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Singing on the Trail

Singing on the Trail(1946)

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After being swindled out of $50,000 by Jerry Easton and Dan Prichard, two slick Eastern promoters, crusty old Dusty Wyatt vows revenge. Prichard and Easton have invested the money in the Circle X dude ranch, and when they learn that Wyatt is on their trail, they decide to unload the property. When the Hoosier Hot Shots, a singing group appearing at the ranch, express an interest in buying the Circle X, the crafty swindlers acquire the group's life savings and hand them an empty envelope that allegedly contains the deed. Gabe, one of the Hot Shots, then clumsily trips and accidentally switches the envelopes, unwittingly coming into possession of the real deed, which he absentmindedly stuffs into a book. Soon after Prichard and Easton depart, Wyatt arrives, guns ablaze, and demands his $50,000. The Hot Shots jump into their car and speed down the road, followed by the irate Wyatt. Wyatt is finally stopped by his daughter Helen, who has followed him from Wyoming in a desperate effort to convince him to give up his manhunt. Deciding to hire a bodyguard for protection, the Hot Shoots drive into town. At the town saloon, meanwhile, cowhand Curt Stanton, an aspiring singer, incurs the wrath of gunslinger Cheyenne Pete Smith. To prevent Cheyenne from gunning Curt down, Big Boy Webster, the cowhand's friend, tricks Cheyenne into thinking that Curt is expert in handling a gun. Big Boy's ruse is so convincing that the Hot Shots hire Curt as their bodyguard, and Curt accepts their offer, hoping to sing with the group. Unaware that they are no longer in possession of the ranch's bill of sale, Prichard and Easton offer to sell the property to investor Terrance Mallory, who decides to visit the Circle X to ascertain its value. At the ranch, meanwhile, Curt tries to make friends with Helen, who spurns him because she thinks he is a gunslinger. To bring the couple together, the Hot Shots invite Helen for a ride and then pretend that the car is out of control. After Curt gallops out of the hills and rescues Helen, he convinces her that he is a singer and not a gunfighter. When Wyatt objects to Curt's courtship of his daughter, Big Boy suggests holding a shooting contest in which Helen is the prize. By loading Curt's bullets with buckshot, Big Boy insures that Curt will win both the contest and Helen. Soon after, Mallory arrives at the ranch, and to impress him, the Hot Shots decide to stage a big show. Upon reading the notice for the show in the paper, Easton and Prichard finally realize that they no longer possess the bill of sale and hurry to the ranch to retrieve it. As the entertainers perform on stage, Easton and Prichard corner the Hot Shots in the office and demand the deed. Noticing the Hot Shots' absence, Big Boy goes to the office looking for them and is followed by Curt and Helen. When Helen recognizes the Easterners as the men who fleeced her father, a fight ensues. Just then, Wyatt barges in, guns in hand,and arrests the crooks. All ends happily as Gabe retrieves the deed from the book and Mallory offers to buy the ranch from Easton, its rightful owner.