Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Home on the Prairie|
Actors: Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, June Storey, George Cleveland, Jack Mulhall
Director: Jack Townley
Genres: Westerns, Mystery & Suspense
Dust off your cowboy hat and polish up your spurs! America's first and favorite singing cowboy gallops across the silver screen into your living room with this rollicking, fully restored adventure. A crooked rancher trie... more »
An off-beat entry for Gene
Wayne Engle | Madison, IN United States | 10/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gene Autry's westerns often required a certain suspension of disbelief, and that's certainly true of this one, which involves Frog Millhouse's temporary acquisition of a real, live elephant!
Gene and Frog are county cattle inspectors who try to help save the herd of pretty young June Storey and her father, George Cleveland (later Gramps on TV's "Lassie") from being destroyed by the state veterinarian because of hoof and mouth disease. The bad guys are smuggling a herd which actually is infected with the fatal disease through to the railhead so they can sell them before the contagious condition becomes visible, and they have fooled the state official into thinking it is Cleveland's herd which is actually afflicted.
This is a slightly lesser entry than some of Autry's, but it is nevertheless very entertaining. It's Gene and June's first picture together, and there is a freshness about their scenes as if each were saying, "Wow! He's (she's) cute!" Autry and Storey sing a beautiful duet of "Moonlight on the Ranchhouse" early on.
Smiley Burnette as Frog gets to do a little more than his usual silliness this time, shepherding around the elephant he's watching temporarily for medicine show "doctor" Earle Hodgins (in the role he almost always played when appearing in Autry movies). Hodgins gets locked up by the sheriff early in the picture because of his shenanigans when his show passed through the area the year before. Autry, Millhouse and Hodgins later think of a unique way to utilize the elephant's talents at a crucial point in the story.
Apparently director Jack Townley allowed Gene a freer rein in doing his own stunts than some others at Republic Pictures. Autry reportedly liked doing his own stunt work when permitted, and besides a couple of fights he performs his own transfer from Champ's back to the rear platform of a moving train. By this time in his career (1939) Autry's riding and stunts had become much tighter and more skillful.
If you like Autry's pictures from this period, before he became knee-deep in spoiled eastern heiresses, this one is for you.