the election and continues to fight corruption on behalf of the dairy farmers. The CBS-KMBC Texas Rangers join Autry in song. And western music icon Patsy Montana sings "I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart". Also in the cast are: Autry's sidekick Smiley Burnette and June Storey, Kermit Maynard and Barbara Pepper.
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One of Autry's best!
JohnHowardReid7 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Copyright 31 July 1939 by Republic Pictures Corp. No recorded New York opening. U.S. release: 31 July 1939. U.K. release through British Lion: No Australian theatrical release. 7 reels. 64 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Gene and his Texas Troubadors quit barnstorning as they purchase what they think is a Colorado cattle ranch, only to discover that the stock consists of milk cows. This puts them in the midst of a dairy war, with some well-concealed power hijacking the dairy trucks and destroying them in an effort to force them into a combine.

NOTES: Number 34 of Autry's 94 motion pictures.

COMMENT: Colorado Sunset is by no means the incongruous mixture that Fenin and Everson's illustration in The Western makes out. In fact it is one of Autry's best westerns, full of action which is directed in a lively, zestful manner by George Sherman with lots and lots of fast running inserts and lots and lots of thrilling stunt falls.

It is also one of the most spectacularly produced of all Autry's films with not a single clip of stock footage and the deployment of hundreds of extras against some striking natural locations. The spectacular climax itself with its employment of scores of hard-riding, pistol-shooting horsemen and the crashing of dozens of milk-wagons would be enough in itself to lift the film into the "A" category, but there are some other action sequences that are almost equally exciting - the destruction of Autry's ranch in which cross-cutting is used effectively, and the rescue of Kermit Maynard right at the beginning of the film with Autry's obligatory chase after a runaway wagon (a sequence that is incorporated into almost all his films).

The cast too puts the film firmly in the "A" class and is one of the most interesting ever assembled for an Autry western. Autry himself is a more colorful personality here than in most of his films. The TV print has doubtless dropped some of his songs (as well as Patsy Montana and her Cowgirls) though he has three or four pleasant numbers and there is a rousing election march complete with baton-twirling cuties. The whole film has a no-expense-spared look about it. The photography is of much better quality than usual, the film being most attractively lit throughout. The film editing is sharp.

Mr. Burnette is his usual amiable self and a sequence in which he rewires the amplifiers at an election rally is quite amusing. Miss Storey is not a particularly attractive heroine but Barbara Pepper is a delightful sub, exchanging dialogue (chiefly with Burnette) with an infectious enthusiasm.

The rest of the cast also enter into their parts with zest - Robert H. Barrat makes a colorful villain and Larry Buster Crabbe is always at his best in villainous roles such as here. William Farnum has a good scene as the sheriff which he plays with true professionalism, while Kermit Maynard plays the wagon driver whom Autry rescues at the beginning of the film. Couldn't spot Elmo Lincoln of Tarzan fame but nice to see Jack Ingram up to his usual dirty work as leader of the band of marauders.

OTHER VIEWS: Another "modern" western with six-shooting sheriff Autry tangling with bandits hijacking milk trucks, features a grandly crowded chase climax with running inserts and the very personable Larry Buster Crabbe as the villain's chief henchman. June Storey has a more sizable part than in Mountain Rhythm and screams delightfully at the appropriate moments in Gene's novelty song, "Seven Years With the Wrong Woman", while Smiley clowns with the equally delightful Barbara Pepper (who alas disappears from the action for just about all the second half). Robert Barrat leads an interesting contingent of support players. Credits and production values (including Sherman's and/or his stunt director's vigorous use of real locations) are well above standard.
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"Ain't this a dilly of a ranch?"
classicsoncall14 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Well here's an idea I've never seen in a few hundred Westerns - Gene, Smiley and the Texas Troubadours all buy into a cattle ranch and find out it's a dairy farm instead! With no alternatives, the boys decide to make lemonade out of that lemon, and begin working the dairy herd to start sending milk to market. The problem is, local boss Dr. Rodney Blair (Robert Barrat) intends on cornering the milk market and runs a protective association to insure the local dairy men get their product sold. His gang of henchmen, including deputy sheriff Dave Haines (Buster Crabbe), run a sabotage operation against the farmers and make it look like it's the work of the Hull Trucking Company.

The story borrows a plot line from the Charlie Chan play-book whereby coded messages are sent to Blair's henchmen via a radio broadcast by Haines's sister Carol (June Storey). She's not wise to the ruse until later on in the picture after Gene spells things out after kidnapping her and having Smiley apply some handcuffs! That scene was a bit surreal from today's perspective, similar to watching Roy Rogers sing while serving time in jail. You have to keep in mind this was a simpler time.

Keeping count, this entry manages a total of ten musical numbers sandwiched in between opening and closing versions of the title song. I got a kick out of Smiley's bunch at the Lone Star Café reacting to Patsy Montana when she picked up a guitar to sing - they simply walked around behind her and got their own full set of musical instruments to provide back up. What were the odds?

Highlight of the picture has the local citizenry getting out the vote for Gene Autry in a rousing musical campaign rally. There's a 'Vote for Autry" song followed shortly after by a 'Hooray for Autry' jingle after he wins the election. It won't be long before Gene and his crew take down the bad guys in a fairly rousing chase finale highlighted by milk wagons flipping over and their contents splashing up the countryside. To his credit, Buster Crabbe's character helps turn the tide for the good guys, so that by the time it's over, there's no reason to cry over spilt milk.
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