Melody Ranch (1940)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The best-remembered of Gene Autry's Republic musical westerns, Melody Ranch was far from his best, though it was undeniably the most elaborate. More musical than western, the plot finds Autry elected honorary sheriff of Torpedo, Arizona during the annual Frontier Days celebration. The villains, led by Mark Wilbeck (Barton MacLaine), intend to use the festivities for criminal purposes, thus they set about to scare Autry out of town. But Gene manages to outmaneuver the bad guys, winning the heart of radio singer Julie (Ann Miller) in the process. The strong supporting cast includes the one and only Jimmy Durante as easterner Cornelius J. Courtenay (for his riding scenes, the timorous Durante had to be strapped to the saddle lest he fall victim to "a catastrastroke") and radio comedienne Barbara Jo Allen in her usual guise as man-chasing Vera Vague (here rechristened Veronica Whippe). Originally released at 80 minutes, Melody Ranch is generally available only in its 54-minute TV reissue form.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Republic

Cast

Jimmy Durante
as Cornelius J. Courtney
Ann Miller
as Julie Shelton
Barton MacLane
as Mark Wildhack
Barbara Jo Allen
as Veronica Whipple
Jerome Cowan
as Tommy Summerville
Joe Sawyer
as Jasper Wildhack
Horace McMahon
as Bud Wildhack
Veda Ann Borg
as Receptionist
Billy Bletcher
as Scarlet Shadow Radio Actor
Gene Autry
as Gene Autry
George Chandler
as Taxi Driver
John Merton
as Wildhack Warner
Dick Elliott
as Sheriff Barstow
Edmund Cobb
as Autry Voter
Jack Kirk
as Heavy Man on Bus
Tom London
as Henchman Joe #2
Art Mix
as Rancher
Mary Lee
as Penny
Jack Ingram
as Radio Actor
Curley Dresden
as Autry Rider
Clarence Wilson
as Judge Henderson
Wally West
as Townsman
Frankie Marvin
as Mandolin Player
Chick Hannon
as Wildhack Cohort
Herman Hack
as Frank #2
Vera Vague
as Veronica Whipple
Tom Smith
as Henchman
Charles "Slim" Whitaker
as Autry Voter on Trolley
Clarence H. Wilson
as Judge Henderson
Tex Cooper
as Autry Better
Tiny Jones
as Woman
Maxine Ardell
as Majorette
Horace MacMahon
as Bud Wildhack
Ruth Gifford
as Majorette
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Critic Reviews for Melody Ranch

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Audience Reviews for Melody Ranch

One of the better Autry "Westerns." If you've never seen one of these it's sort of like HR Puppenstuff for the 1940's Western kiddie crowd. If Autry didn't do drugs his writers certainly did as there is usually some bizarre angle in his films. In this case Gabby Hays Street car which for some odd reason has about 10,000 miles of track running across the desert and links every single rancher homestead and seemigly can run as fast as a Japanese bullet train. The rest of the film is pretty straight forward with good guys/ bad guys and lots of singing and comedy. Features one of the bigger shoot-outs for an Autry film.

Bobby Diablo
Bobby Diablo

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