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With a longer-than-usual running time on original release and booked and sold to the exhibitors as a "Gene Autry Special", which Republic would do once a year from 1939-1943 in order to get higher rates than on the regular series entries from the theatre owners. Hey, Jimmy Durante and Ann Miler cost more than Smiley Burnette and June Storey. This "special",(which alternates between tongue-in-cheek and for-real and hard to distinguish which is which since there was very little for-real in most of the fantasy-land settings Autry's Republic films were laid in), finds Gene returning to his hometown of Torpedo as guest of honor at the Frontier Days Celebraion, Once there, he encounters his childhood enemies, the Wildhack brothers (Barton MacLane, Joe Sawyer and Horace MacMahon in pecking order), now the local gangsters (and playing it with relish.) The Wildhacks own a saloon next door to the school, and when their shooting and brawling endangers the safety of the children, Gene protests ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 'Melody Ranch' set built for this film consisted of a long, one story house and a much larger gambrel-roof barn with a practical interior. The house portion's exterior was revamped after filming, and the set was a fixture on Republic's back lot for several years. It was featured in the show My Three Sons (1960). See more »
In Ann Miller's tap number, during most of her tap dancing, her feet were outside the frame at the bottom of the picture, and it looked as if she were dancing on her ankles. See more »
Gene Autry has a radio show with singing and a drama each week. His co-star, Ann Miller, thinks he his, shall we say, less than sophisticated. She thinks she is too good for him and the show. His hometown wants him to come back as honorary sheriff during a special celebration. While there he tangles with three brothers who run the town headed by Barton MacLane. And Gene develops a love interest toward Ann. As a movie the acting is somewhat weak. Ann Miller goes around with a smile plastered on her face regardless of the type of scene. If she had put more into her performance I would have rated this movie higher. Then there is Jimmy Durante (who has some very good scenes) and Gabby Hayes (who always does his 'Gabby' role very well). They used their scenes very effectively. Bartin MacLane as the bad guy also used his talents effectively in the few scenes he was in. In other words, the character actors put some real effort into their roles and they are quite enjoyable. Not a movie that you will see over and over again but it certainly worth seeing once. 5/10
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