Twilight on the Rio Grande


1h 11m 1947

Brief Synopsis

In yet another version of probably Republics most-used single plot---the basis for "The Leathernecks Have Landed"-"Rough Riders Round-Up", "Guns in the Dark", "Remember Pearl Harbor" and a couple of other films from Republic---and with revisions to fit the Autry mold, Gene Autry(Gene Autry) and his pals Dusty Moran (Bob Steele) and Pokie (Sterling Holloway) are in Mexico where Dusty is killed. With the help of Elena Del Rio (Adele Mara), whose father has also been murdered by unknown assailants, Gene discovers that the killings tie in with a jewel-smuggling scheme.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 1, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

When Gene Autry and his ranch hands visit a border town for a carnival, Gene's partner, Dusty, becomes romantically interested in Elena Del Rio, an entertainer at the El Molino Verde hotel and cantina. Meanwhile, hotel operator Jake Short and his partner, crooked attorney Henry Blackstone, who are involved in a smuggling operation, intend to plant jewelry on Dusty to take illegally into the United States. After a bartender hands Dusty a note, supposedly from Elena, stating that she would like to meet him at midnight, Dusty goes to the rendezvous. The next morning, when Dusty has not returned, Mucho, a woodcutter, tells Gene that Dusty is in the local jail. However, González, the police captain, shows them Dusty's dead body, stabbed in the back, and tells them that Mucho found the body ten miles out of town. Later, an American border guard tells Gene that someone who appeared to be Dusty rode his horse back into the U.S. during the night. Gene then has Mucho take him and ranch hand Pokey to the spot where he found Dusty, and Gene begins to suspect Mucho of being involved in the killing. However, after talking with the American Customs agents, Gene tells González that he believes that Dusty was killled by smugglers who then impersonated him to transport jewelry into the U.S. González agrees, adding that the jewelry was probably purchased from European refugees. When Gene seeks permission to carry a gun in Mexico, though, González denies the request and advises him to return to his ranch. After a knife, thrown by an unknown assailant, narrowly misses Gene outside the hotel, he suspects Elena, who uses knives in her act, but she denies any involvement and Short invites him to leave. Later, Mucho tells Gene where Elena lives and she tells him that the knife thrown at him was similar to one that killed her father, a doctor, several months earlier. Wishing to investigate her father's death, Elena has taken a job at the hotel, and has made friends with several European refugees but has not yet found out who is buying their jewelry. Gene then devises a plan to borrow some of Elena's own jewelry, making certain that Short sees it. By tracing a phone call Short makes, Gene discovers his connection with Blackstone. At night, Gene breaks into Blackstone's office, but Blackstone surprises him at gunpoint. Blackstone admits buying jewelry from refugees, but denies any involvement in smuggling, then assigns two of his henchmen to kill Gene. After Gene manages to escape, Blackstone fakes a jewelry robbery from his own safe and has the police arrest Gene and his men. However, Gene has been under surveillance by an undercover police agent who clears him with González. Together, Gene and González plan to trap Blackstone by giving Elena's jewelry to him, saying that it was found in Gene's possession. Blackstone then gives Short the jewelry to put in the hotel's safe but, later, when both decide to terminate the smuggling operation and leave, Short discovers that the jewelry is missing. Blackstone suspects a doublecross and draws his gun on Short. However, Mucho and Elena enter and, at gunpoint, order Blackstone to drop his gun. Mucho reveals that he is really a special investigator for an insurance company, working on Elena's father's murder. Short then throws a knife at Mucho while Blackstone knocks out Elena. Blackstone then arranges for an ambulance to come from the U.S. side of the border. When Gene sees Elena being removed on a stretcher and wants to accompany her to the hospital, Short refuses and starts a brawl. Mucho recovers sufficiently to tell Gene that the jewelry is traveling with Elena. Short escapes by hijacking a van, smashes his way through the border barrier and picks up Blackstone, who had crossed earlier. Riding in pursuit, Gene shoots Blackstone and Short is killed when he falls on a knife after crashing into a store front.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 1, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the Variety review, this film was shot on location in Victorville, CA. Modern sources include George Magrill, Bob Burns, Barry Norton and Gil Perkins in the cast.