The Old Barn Dance (1938)

60 mins | Western | 29 January 1938

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HISTORY

Parts of the film were shot on location at Lone Pine, CA. A few weeks before this film was released, Gene Autry was named the number one box office attraction among Western stars for 1937 by an exhibitors' poll published in MPH . According to contemporary news items, this was Autry's last picture for Republic before his highly publicized contract dispute with the studio. He did not reach an agreement with Republic until Spring of 1938 when he returned to the studio to make Gold Mine in the Sky . During Autry's absence from Republic, Roy Rogers, who appeared as a singer in The Old Barn Dance under the name Dick Weston, took over some roles originally intended for Autry. For additional information on this subject see Gold Mine in the Sky and Under Western Stars . This film was re-issued in 1943, while Autry was serving in the armed forces. According to DV , Republic hoped that the re-issue would keep Autry's name before the public during his absence from filmmaking. Modern sources list Denver Dixon, Chuck Baldra , Jack Kenny, Bill Nestell and Autry's horse Champion in the ... More Less

Parts of the film were shot on location at Lone Pine, CA. A few weeks before this film was released, Gene Autry was named the number one box office attraction among Western stars for 1937 by an exhibitors' poll published in MPH . According to contemporary news items, this was Autry's last picture for Republic before his highly publicized contract dispute with the studio. He did not reach an agreement with Republic until Spring of 1938 when he returned to the studio to make Gold Mine in the Sky . During Autry's absence from Republic, Roy Rogers, who appeared as a singer in The Old Barn Dance under the name Dick Weston, took over some roles originally intended for Autry. For additional information on this subject see Gold Mine in the Sky and Under Western Stars . This film was re-issued in 1943, while Autry was serving in the armed forces. According to DV , Republic hoped that the re-issue would keep Autry's name before the public during his absence from filmmaking. Modern sources list Denver Dixon, Chuck Baldra , Jack Kenny, Bill Nestell and Autry's horse Champion in the cast. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15-Jan-38
---
Daily Variety
21 Apr 38
p. 3.
Daily Variety
4 Oct 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Jan 38
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 38
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 38
p. 1.
Motion Picture Daily
10 Jan 38
p. 6.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Feb 38
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Jan 38
p. 52, 54
Variety
12 Jan 38
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Ten Little Miles from Home" and "Old Barn Dance," words and music by Peter Tinturin and Jack Lawrence
"Old Mill," words and music by Johnny Marvin
"You're the Only Star in My Blue Heaven," words and music by Gene Autry
+
SONGS
"Ten Little Miles from Home" and "Old Barn Dance," words and music by Peter Tinturin and Jack Lawrence
"Old Mill," words and music by Johnny Marvin
"You're the Only Star in My Blue Heaven," words and music by Gene Autry
other songs by Peter Tinturin, Jack Lawrence, Smiley Burnette, Frankie Marvin and Colorado Hillbillies.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 January 1938
Production Date:
27 November--9 December 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 January 1938
Copyright Number:
LP7804
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60
Length(in feet):
5,379
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
3981
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Gene Autry, a horse trader who believes that horses are more valuable than trackers in the West, boosts sales by organizing barn dances and shows before his auctions. Soon after arriving in Grainville, Gene is approached by radio station owner Sally Dawson, who wants him to sing on a program sponsored by Thornton Farming Equipment. Gene refuses, even though he finds Sally appealing, so Sally sets up an audition by secretly recording his show for company owner Thornton. Impressed, Thornton agrees to give Sally an advance for the shows, thus saving her equipment from repossession. She then tells Gene that if he signs a contract he would work for her, not Thornton. For several weeks Gene performs at barn dance shows as Sally sends the broadcasts out through remote control hook-ups. Believing that Gene now endorses the tractors, more farmers buy them, but as harvest time approaches, several farmers receive delinquency notices from a finance company secretly backed by Thornton. They are faced with repossession if payment is not made by the time of the county fair. Blaming Gene, the farmers confront him, and Gene finally learns the truth from Sally. He then promises to let the farmers use his horses free of charge until they are able to pay and starts to move them back towards Grainville. Meanwhile, Sally is forced by Thornton to use some of Gene's records to continue the show because she cannot pay his advance back and fears for her paraplygic father's health. Gene's herd is soon stampeded by some of Thornton's men during the drive, and a cowboy is seriously injured. As the farmers ... +


Gene Autry, a horse trader who believes that horses are more valuable than trackers in the West, boosts sales by organizing barn dances and shows before his auctions. Soon after arriving in Grainville, Gene is approached by radio station owner Sally Dawson, who wants him to sing on a program sponsored by Thornton Farming Equipment. Gene refuses, even though he finds Sally appealing, so Sally sets up an audition by secretly recording his show for company owner Thornton. Impressed, Thornton agrees to give Sally an advance for the shows, thus saving her equipment from repossession. She then tells Gene that if he signs a contract he would work for her, not Thornton. For several weeks Gene performs at barn dance shows as Sally sends the broadcasts out through remote control hook-ups. Believing that Gene now endorses the tractors, more farmers buy them, but as harvest time approaches, several farmers receive delinquency notices from a finance company secretly backed by Thornton. They are faced with repossession if payment is not made by the time of the county fair. Blaming Gene, the farmers confront him, and Gene finally learns the truth from Sally. He then promises to let the farmers use his horses free of charge until they are able to pay and starts to move them back towards Grainville. Meanwhile, Sally is forced by Thornton to use some of Gene's records to continue the show because she cannot pay his advance back and fears for her paraplygic father's health. Gene's herd is soon stampeded by some of Thornton's men during the drive, and a cowboy is seriously injured. As the farmers wait for Gene, they think he has lied to him when they hear his voice on the radio. When Gene shows up in person, though, he realizes what has happened and goes to the radio station with his friend Frog to destroy the records. Although they leave the station in ruins, Johnny, Sally's younger brother, has managed to salvage pieces of a record he made of Thornton and one of his men discussing the stampede. As the county fair is underway, Gene arrives with some of his horses, but the sheriff seizes them because of Thornton's claim for damages to the station. As Frog drives a tractor wildly through the fair, Johnny and Sally play the incriminating record over the public address system. Thornton and his man go to the station to get them, but Sally and Johnny escape in their car. Thornton drives after them, but Gene follows on horseback and captures Thornton. Finally, Gene and Sally ride home side by side. +

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.