Gene Autry and Champion in Barbed Wire (1952)


(director: George Archanband; screenwriter: Gerald Geraghty; cinematographer: William Bradford; editor: James Sweeney; music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff; cast: Anne James (Gay Kendall), Gene Autry (himself), Pat Buttram (Buckeye), William Fawcett (Uncle John Copeland), Leonard Penn (Steve Ruttledge), Michael Vallon (Homesteader, August Gormley), Edwin Parker (Ed Parker), Frankie Marvin (Spider), Harry Harvey (Honest Bill Whitson); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Armand Schaefer; Columbia; 1952)


A snappy singing cowboy Gene Autry range war film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A snappy singing cowboy Gene Autry range war film. George Archanband(“The Lost Squadron”/”The Penquin Pool Murder”/”The Devil’s Playground”) directs and Gerald Geraghty writes the routine screenplay. The B Western is filmed in black-and-white.

Cattle buyers in West Kansas, in 1878, find they are not getting cattle delivered from East Texas and that is ruining the economy of their community. Rancher/cattle buyer Gene Autry learns from cattleman Uncle John Copeland (William Fawcett), the last to bring in cattle, that the homesteaders are blocking the trails with barbed wire. Mayor Whitson (Harry Harvey) recruits Autry to go to Osborne, Texas, and find out what is going on. In town, Autry meets the pretty newswoman Gay Kendall (Anne James) and the government land agent Buckeye (Pat Buttram). With Buckeye’s help Autry learns that cattle baron Steve Ruttledge (Leonard Penn) is behind the barbed wire. He has his thugs pose as homesteaders and they block the trails. Ruttledge schemes to own all the homesteader land so that when the railroad line from Texas to Kansas goes through, he will sell the valuable land at a high profit to the railroad.