Melody Ranch (1940)

84 mins | Western | 15 November 1940

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HISTORY

Actress Barbara Allen, who frequently performed in films and on radio as Vera Vague, is listed in the onscreen credits as Barbara Allen (Vera Vague). According to a news item in HR , Republic planned to use this picture to boost Gene Autry into the first-run houses. Costing $500,000 to produce, it was Republic's most expensive Autry film to date. Modern sources note that a kissing scene between Autry and Ann Miller had to be shortened because of protests from Gene's fans. In the viewed print, Autry and Miller are shown about to kiss, then parting from kisses, but are not actually shown during the kiss. Modern sources include Ruth Gifford, Maxine Ardell, Jack Ingram, Lloyd Ingraham, Edmund Cobb, Billy Betcher, Art Mix, George Chesebro, Tiny Jones, Herman Hack, Jack Kirk, Merrill McCormack, Wally West, Frankie Marvin, Carl Cotner, Tex Cooper, Chick Hannon, Tom Smith, Jim Corey, Buck Bucko, Jane Keckley, Frank Hagney, Jack Montgomery, Joe Yrigoyen and Bob Wills' Texas Playboys in the cast. A modern source also notes that John Wayne has occasionally been credited with stunt work, but his participation in the film is ... More Less

Actress Barbara Allen, who frequently performed in films and on radio as Vera Vague, is listed in the onscreen credits as Barbara Allen (Vera Vague). According to a news item in HR , Republic planned to use this picture to boost Gene Autry into the first-run houses. Costing $500,000 to produce, it was Republic's most expensive Autry film to date. Modern sources note that a kissing scene between Autry and Ann Miller had to be shortened because of protests from Gene's fans. In the viewed print, Autry and Miller are shown about to kiss, then parting from kisses, but are not actually shown during the kiss. Modern sources include Ruth Gifford, Maxine Ardell, Jack Ingram, Lloyd Ingraham, Edmund Cobb, Billy Betcher, Art Mix, George Chesebro, Tiny Jones, Herman Hack, Jack Kirk, Merrill McCormack, Wally West, Frankie Marvin, Carl Cotner, Tex Cooper, Chick Hannon, Tom Smith, Jim Corey, Buck Bucko, Jane Keckley, Frank Hagney, Jack Montgomery, Joe Yrigoyen and Bob Wills' Texas Playboys in the cast. A modern source also notes that John Wayne has occasionally been credited with stunt work, but his participation in the film is doubtful. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Nov 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Nov 40
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 40
p. 25.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 40
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 40
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
19 Nov 40
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Nov 40
p. 48.
New York Times
26 Dec 40
p. 23.
The Exhibitor
27 Nov 40
p. 645.
Variety
1 Jan 41
p. 14.
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
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Special comedy seq
Special comedy seq
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Supv ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"We Never Dream the Same Dream Twice," "Melody Ranch," "Call of the Canyon," "Vote for Autry," "My Gal Sal," "Torpedo Joe," "What Cowboys Are Made Of" and "Rodeo Rose," words and music by Jule Styne and Eddie Cherkose.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 November 1940
Production Date:
early September--early October 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 November 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10092
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA High Fidelity Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6737
SYNOPSIS

Popular radio singing cowboy Gene Autry is honored by his home town of Torpedo with an offer to act as the honorary sheriff at the Frontier Day celebration. Gene is reluctant to accept the honor from his old friend, Pop Laramie, but his sponsor, Tommy Summerville, convinces him that the publicity will boost his audience. Gene and Tommy travel to Torpedo with announcer Cornelius J. Courtney, as well as Julie Shelton, Gene's radio co-star and frequent adversary away from the microphone. Back home, Gene arrives to find that the Wildhacks, three brothers who were his boyhood nemeseis, are now running the town. The inevitable confrontation between the boyhood enemies occurs when Bud Wildhack foolishly practices shooting in his brother Mark's saloon and shoots a bullet through the wall that separates it from the school house. When Gene, who is in the middle of the ceremony making him honorary sheriff, sees what happened, he confronts the Wildhacks and, in his capacity of honorary sheriff, arrests Bud. His attempt to send Bud to prison for the offense is foiled by corrupt judge "Skinny" Henderson, who does whatever the Wilhacks tell him. This so angers Gene that he decides to record his radio broadcast from Torpedo and include a sketch that features characters based on the Wildhacks. When Bud and his brother Jasper see what is going on, they grab the microphone and start to sing a song, then humiliate Gene by besting him in a fight. Before the program ends, however, Gene tells the audience to tune in again next week to see what happens when a softened radio cowboy learns how to take care ... +


Popular radio singing cowboy Gene Autry is honored by his home town of Torpedo with an offer to act as the honorary sheriff at the Frontier Day celebration. Gene is reluctant to accept the honor from his old friend, Pop Laramie, but his sponsor, Tommy Summerville, convinces him that the publicity will boost his audience. Gene and Tommy travel to Torpedo with announcer Cornelius J. Courtney, as well as Julie Shelton, Gene's radio co-star and frequent adversary away from the microphone. Back home, Gene arrives to find that the Wildhacks, three brothers who were his boyhood nemeseis, are now running the town. The inevitable confrontation between the boyhood enemies occurs when Bud Wildhack foolishly practices shooting in his brother Mark's saloon and shoots a bullet through the wall that separates it from the school house. When Gene, who is in the middle of the ceremony making him honorary sheriff, sees what happened, he confronts the Wildhacks and, in his capacity of honorary sheriff, arrests Bud. His attempt to send Bud to prison for the offense is foiled by corrupt judge "Skinny" Henderson, who does whatever the Wilhacks tell him. This so angers Gene that he decides to record his radio broadcast from Torpedo and include a sketch that features characters based on the Wildhacks. When Bud and his brother Jasper see what is going on, they grab the microphone and start to sing a song, then humiliate Gene by besting him in a fight. Before the program ends, however, Gene tells the audience to tune in again next week to see what happens when a softened radio cowboy learns how to take care of himself again. Under the guidance of Pop, Gene begins training and toughening himself at Pop's Melody Ranch, where Gene grew up. When the broadcast comes around the next week Gene has gotten the better of the Wilhacks and ties Bud and Jasper up while they sing a tune that Gene has written for them. The show is a success and the people of Torpedo are so impressed, that Pop asks Gene to run for the real job of sheriff and displace the corrupt current holder of the job. Gene then tells Tommy and Julie that he wants to stay in Torpedo. Tommy returns home, but Julie, whose antagonism for Gene has really been disguising her attraction for him, stays in Torpedo. On the eve of the election, Jasper and Bud ambush Gene, but kill his friend Slim instead. Realizing that if Gene wins the election they all will hang for Slim's murder, Mark decides to prevent the citizens from voting. In response, Gene rounds up the ranchers on horseback, while Pop's streetcar gathers up the rest of the townspeople and they arrive at the Wildhack's barricade. Although Mark has ordered his brothers only to shoot over people's heads, Bud wounds a man and a shootout among all of the men on both sides breaks out. Gene's side finally wins and, after admitting to Julie that he loves her, too, the two plan a life together in Torpedo. +

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

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