6.5/10
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Silver Canyon (1951)

Approved | | Western | 20 June 1951 (USA)
During the Civil War, McQuarrie leads guerrilla raiders, Gene and Cougar serve as Union scouts stationed in Utah.

Director:

John English

Writers:

Gerald Geraghty (screenplay), Alan James (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Autry ... Gene Autry
Champion ... Gene's Horse
Gail Davis ... Dell Middler
Jim Davis ... Wade McQuarrie
Bob Steele ... Walt Middler
Edgar Dearing ... Colonel Middler
Richard Alexander ... Henchman Luke Anders
Terry Frost ... Henchman Wyatt
Peter Mamakos ... Laughing Jack
Pat Buttram ... Pat
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Storyline

During the Civil War, U.S.Army scouts Gene Autry (Gene Autry) and "Cougar" Claggett (Pat Buttram) are detailed to Utah to bring in Confederate guerilla raider Wade McQuarrie (Jim Davis) who is interfering with Federal supply lines. They track the raiders to Gateway, a frontier post commanded by Colonel Middler (Edgar Dearing) who has a daughter, Dell (Gail Davis) and a son, Walt (Bob Steele). Walt secretly supports McQuarrie's actions. Gene and Dell are captured by McQuarrie but escape. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Guerilla Raiders! Watch Gene Scout 'Em... And Rout 'Em For The U.S. Cavalry!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1951 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gene Autry Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Soundtracks

Ridin' Down the Canyon
Written by Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette
Sung by Gene Autry
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pleasing '50's Hollywood Western
21 May 2006 | by watricianSee all my reviews

"Silver Canyon" is a dandy example of the Saturday matinée features Hollywood cranked out after World War II. Autry, as himself, takes on the bad guys with cool courtesy and a ready song. There's the plucky girl, the comical sidekick, the climactic shoot-out, and the Lee Van Cleef of his time, Bob Steele, lurking evilly behind the rocks. The cowboy hero archetype, taken from 19th century dime novels, played well to post-war America, and has become the equivalent of the Japanese samurai or the European knight for us. There's no confusion here... right is right and wrong is wrong.

This type of 70 minute second feature translated easily to the small TV screen so the '50's and '60's saw a profusion of derivative hour and half-hour westerns, such as "Rawhide", "Have Gun Will Travel", and "Gunsmoke". One of those featured "Silver Canyon"'s Gail Davis in 80 episodes of "Annie Oakley". Many boomers will also recognize the cast's Jim Davis from "Rescue 8" or "Dallas", and the inimitable Pat Buttram from "Green Acres".

The formula westerns of the era, and "Silver Canyon" in particular may not be the stuff of critic's dreams, (and Gene Autry singing jailhouse blues may not be the most evocative) but they constitute an unpretentious view of the world as we wanted it to be after decades of Depression and war.


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