Radio Ranch (1935)
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Critic Reviews for Radio Ranch
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Audience Reviews for Radio Ranch
Strange, silly, and bland. There isn't much to the plot, there's a lot of weird music segments, and the cheap sci-fi thrills. I'm not too familiar with this Gene character, yet it does have it's little charms.
This has to be the most bizarre Gene Autry concoction ever. It’s his usual western musical, but this one has a bizarre sci-fi plot to it. It was certainly interesting.
Radio Ranch (aka "Men With Steel Faces" and "Couldn't Possibly Happen") Starring: Gene Autry, Betsy King Ross, Frankie Darro, Dorothy Christy, Wheeler Oakman, and Frank Glendon Directors: Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason Western singer Gene Autry (Autry) and his teenaged friends (Ross and Darro) find themselves caught up in the middle of the machinations of a scretive, highly advanced underground civilization led by Queen Tika (Christy), a group of crooked scientists led by Prof. Beetson (Glendon) trying to ruin Autry's career so they can mine the land of Radio Ranch for the rare mineral Radium, and Tika's rebellious high priest, Argo (Oakman). "Radio Ranch' is the sort of bizarre mix of pulp-magazine science fiction, singing cowboys, clever kids, and naked villiany that only children (or those with the hearts of children) can enjoy. A condensed version of a 12-part serial titled "Gene Autry and the Phantom Empire", this is a entertaining bit of nonsense that totally collapses if you think about the plot elements in the slightest. (Why can't the people of underground Murania breath surface air, but Autry & Friends have no problem breathing in Murania is but one of many questions that occured to me while watching.) Despite many gaping logic holes (and three too many Gene Autry musical performances for my tastes--one was enough for me, thank you very much) this film remained an entertaining until the very end where the story went completely off the rails. I understand why the creators would want to wrap the story up in a neat little package, but I was dismayed they felt the need to go as far as they did. It's a fun romp and a crazy mix of genres that must be seen to be believed. Just know, that there's a part to the ending that will seem excessive.
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