6.2/10
180
10 user 4 critic

Melody Ranch (1940)

Passed | | Music, Romance, Western | 15 November 1940 (USA)
His Arizona hometown of Torpedo invites Gene back to be the honorary sheriff of the Frontier Days Celebration.

Director:

Joseph Santley

Writers:

Jack Moffitt (original screenplay), F. Hugh Herbert (original screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Western stories and legends based, and filmed, in and around Death Valley, California. One of the longest-running Western series, originating on radio in the 1930s. The continuing sponsor was "20 Mule Team" Borax, a product formerly mined in Death Valley.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Autry ... Gene Autry
Jimmy Durante ... Cornelius Jupiter Courtney
Ann Miller ... Julie Shelton
Barton MacLane ... Mark Wildhack
Barbara Jo Allen ... Veronica Whipple (as Barbara Allen - 'Vera Vague')
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Pop Laramie
Jerome Cowan ... Tommy Summerville
Mary Lee ... Penny Curtis
Joe Sawyer ... Jasper Wildhack (as Joseph Sawyer)
Horace McMahon ... Bud Wildhack (as Horace MacMahon)
Clarence Wilson ... Judge 'Skinny' Henderson
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Slim (as William Benedict)
The Kidoodlers The Kidoodlers ... Barbershop Quartet
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Join the fun with Public Cowboy No. 1! See more »

Genres:

Music | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eldorado See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exact budget (expected cost of production) was $181,275. It came in under the budgeted cost at $177,520. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Cornelius J. Courtney: Hey, Gene. Listen, I've been thinking it over, and I think maybe I ought to go with the others on the bus.
Gene Autry: Oh no you don't. Get up on that horse and shut up.
Cornelius J. Courtney: But, Gene...
Gene Autry: Remember, this was your idea.
Cornelius J. Courtney: I'd forgotten.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

William Tell Overture
(1829) (uncredited)
Written by Gioachino Rossini
Portion contained in the version of "My Gal Sal"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Singing is nice, acting is average
15 January 2002 | by craig_smith9See all my reviews

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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