Under Fiesta Stars
Cast & Crew
Joseph Strauch Jr.
When rodeo rider Gene Autry's foster father, Henry "Dad" Erwin dies, Gene is bequeathed a half-interest in Dad's mine and ranch. The other half is left to Dad's niece, Barbara Erwin, who arrives from the East with her friend, Kitty Callahan. Barbara wishes to sell the mine, as she desperately needs the money, but Gene wants to continue Dad's work, for the mine employs Mexican rancheros whose land was ruined by dust storms. Gene explains to Barbara that although all the profits are currently put back into operations, the mine eventually will provide her with an income, and that without it, the rancheros will starve. Because they do not have enough money to return East, Barbara and Kitty stay and vow to use their feminine wiles on Gene and his pal, Frog Millhouse, in order to change Gene's mind. After her sweet-talking fails to win Gene over to her side, Barbara hires attorneys Arnold and Fry to sell the mine for her. Unknown to Barbara, the unscrupulous lawyers have been trying for years to gain control of the mine, and they order their henchmen Tommick to deal with Gene. Tommick and his gang fail in their attempt to kill Gene, but his troubles only increase when Barbara and Kitty draw a line down the middle of Dad's ranch house, thereby dividing it exactly in half. Later, Barbara begins to waver in her determination to sell the mine when one of the rancheros names his newborn daughter after her out of gratitude for keeping the mine open. Tommick continues his work, however, and rigs an explosion which seriously injures ranchero Jose Ortega. Mrs. Ortega blames Gene, and after Barbara rises to his defense, she realizes that she is in love with him and cannot sell the mine. Barbara tells Arnold and Fry that she wants to pull out, but they tell her to send Gene alone to meet them at the mine the next day to discuss the matter. The following afternoon, Gene, Barbara, Frog and Kitty enjoy a picnic, during which Barbara tells Gene about the meeting. After Gene leaves, the others are joined by Benjamin Peabody, Dad's lawyer, who, upon hearing about Barbara's dealings with Arnold and Fry, is worried about Gene's safety. They all rush to the mine, where Gene has just won a fistfight with Arnold. Before they can escape though, Gene and the others are forced back into the mine when Fry arrives with Tommick and his gang. While Gene and Frog shoot it out with the gang, Frog's young brother Tadpole crawls out through a ventilation shaft and rides for help. Tadpole returns with the rancheros just as Gene is running out of ammunition, and the criminals are captured. Soon after, at a fiesta, Tadpole watches in disgust as Gene and Frog romance Barbara and Kitty, but he quickly changes his mind about women when he is smitten with a pretty señorita.
Joseph Strauch Jr.
The Republic official billing sheet located in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library lists Burr Caruth in the cast, but his name is crossed off the players' listing and Inez Palange's name is handwritten on the list. It has not been determined if Caruth is in the picture. This was the first film in which Joseph Strauch, Jr. starred as Smiley Burnette's younger brother "Tadpole." Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Curley Dresden, Hal Taliaferro, Frankie Marvin and Pascale Perry.