EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SINGING HILL, THE (director: Lew Landers; screenwriters: Olive Cooper/from the story by Gene Lasky Jr. and Richard Murphy; cinematographer: William Nobles; editor: Les Orlebeck; cast: Gene Autry (Himself), Smiley Burnette (Frog Millhouse), Virginia Dale (Jo Adams), Mary Lee (Patsy), George Meeker (Ramsey), Harry Stubbs (Morgan), Spencer Charters (Judge Henry Starbottle), Gerald Oliver Smith (Dada), Cactus Mack (Cactus Mack), Wade Boteler (Pop Sloan), Jack Kirk (Flint); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry Grey; Republic; 1941)|
B-Western from Gene Autry that's more interested in
comedy than action."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Enjoyable singing formulaic B-Western from Gene
that's more interested in comedy than action. Lew
Landers ("The Boogie
Man Will Get You"/"The Return of
the Vampire"/"Hurricane Island") directs
breezy modern-day Western (there's more cars than
horses) about an
unscrupulous businessman and a
dizzy rich girl who has forgotten her roots. It's based on a story by
Lasky Jr. and Richard Murphy, and is written by Olive
Gene Autry is the
ranch foreman of the long-standing Circle R ranch,
owned by the Adams
family. When the owner dies, he
beqeathes the 50,000 acre property to his spoiled
and irresponsible city slicker grand-daughter Jo Adams
(Virginia Dale ).
She hates ranch
life and the wastrel has already spent the
inheritance, so she sells
the ranch to get money to continue living an idle
party life in her big
mansion in the city. The unscrupulous banker Ramsey (George Meeker)
takes advantage of
her situation from a tip by her slimy business manager
Morgan (Harry Stubbs),
who sells her out to
the banker. The local ranchers in the Cattleman's
Association are upset
because Ramsey will stop the free-grazing privileges,
which means they
can't get their cattle to the railroad and their
ranches will stop
Gene, with help from his sidekick Frog Millhouse
Burnette), the other hired cowhands and the feisty
Patsy (Mary Lee) in his charge, acts to get Jo to
change her mind and
save the ranch so that all the locals won't be forced
to sell and lose
a way of life they enjoyed for generations. When Jo
doesn't agree, Gene
kidnaps her and her prissy foreign butler (Gerald Oliver Smith) and takes her
back to the ranch
so she can regain her senses and do the right thing
for the community.
The public ate up these simplistic moralistic Autry
films, and Gene rode high as the 'King of the Cowboys'
during the 1940s.
REVIEWED ON 4/21/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