"Gene Autry B-Western Series ... The Collection Vol. 3 ... I
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 09/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Republic Pictures present "GENE AUTRY COLLECTION: COWBOY KID MARY LEE VOL.3" (Released: 1940/41) (289 mins/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- relive those thrilling days when the "First Singing Cowboy" Gene Autry took us down the dusty trails with hard riding and straight shooting hitting the bull's eye with excitement every time --- the Gene Autry series of B-Westerns were a staple of Saturday matinees in the 1930s and 1940s --- The Following Segments are from the "Melody Ranch Theater", which originally aired on the Nashville Network in 1987 --- Hosted by Gene and longtime sidekick Pat Buttram the program showcased many of Gene's classic motion pictures and featured personal anecdotes about how the films were made --- Information on costars and significant happenings in Gene's personal life and career. --- don't miss any of the Singing Cowboy's features loaded with action and songs that will leave you wanting more of Gene Autry's B-Western Adventures --- The sale of this DVD will further the educational and cultural mission of the renowned "Autry National Center in Los Angeles".
"BACK IN THE SADDLE" (14 March 1941) (72 mins/B&W) --- Under Lew Landers (Director),Our story line and plot, Gene Autry foils a dastardly mine owner who has been poisoning cattle to drive the local ranchers off their land --- An interesting opening has Gene and his faithful sidekick Smiley Burnette retrieving the son of a friend from the decadent big city --- watch for the perfectly set-up showdown between wholesome country and degenerate city played for maximum effect ----- some wonderful tunes, "BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN" (Gene Autry), "IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW" (Gene Autry), "NINETY-NINE BULLFROGS" (Smiley Burnette), "SWINGIN' SAM, THE COWBOY MAN" (Mary Lee), "WHEN THE RIVER MEETS THE RANGE" (Jacqueline Wells). "WHEN THE CACTUS IS IN BLOOM" (Gene Autry), "I'M AN OLD COWHAND" (Gene Autry and Mary Lee), "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" (Gene Autry)
"RIDE TENDERFOOT RIDE" (September 6, 1940) (65 mins/B&W) --- Under Frank McDonald (Director), our story line has the theme of "Taming of the Shrew", with a western flavor --- Gene inherits a large meat packing company but finds its business life threatened by the scheming of a rival concern headed up by June Story and her conniving general manager Warren Hull --- Gene won't sell out and June uses her womanly wiles to convince Gene to sell --- June has a kid sister Mary Lee who takes Gene's side, as he uses old time methods like parades and music to build back his customer base --- will the badmen end up in jail, while the two companies merge through romance, don't touch that dial you're about to find out --- great stunt work by Joe Yrigoyen (double for Gene), Jack Kirk (double for Smiley) and Nellie Walker (double for June Storey) - - - - - - some wonderful tunes "WHEN THE WORK'S ALL DONE THIS FALL" (Gene Autry), "ELEVEN MORE MONTHS AND TEN MORE DAYS" (Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette), "RIDE, TENDERFOOT, RIDE" (Mary Lee), "WOODPECKER Gene Autry and Mary Lee), "THAT WAS ME BY THE SEA" Smiley Burnette), "RIDE,TENDERFOOT, RIDE" (Gene Autry, Mary Lee, and June Storey), "RIDE, TENDERFOOT, RIDE" (Mary Lee), "LEANIN' ON THE OLE TOP RAIL" (Gene Autry), "OH! OH! OH!" (Cindy Walker, Mary Lee and Extras), "ON THE RANGE" (Gene Autry and Extras)
"RANCHO GRANDE" (March 22, 1940) (68 mins/B&W) --- Under Frank McDonald (Director), our storyline has this musical Gene Autry film about as good as they get --- It's all music and melodrama until the final chase and shoot-out --- Gene's wranglers and ranch hands versus Emory Benson and his gang of saboteurs who are attempting to keep a dam from being constructed --- where easterners go west because of a ranch inheritance which usually involves Gene being the foreman with Frog his helper who have to westernize the dudes --- Gene is put in charge, but the main theme is the completion of a dam being built to provide water and electricity for those who live on the Rancho Grande --- part of the ploy is to prevent the dam from being finished --- how will Gene and Frog westernize the dudes and foil (Emory Benson's (Ferris Taylor) scheme, is laid out for the rest of the film very nicely --- Also look for a few familiar faces in the cast, many having only cameos, Hank Worden (later Mose of "The Searchers") appears briefly as a cowhand. Look too for Roscoe Ates who would go on to play comical sidekick Soapy Jones; former cowboy star Rex Lease; Hank Bell (big mustache), Horace B. Carpenter, Slim Whitaker, Bud Osborne, Jack Kirk, Cactus Mack, Jack Ingram, and even Roy Barcroft --- the viewer may not know the names but will certainly recognize their familiar mugs - - - - some wonderful tunes "ALLA EN EL RANCHO GRANDE" (Studio Singers), "ALLA EN EL RANCHO GRANDE" (Gene Autry, Brewer Kids, and Smiley Burnette), "WHISTLE" (Mary Lee and The Pals of the Golden West), "ALLA EN EL RANCHO GRANDE" (Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Mary Lee, The Pals of the Golden West, and Cast), "DUDE RANCH COWHANDS" (Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, and The Pals of the Golden West), "SWING OF THE RANGE) "Mary Lee), "THERE'LL NEVER BE ANOTHER PAL LIKE YOU" (Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette), "AVE MARIA" (The Boys' Choir of Saint Joseph's School), "I DON'T BELONG TO YOUR WORLD" (Gene Autry), "YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE COUNTRY" (Smiley Burnette), "SWING OF THE RANGE" (Mary Lee), "OH! SUSANNA Extras), "ALLA EN EL RANCHO GRANDE" (Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Mary Lee, The Pals of the Golden West, and Cast)
