On Top of Old Smoky (1953)

59 mins | Western | March 1953

Director:

George Archainbaud

Writer:

Gerald Geraghty

Producer:

Armand Schaefer

Cinematographer:

Bill Bradford

Editor:

James Sweeney

Production Designer:

George Brooks

Production Company:

Gene Autry Productions
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HISTORY

According to information in the copyright files, the film was released in sepia, but the print viewed was in black and white. The viewed print was edited for ... More Less

According to information in the copyright files, the film was released in sepia, but the print viewed was in black and white. The viewed print was edited for television. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Mar 1953.
---
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1953.
---
Film Daily
4 Mar 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 53
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Mar 53
p. 1759.
Variety
4 Mar 53
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"On Top of Old Smoky," traditional
"I Hang My Head and Cry," words and music by Gene Autry, Fred Rose and Ray Whitley
"Down the Trail to Mexico," composer undetermined
+
SONGS
"On Top of Old Smoky," traditional
"I Hang My Head and Cry," words and music by Gene Autry, Fred Rose and Ray Whitley
"Down the Trail to Mexico," composer undetermined
"I Saw Her First," words and music by Smiley Burnette
"If It Wasn't for the Rain," words and music by Gene Autry and Fred Rose.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1953
Production Date:
early August--mid August 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Gene Autry Productions
Copyright Date:
12 January 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2197
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
sepia
Duration(in mins):
59
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16108
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a small western town, singer Gene Autry performs at the Gold Casino saloon in an all-star review with an act that goes by the name of the Texas Rangers. Gene and the Rangers are anxious to secure a new job, as their contract at the Gold Saloon will be ending soon, so Gene rides with Hurricane stage line driver Smiley Burnette to Lone Hill. Smiley looks forward to seeing toll house operator Jen Larabee, but when they arrive at the toll house, they notice signs of a struggle and Gene finds Jen bound and gagged. After being released, she speculates that she was threatened by men working for Bud Blake, the town smelter, and Kirby, head of the freight lines, who have been trying to run her out of town and take over the toll road. Her father Steve was murdered for refusing to sell and Jen remains determined to hold out as well. Mistaking Gene for a true Texas Ranger because of his badge and clothing, Jen implies that she needs assistance. In town, Blake and Kirby report to Doc Clinton Judson, a spectacle shop owner and the head of the effort to dislodge Jen, that they have organized all the businesses to stop using the toll road until the town can raise the money to buy it. At the saloon, Gene then makes inquiries, but discovers that no shows are being offered because of lack of business due to the toll road strike. Kirby and Blake overhear Gene's questions, and when they threaten him to stop using the toll road, a fistfight ensues. Judson, pretending to be sympathetic, breaks up the fight ... +


In a small western town, singer Gene Autry performs at the Gold Casino saloon in an all-star review with an act that goes by the name of the Texas Rangers. Gene and the Rangers are anxious to secure a new job, as their contract at the Gold Saloon will be ending soon, so Gene rides with Hurricane stage line driver Smiley Burnette to Lone Hill. Smiley looks forward to seeing toll house operator Jen Larabee, but when they arrive at the toll house, they notice signs of a struggle and Gene finds Jen bound and gagged. After being released, she speculates that she was threatened by men working for Bud Blake, the town smelter, and Kirby, head of the freight lines, who have been trying to run her out of town and take over the toll road. Her father Steve was murdered for refusing to sell and Jen remains determined to hold out as well. Mistaking Gene for a true Texas Ranger because of his badge and clothing, Jen implies that she needs assistance. In town, Blake and Kirby report to Doc Clinton Judson, a spectacle shop owner and the head of the effort to dislodge Jen, that they have organized all the businesses to stop using the toll road until the town can raise the money to buy it. At the saloon, Gene then makes inquiries, but discovers that no shows are being offered because of lack of business due to the toll road strike. Kirby and Blake overhear Gene's questions, and when they threaten him to stop using the toll road, a fistfight ensues. Judson, pretending to be sympathetic, breaks up the fight and retrieves Gene's phony Ranger's badge. Gene confesses that he is not a Ranger, but Judson remains suspicious. Later that evening Jen rides into town to tell Gene and Smiley that the toll road has been blocked. As Jen is speaking, a rock is suddenly hurled through the window and shots are fired. When Gene fires back and dashes outside, he runs into Judson, who claims to have seen someone escaping. Gene escorts Jen back to the toll house, but Judson and Kirby follow and force them to abandon their buckboard and walk the rest of the way. When they arrive at the toll house, Gene discovers the rest of the Texas Rangers, who Jen believes are real. Smiley arrives later in the morning to tell Gene that Kirby and Blake have been telling everyone in town that Jen will soon sell out. As soon as Gene and the Rangers ride into town, Gene demands that Kirby be arrested for attempted murder on the toll road the night before. Gene sends a telegraph message requesting a circuit judge, not knowing that the lines have been cut on the order of Tom McQuaid, the owner of the Golden Stallion hotel. Later, McQuaid meets Judson in the mountains near the toll road, and they agree to split the land and its valuable minerals, the real reason why Judson covets the area. Meanwhile, Smiley brings Lila Maryland, a singer at the Gold casino and old friend of McQuaid, to town. When she tells him that Gene and the Rangers are a singing act, he promptly has the Rangers thrown in jail for impersonating lawmen. Gene is chased out of town and hides in the mountains near the toll house, where he notes the value of the rocks and minerals. That night Gene visits Jen, and finds to his dismay that she has just agreed to be bought out by Judson for $30,000. After Judson departs, Jen angrily accuses Gene of lying about being a Ranger, but he explains about the minerals and asks her to stall the buy-out so he can set McQuaid and Judson against each other. Meanwhile, in town, Smiley helps the Rangers escape from jail. They meet with Gene and restore the telegraph line just long enough to send a phony message to McQuaid indicating that Gene is a legitimate Ranger and the state is interested in purchasing the toll road. That evening a bridge on the toll road is set afire by townsmen riled up by Judson, who is trying to leave town on Smiley's stage. Both Judson and Smiley are forced to jump from the stage before it reaches the burning bridge. Meanwhile, McQuaid, believing Judson set the fire before fleeing, seizes him and reveals that the government is involved in the toll road and therefore their plan is negated. Gene and several townsmen arrive in time to overhear Judson admit to the murder of Jen's father and his involvement with McQuaid to obtain the minerals. The two are arrested and peace is restored to Lone Hill. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.