The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

Fun Autry Fact:

According to a 1948 Life magazine article, "if [Gene's records] were all shipped to one place, [they] would make up a freight train solid with Western songs and be more than a mile long."

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Film Info

Prairie Moon

1938
Republic Pictures
Production #: 705
58 minutes

Synopsis:
Deputy Sheriff Gene Autry and his pal, Frog Millhouse, are baffled by continued cattle raids, where the stock vanishes into thin air. Unbeknownst to them, Frank Welch, the smug and sanctimonious proprietor of the general store, is head of the gang of cattle rustlers who hide the stolen stock behind a waterfall on the Barton ranch. City gangster Legs Barton, hiding at his ranch, learns the rustlers are using his property for their activities, risking attention to his hideout. He is mortally wounded in a gun battle, and makes a dying request of Gene to look after his three orphaned children. Gene sends Frog to New York to get the kids, who prove to be little slum toughs. They bitterly resent being taken out West, and are especially venomous toward Gene, since he wears a Deputy Sheriff's badge. Welch, learning of their dislike of Gene, covertly wins them over and promises to let them into his gang. He plans to adopt the boys, so he can get control of the Barton ranch, and carry on his rustling activities undisturbed. When Gene's guardianship proceedings come up before the court, the kids openly declare that they would prefer to become the wards of Welch, and the judge awards him a conditional guardianship. Gene conspires with the judge to make Welch believe that the boys are not the Barton children. To complete the deception, Gene hires an actress and three kids to claim they are the real Bartons. The judge issues an order for the "false" Barton children and their guardian to vacate the premises within 24 hours. When he believes they are not the real heirs of the Barton ranch, Welch turns harsh and brutal. Realizing the Gene is a good guy after all, the kids gang up to help him round up the rustlers, and bring them all to justice.

Cast:

Character: Performer:
Gene Autry Gene Autry
Frog Millhouse Smiley Burnette
Peggy Shaw Shirley Deane
Brains Tommy Ryan
Nails Walter Tetley
Slick David Gorcey
Welch Stanley Andrews
Legs Barton William Pawley
Mullins Warner Richmond
Hartley Raphael Bennett
Steve Tom London
Pete Bud Osborne
Sheriff Jack Rockwell
Band Leader Peter Potter
Champion Champion

Songs:

RHYTHM OF THE HOOFBEATS Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Extras
THE GIRL IN THE MIDDLE OF MY HEART Gene Autry
IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette
WELCOME SONG Children
THE WEST, A NEST, AND YOU Gene Autry, Extras
THE STORY OF TRIGGER JOE Smiley Burnette
THE WEST, A NEST, AND YOU Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Shirley Deane, Tommy Ryan, Walter Tetley, David Gorcey

Crew:

Director Ralph Staub
Associate Producer Harry Grey
Original Screenplay Betty Burbridge, Stanley Roberts
Production Manager Al Wilson
Photography William Nobles
Film Editor Lester Orlebeck
Musical Director Raoul Kraushaar

Watch a Clip from Prairie Moon: