The Cowboy and the Indians (September 15, 1949)

Gene Autry in The Cowboy and the Indians
 

Released on September 15, 1949: (running time 70 minutes) Rancher Gene Autry helps capture outlaws that are robbing the American Indian tribesmen near his ranch.

Produced by Armand Schaefer

Directed by John English

The Actors: Gene Autry (Gene Autry), Sheila Ryan (Doctor Nan), Frank Richards (Smiley Martin, trading post merchant), Hank Patterson (ranch hand Tom), Jay Silverheels (Lakohna), Chief Yowlachie (Chief Long Arrow), Claudia Drake (Lucy Broken Arm), Georgie Nokes (Rona, Chief Long Arrow's grandson), Charles Stevens (Broken Arm), Alex Frazer (Fred, Martin's buyer), Clayton Moore (henchman Luke), Gilbert Alonzo (Indian), Jose Alvarado (Lucy Broken Arm's son José), Ray Beltram (henchman), Iron Eyes Cody (Indian farmer), Romere Darling (Indian woman), Roy Gordon (man in Washington), Felipa Gomez (Indian woman), Frank Lackteen (Joe Blue Eagle), Nolan Leary (Sheriff), Harry Mackin (Bob Collins, reporter), Frankie Marvin (Frank), Maudie Prickett (school teacher Ms. Summers), Charles Quigley (Henderson), Lee Roberts (henchman Joe), Sandy Sanders (guitarist, Bar B ranch hand), Shooting Star (Indian), Jack Tornek (man with the Sheriff), Dan White (farmer)

 

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From the First Thanksgiving to 1949 Christmas

I remember Thanksgiving season when I was in my first years of school . . . . Making turkeys with different colors of construction paper, creating paper chains by gluing strips of colored paper into loops, singing songs about taking a horse and sleigh over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, and learning stories about the first European settlers in America.

During each autumn after the hard work of harvesting the crops that had grown all summer, the early settlements in America would celebrate with a feast that included their Native American Indian neighbors who had roamed the land for thousands of years before the arrival of us Europeans. Without the help and aid of their Native American neighbors the first European settlers might not have survived to build the nations that we now call America.

This Christmas story takes place in 1949, the year it was filmed, and in a powerful way shows how much our relationship to the Native Americans had changed from those early years. As the story opens Gene Autry has purchased a ranch near an Indian village and he discovers that the trading post merchant and a handful of his henchmen are robbing the local Indian’s of their livestock and cheating them outrageously when trading with them.

When he catches a couple of henchmen killing the sheep from an Indian family he fights them and takes them to the local Sheriff . . . But the henchmen lie to the Sheriff about killing the family’s sheep, and the merchant, Smiley Martin arrives and tells the Sheriff that his henchmen were not trying to kill the sheep, but to purchase the wool from them.

Smiley tells the Sheriff that he can’t trust the word of an Indian - They will lie and cheat the white man any chance they get. Gene Autry must confront the bigotry and prejudice in good folk in addition to the dastardly deeds of the outlaws, and as Christmas approaches it doesn’t look like it will be a good holiday for his neighbors, the Native Americans, who are trying to survive the winter.

The Singing Cowboy has a bigger job than he may be able to handle as he tries to help his Indian neighbors this Christmas. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Claudia Drake and José Alvarado
Claudia Drake and José Alvarado
Alex Frazer
Alex Frazer
Alex Frazer
Alex Frazer
Chief Yowlachie and Gene Autry
Chief Yowlachie and Gene Autry
Chief Yowlachie
Chief Yowlachie
Claudia Drake and José Alvarado
Claudia Drake and José Alvarado
Clayton Moore and Charles Stevens
Clayton Moore and Charles Stevens
Clayton Moore and Lee Roberts
Clayton Moore and Lee Roberts
Frank Lackteen and Gene Autry
Frank Lackteen and Gene Autry
Frank Richards and Alex Frazer
Frank Richards and Alex Frazer
Frank Richards, Charles Stevens and Claudia Drake
Frank Richards, Charles Stevens and Claudia Drake
Frank Richards as Smiley Martin
Frank Richards as Smiley Martin
Gene Autry
Gene Autry
Gene Autry and Chief Yowlachie
Gene Autry and Chief Yowlachie
Gene Autry and Chief Yowlachie
Gene Autry and Chief Yowlachie
Gene Autry and Clayton Moore
Gene Autry and Clayton Moore
Gene Autry and Hank Peterson
Gene Autry and Hank Peterson
Gene Autry
Gene Autry
Gene Autry singing
Gene Autry singing
Georgie Nokes
Georgie Nokes
Georgie Nokes and Gene Autry
Georgie Nokes and Gene Autry
Georgie Nokes
Georgie Nokes
Hank Patterson and Gene Autry
Hank Patterson and Gene Autry
Jay Silverheels and Gene Autry
Jay Silverheels and Gene Autry
Jay Silverheels and Sheila Ryan
Jay Silverheels and Sheila Ryan
Jay Silverheels
Jay Silverheels
José Alvarado and Claudia Drake
José Alvarado and Claudia Drake
Nolan Leary and Gene Autry
Nolan Leary and Gene Autry
Roy Gordon
Roy Gordon
Sheila Ryan and Jay Silverheels
Sheila Ryan and Jay Silverheels
Sheila Ryan and Maudie Prickett
Sheila Ryan and Maudie Prickett
Sheila Ryan
Sheila Ryan