powered by AFI
The following information comes from contemporary news items: Sioux City Sue marked Gene Autry's return to the screen after his service in the military during World War II, and was his first film since the 1942 Republic production Bells of Capistrano. Autry, who had been under contract to Republic since 1935, filed suit against the studio in 1945 after his discharge from the Air Transport Command. Autry claimed that his contract expired in 1945, during his military service, but Republic countered that Autry's seven-year contract, which was signed in 1938, had been in abeyance during his absence, and that he still owed the studio twenty-one films to be produced over the next three years. During the protracted litigation, Autry agreed to make five more pictures for the studio, with an option for a sixth. Sioux City Sue, which was Autry's only film in 1946, was the first of the five pictures and was followed by Trail to San Antone, Twilight on the Rio Grande, Saddle Pals and Robin Hood of Texas.
While the countersuits and appeals were in process, Autry set up his own production company and arranged for Columbia to release his films. Autry eventually won his case against Republic, which was the first filed by an actor against a studio after returning from military service in World War II. By mutual agreement, the option for a sixth picture, called for by Autry's agreement with the studio, was not exercised. According to Autry's autobiography, he hired lawyer Martin Gang because Gang had successfully represented Olivia de Havilland in her contract dispute with Warner Bros. The first of Autry's own productions, The Last Round-Up, began filming a month after the completion of his contract with Republic. Autry's longtime producer, Armand Schaefer, who had also been with Republic since 1935, left the studio in February 1947 to become the president of Autry's new company.
Although some contemporary sources include the song "You Stole My Heart," by Harry Sosnik and Stanley Adams, in Sioux City Sue, it was not heard in the viewed print. In its review of the picture, Hollywood Reporter noted that "every Republic singing feature" released from then on would feature "a Spanish ditty," such as "Yours," "for the South American trade." Hollywood Reporter also asserted: "That the story freely borrows a page from Merton of the Movies will pass unnoticed by most audiences."