"MELODY RANCH" (November 11, 1940) (84 mins/B&W) --- Under Joseph Santley (Director), our story line opens with Gene Autry who has a radio show loaded with singing and drama each week --- Gene's co-star, Ann Miller, thinks he's less than sophisticated and that she's 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 --- Then there is Jimmy Durante who was in a class by himself and a great scene stealer of all time --- and Gabby Hayes who's rode with just about every hero gives a fine performance --- the films title was based on Gene's popular new radio program to boost Gene into first run theaters --- stunt work by Yakima Canutt, Joe Yrigoyen (double for Gene Autry) and Wally West - - - - - - some wonderful tunes "MELODY RANCH" (Gene Autry), "RODEO ROSE" (Gene Autry), "WELCOME TO YOU" (Mary Lee and Children), "TORPEDO JOE" (Mary Lee), "WE NEVER DREAM THE SAME DREAM TWICE" (Gene Autry and Ann Miller), "MY GAL SAL" (Ann Miller), "BACK TO THE CITY AGAIN" (Parody of Back In The Saddle) (Joseph Sawyer and Horace MacMahon), "THE CALL OF THE CANYON" (Gene Autry), "WHAT ARE COWBOYS MADE OF" (Joseph Sawyer and Horace MacMahon), "VOTE FOR AUTRY" (Jimmy Durante and Mary Lee), "MELODY RANCH" (Gene Autry and Ann Miller)
1. Gene Autry
Date of Birth: 29 September 1907 - Near Tioga, Texas
Date of Death: 2 October 1998 - Studio City, Los Angeles, California
Special footnote, Orvon Gene Autry was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television --- Discovered by film producer Nat Levine in 1934, he and Burnette made their film debut for Mascot Pictures Corp. "In Old Santa Fe" as part of a singing cowboy quartet; he was then given the starring role by Levine in 1935 in the 12-part serial "The Phantom Empire" --- Shortly thereafter, Mascot was absorbed by the formation of Republic Pictures Corp. and Autry went along to make a further 44 films up to 1940, all B westerns in which he played under his own name, rode his horse Champion, had Burnette as his regular sidekick and had many opportunities to sing in each film --- Autry became the top Western star at the box-office by 1937, reaching his national peak of popularity from 1940 to 1942. His Gene Autry Flying "A" Ranch Rodeo show debuted in 1940 --- Gene Autry is the only celebrity to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one in each of the five categories maintained by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce --- Radio, Films, Recordings, Television and Live Theater.
1. Reminiscing with Gene Autry and Pat Buttram at the "Melody Ranch Theater"
2. "Don't Touch That Dial", Gene Autry is on the air - excerpts from the Original "Melody Ranch Radio Show"
3. Production and Publicity Stills
5. Poster and lobby Card Art
6. Trivia and Movie Facts
7. Original Press Kit Material
Check out a new book from Empire Publishing - "GENE AUTRY WESTERNS" (Hardcover) - by author Boyd Magers, like no other book on Gene Autry --- all of Gene's Mascot, Republic and Columbia westerns included, as well as his half-hour TV Episodes --- each segment contains the release date on each film ... major production credits ... complete cast (including character played) ... all songs included, songwriter and who performed them in the film ... running time of each film ... dates of the filming ... bios on the cast and major players (Smiley, Pat Buttram, Cass County Boys, Herbert J. Yates, directors, leading ladies, songwriters and various heavies, etc.) ... locations that were used ... budgets and negative cost ... stunt people involved ... analysis and synopsis on each film ... notes and comments (including film and cast background info, salaries paid, working titles, etc) ... comments from Gene and many other cast members on each film ... theater exhibitors comments at the time of the films release ...this tribute was written from the heart and it shows.
Hats off and thanks to Les Adams (collector/guideslines for character identification), Chuck Anderson (Webmaster: The Old Corral/B-Westerns.Com), Boyd Magers (Western Clippings), Bobby J. Copeland (author of "Trail Talk"), Rhonda Lemons (Empire Publishing Inc) and Bob Nareau (author of "The Real Bob Steele") as they have rekindled my interest once again for B-Westerns and Serials --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '20s, '30s & '40s and B-Westerns ... order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- stay tuned once again for top notch action mixed with musical songs and adventure --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Image Entertainment where they are experts in releasing B-Westerns --- all my heroes have been cowboys!
Total Time: 289 min on DVD ~ Image Entertainment ~ (9/26/2006)"