Loaded Pistols (December 15, 1948)

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Gene Autry in Loaded Pistols
 

Released on December 15, 1948: Singing Cowboy Gene Autry helps young Larry avoid a lynching mob when he is falsely accused of murder.

Directed by John English

The Actors: Gene Autry (Gene Autry), Barbara Britton (Mary Evans), Chill Wills (Sheriff Cramer), Jack Holt (Dave Randall), Russell Arms (Larry Evans), Robert Shayne (Don Mason), Vince Barnett (Sam Gardner), Leon Weaver (Jake Harper), Fred Kohler Jr. (Bill Otis), Clem Bevans (Jim Hedge), Richard Alexander (the big balding man at the dance), Chuck Baldra (party guest), Hank Bell (Hank), Billy Bletcher (townsman), Stanley Blystone (Ed Norton), Roy Bucko (townsman), Budd Buster (Easy Y Rancher), Heinie Conklin (first small man at dance), Bert Dodson (bass player), Slim Gaut (toothless cowhand), Al Haskell (man at dance), Reed Howes (party guest), Fred S. Martin (accordion player), Frankie Marvin (deputy), John McKee (deputy party guest), Frank O'Connor (rancher at party), Pascale Perry (deputy), 'Snub' Pollard (second small man at dance), Felice Raymond (party guest), Sandy Sanders (rancher), Jerry Scoggins (guitar player), Boyd Stockman (henchman), William Sundholm (cowboy), Dorothy Vernon (party guest)

 

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It isn't very often when I suggest that an old movie classic isn't worth watching, but this may be about as close as it gets. Usually when a famous actor puts their own money into a movie it is well worth watching . . . like John Wayne when he financed his classic Angel and the Badman, or another of my favorites, James Cagney's The Time of Your Life, but when Gene Autry financed this cowboy western, I am reminded of the sports legends that played a few games too many, when instead of walking away at the right time, they continued and showed us not their best, but their worst.

But there is a really good reason to watch this movie. No, it isn't for the riveting dialog, because there isn't any. No, it isn't because of the amazing story plot, because it is pretty ordinary, and a ten year old could have thought it up. The reason to watch this 1948 snoozer is to see the acting performance of Russell Arms. Gene Autry favors us with some nice singing, but we don't hear a peep of music from Russell Arms . . . . just some good acting. To hear the amazing voice of Russell Arms, you need to go somewhere else . . .

Russell Arms just passed in February of this year (2012) at the age of 92, and is credited with 57 acting roles in movies and on television. I didn't become acquainted with Russell from his movie appearances, but rather because of his singing abilities. He sang the current music hits on the 1950's television show Your Hit Parade. On June 2, 1956 Russell Arms sang "Standing in the Corner, and on June 9, 1956 he sang "Beyond the Blue Horizon", and on the Christmas Eve episode of Your Hit Parade in 1955 he sang "Deck the Halls," "Love and Marriage," and "Oh, Holy Night."

Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn drizzled with warm melted butter and watch a bit of this cowboy western, and after you've seen young and good looking Russell Arms try to evade the lynch mob, cruise over to his television shows and listen to his amazing singing voice!

Barbara BrittonBarbara Britton and Gene Autry
Barbara BrittonBarbara Britton and Gene Autry
Barbara Britton and Robert ShayneChill Wills
Barbara Britton and Robert ShayneChill Wills
Clem Bevans and Gene AutryGene Autry and Barbara Britton
Clem Bevans and Gene AutryGene Autry and Barbara Britton
Gene Autry and Jack HoltJack Holt and Chill Wills
Gene Autry and Jack HoltJack Holt and Chill Wills
Leon Weaver and Robert ShayneRussell Arms and Barbara Britton
Leon Weaver and Robert ShayneRussell Arms and Barbara Britton
Russell Arms and Gene Autry
Russell Arms and Gene Autry