Cast & Crew
Upon learning that their livestock has contracted the deadly hoof and mouth disease, cattle rancher Belknap and H. R. Shelby, a cattle broker, scheme to ship their herd to market before Gene, the agricultural inspector, learns of the infection. That night, as Gene escorts Martha Wheeler to a square dance, Belknap and Shelby load their infected cattle onto a truck. Their plans go awry when Frog Millhouse, Gene's sidekick, discovers a dead calf and hurries to the dance to alert Gene. Gene, Frog and Martha's father Jim, also a cattle rancher, leave the dance to investigate, but Jim becomes separated from Gene and Frog and discovers the truck bearing the diseased cattle. A gun battle ensues in which Jim is badly wounded, and Gene, hearing the gunshots, hastens to his rescue. In the chaos, the truck driver slips away to the Belknap ranch, and the next morning, Belknap and Shelby try to agitate the other ranchers by claiming that a quarantine is unfair. Gene, however, puts an end to their argument by announcing that Sommers, a state veterinarian, is coming. Alarmed at what the vet will find, Belknap and Shelby change the brand on their cattle to Jim's brand and bury the dead animals on the Wheeler property. Consequently, when Sommers arrives, he quarantines Jim's herd and allows the other ranchers to begin shipping their animals. Suspicious of Belknap, Gene warns the vet, but is ignored. Looking for evidence, Gene and Frog ride to the Belknap ranch, where Gene discovers the sick cattle in the barn. Before Gene can return with Sommers, however, Belknap moves the cattle. Confronted with Belknap's empty barn, Sommers orders the Wheeler cattle destroyed, and when Gene tries to stop the order, Sommers has him arrested for assault. While Gene languishes in jail, Frog sees the burial of dead cattle on the Belknap ranch and hurries to help Gene escape. After Frog lands in jail himself, he and Gene are rescued by a medicine man's elephant, which pulls the bars from the jail window. As the posse rides to destroy Jim's herd, Gene and Frog present the sheriff with evidence that leads to Belknap's arrest and a clean bill of health for Jim's cattle.
The working title of this picture was Ridin' the Range. The viewed print lacked crew credits, but the above names were provided by reviews and copyright information. While several songs were performed in the film, no information on them has been found. Although the onscreen credits attribute the original screenplay to Paul Franklin and Arthur Powell, a Hollywood Reporter production chart credits Franklin with story. Modern sources add Gene Autry's horse "Champion" to the cast.