The Blazing Sun (a.k.a. The Blazing Hills)
A Columbia Release

Directed by John English
Written by Jack Townley
A Armand Schaefer Production


Released December 20, 1950

 

    It's the wild west with modern devices like trains, autos and shortwave radio transmitters. (!) Autry is on the trail of two bank robbers, and the script and direction see that he doesn't have too easy a time of it in getting his men.  This makes for action to spin the footage along.  During the action, Autry takes time out only to sing two songs, "Along the Navajo Trail" and "Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes."  Tunes are spotted so that they don't slow the footage.

     Kenne Duncan heads up the heavy work.  He is brought to justice after a chase that finales on a runaway train.  Pat Buttram provides comedy as the radio ham who assists Autry.  Lynne Roberts and Edward Norris take care of a slight romance, and Anne Gwynne is the mystery femme who proves to be the vengeance-seeking daughter of a sheriff shot down by Duncan.  Things come together neatly in the Jack Townley script.



Full Storyline

After a posse looking for bank robbers Al Bartlett and Trot Lucas stops a train crossing the desert, Bartlett and Lucas detach the engine and drive away. The engineer climbs after them, and is shot. Once out of sight of the posse, Bartlett and Lucas jump off the train and head for the hills to hide. When the runaway train engine passes through the town of White Water, Gene Autry, an investigator for a bankers' association, stops the train and rescues the wounded engineer.

In the desert, meanwhile, the robbers steal horses from Doc Larry Taylor and his assistant, Helen Ellis, who are on their way from the nearby town of Los Robles to treat the engineer in White Water. Later, Gene encounters Larry and Helen and waits with Helen while Larry rides Gene's horse Champion into White Water. The next morning in Los Robles, Helen's father Tom asks townsperson Ben Luber to test some ore. Then Ben and his brother Carl meet Bartlett and Lucas in the hills. Bartlett announces his plans to hide out in a shack where his brother, who informed on him, lives under an assumed name.

While they are talking, Gene rides nearby, and to distract him, Ben releases the stolen horses. After Gene collects them, Ben rides down and accuses him of stealing the horses from Larry and Helen. The two men fight, but Gene overcomes Ben and continues his search. This time, Carl joins his brother, and while the robbers hurry to the hideout, Ben and Carl bring Gene into town. Gene quickly clears himself and stops in a café run by his friend, Mike. Gene and Mike spend that night in the hills searching for the fugitives and spot Ben's car returning from the hideout, where he has delivered two horses.

The next day, Ben tells Tom that he will need machinery to extract the ore and offers to lend him the money for an interest in the mine. Later, when Gene confronts Ben about his late night trip, Ben says two men stole his horses and then sends a posse in the opposite direction from the cabin. Mistrusting Ben's story, Gene refuses to join the posse, and the sheriff puts him in jail. Meanwhile, Bartlett takes advantage of the sheriff's absence to rob the local bank. Helen witnesses the robbery and chases Bartlett to the cabin, but her presence is discovered. Gene, who has been released from jail, joins her during the ensuing gunfight.

When the robbers run out of ammunition, Bartlett kills Lucas and his brother, whose beard has been shaved to make him resemble Bartlett, and Bartlett is declared dead. Although she is upset that she may have killed the men, Helen wants the reward for Bartlett's capture, as this will enable Tom to buy the machinery he needs for his mine. Gene, however, is not sure that she has really killed Bartlett. Later, when a woman named Kitty (Anne Gwynne), who claims to be Bartlett's wife, identifies the body, Gene asks for a fingerprint identification, but that night, a fire destroys the body.

The next morning Gene questions Kitty and learns that unlike the dead man, Bartlett did not wear glasses and was right-handed. Later, Gene follows Ben to Bartlett's new hideout. After Ben offers to bring Bartlett to town in exchange for the reward, Gene asks Mike to wire Ben's car for sound. The plan is foiled, however, when Bartlett discovers Ben's ruse. Bartlett kills Ben and takes Larry hostage. Gene and Tom pursue Bartlett to the train and, after a fierce gunfight on board, arrest him. Gene gives Helen and Tom the reward money, and Helen and Larry then announce their engagement.

When Gene learns that Kitty, who is really the daughter of a sheriff whom Bartlett killed, has left on the train, he hurries after it and tells her that he may soon be heading her way.

Cast:

Gene Autry

Anne Gwynne ... Kitty

Pat Buttram

Lynne Roberts

Keene Duncan

Edward Norris

Alan Hale, Jr.

Sandy Sanders

Production:

Jack Townley- Writer

John English- Director 

Armand Schaefer- Producer

William Bradford- Cinematographer

James Sweeney Editor


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