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5.0 out of 5 stars "Gene Autry B-Western Series ... The Collection Vol. 1 ... Image Ent. (2006)", 18 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Gene Autry Collection 1 [DVD] [1950] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Columbia Pictures present "GENE AUTRY COLLECTION: LEADING LADY GAIL DAVIS VOL.1" (Released: 1949/1950/1951/1952) (275 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".

"COW TOWN" (Released: 19 May 1950) (71 mins/B&W) --- Under Jon English (Director), our story line and plot, Gene had now settled into rather serious mostly straight B-Westerns, full of fisticuffs, gunplay and wild chases with some musicals tunes thrown in for good measure --- gone were the fancy shirts and pants with modern trappings and settings --- the cycle had come nearly full circle, and what emerged was Gene Autry frontiersman --- intending to hinder the rustlers by putting barbed wire fencing around his spread is making rancher Gene Autry very unpopular --- and not all cattlemen favor this tactic thus the action and adventures begin --- Gene introduces barbed wire to the range to end cattle rustling and straying cattle --- his neighbor Ginger Kirby (Gail Davis) and her kid brother Duke (Clark "Buddy" Burroughs) give Gene a rough time --- the crafty livery stable owner Sandy Reeves (Harry Shannon) wants the wide open unfenced range for his sheep, planning to buy up range land for the taxes the cattlemen can't pay ----- some wonderful tunes, DOWN IN THE VALLEY (Gene Autry), BUFFALO GALS (Gene Autry), POWDER YOUR FACE WITH SUNSHINE (Gene Autry), BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE (Gene Autry)

"WHIRLWIND" (Released: 16 April 1951) (71 mins/B&W) --- Under Jon English (Director), our story line and plot, Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette travel to Red Valley where a string of mail robberies have occurred --- where the area is controlled by Jim Lassiter (Thurston Hall) and his outlaw gang --- needing proof Gene knows Lassiter is the head of the outlaw gangs working in Red Valley --- Lassiter demands cash as Gene offers to buy some of Lassiter's land --- Gene worms his way into Big Jim's confidence by romancing Big Jim's niece, Elaine (Gail Davis) --- Smiley finds burned fragments of stolen U. S. Postal Bonds as Gene forces a confession from Big Jim's attorney henchman Wade Trimble (Harry Lauter) --- the action is plenty and Gene rounds up the bandits, reuniting Gene and Smiley along with his regular leading lady Gail Davis --- Gene and Smiley had come to Hollywood together and there was always that bond between them - - - - some wonderful tunes, WHIRLWIND (Studio Singers), AS LONG AS I'VE GOT MY HORSE (Gene Autry), TWEEDLE-O-TWILL (Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette), WHIRLWIND (Gene Autry and Studio Singers)

"THE OLD WEST" (Released: 15 January 1952) (62 mins/B&W) --- Under George Archainbaud (Director), our story line and plot, the story is told in flashbacks, Gene with a contract to tame wild mustangs to serve as horses for the stagecoach line in Saddle Rock managed by Arlie Williams (Gail Davis) --- trying to take away Autry's contract is Doc Lockwood (Lyle Talbot) and his gang of cutthroats --- Parson Brooks (House Peters Sr) joins Gene in an effort to clean up the town --- the film features a sizable religious elements as silent star House Peters Sr. makes a comeback as a traveling preacher who instills theology in Gene during his convalescence from a gunshot wound --- both songs Gene sings in the film are religious oriented ---.special footnote, this is the only film in which father ad son, House Peters Sr. and Jr. worked together, Peters Sr. had been a matinee idol in the silent era, often working with legendary director Cecil B. DeMille --- There's also an entertaining sequence in which Gene puts Champion and Little Champ through a series of hoop tricks, it's welcomed by Autry devotees - - - - some wonderful tunes, SOMEBODY BIGGER THAN YOU AND I (Gene Autry and Cast), MUSIC BY THE ANGELS (Gene Autry and Cast), SOMEBODY BIGGER THAN YOU AND I (Gene Autry and Cast)

"SONS OF NEW MEXICO" (1949) (71 mins/B&W) --- Under Jon English (Director), our story line and plot, Gene's latest Columbia Picture utilizes scenes filmed at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico --- Gene's duties as executor of an estate he must keep a juvenile delinquent (Dick Jones) from the clutches gambler Pat Feeney (Robert Armstrong) who hopes to get at the money through the kid --- Frankie Darro appeared with Gene all the way back to Gene's serial "The Phantom Empire" in 1935 --- Clayton Moore is seen as one of Robert Armstrong's henchmen, just before signing on to be TV's "The Lone Ranger" --- Two of Gene's favorite co-stars appear in this film Gail Davis (Annie Oakley) and Dick Jones (Buffalo Bill Jr) both had TV series of their own produced by Gene Autry --- This film was the first of 14 pictures Gail Davis co-starred in with Gene, she appeared in 15 of Gene's half hour TV shows and three seasons for his Flying A Productions as "Annie Oakley" from January 1954 to February 1957 ----- In Sons of New Mexico some wonderful tunes, NEW MEXICO MILITARY INSTITUTE MARCH (Military Band and Studio Singers), CAN'T SHAKE THE SANDS OF TEXAS FROM MY SHOES (Gene Autry), THERE'S A RAINBOW ON THE RIO COLORADO (Gene Autry), THE HONEY SONG (HONEY, I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU) (Gene Autry), NEW MEXICO MILITARY INSTITUTE MARCH (Military Band and Studio Singers)

BIOS:
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.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
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
4. Horseplay
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: 275 min on DVD ~ Image Entertainment ~ (9/26/2006)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Apr 2013 13:47:55 BDT
A. W. Wilson says:
Beware. Mr Jim's review here does not refer to the DVD advertised.
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