The Cowboy and the Indians (1949) Cover Hi-ya, ye-ye-ye. Hi-ya, ye-ye-ye. Hi-ya, ye-ye-ye. Stop.  How, pale face! Me am reviewer now. Me will type review for you in fairly broken English. Example of that can be seen in follow 69 minute movie made in 1949. It Directed by: John English; and Starred: Gene Autry, Sheila Ryan, with Frank Richards. Me go now. Me have casino to run.

The Cowboy and the Indians (1949)

Hi, Doc (Sheila Ryan)! Do you remember me? I'm Gene Autry (Gene Autry). We met the other day when I asked you to help out that sick old lady who was dying of starvation. Anyway, one of the main reasons I've come to your school, this evening, is to discuss with you how our fellow Americans are mistreating our native brethren.

Well, as I'm sure you already know, recently I've come to the realization that there are two types of 'white folk' living within the vicinity. On the one hand there are people like us who will try their best to educate and defend this rustic race. Where as on the other hand there's a fairly devilish contingent -- like 'Smiley' Martin (Frank Richards) and his cronies, for instance -- who will do their worst to swindle, scam, and basically steal from the Indian's whenever they see fit.

So what should we do about it, Doc? Have a song and dance and hope for the best? Or what about if I trick your pupils into getting flu jabs?

But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires becomes timorously action-packed, when we hear the dreadful news that Lakohna (Jay Silverheels) has been accused of killing one of his own. As a sheriff completely loses the plot - a singing cowboy is a pretty good shot - a bad-guy's aim isn't very quick - and at the end of the day, look out folks, for here comes old Saint Nick!   

Essentially 'The Cowboy and the Indians' is a message movie that conveys how certain American people have mistreated their Native American counterparts. Of course, this being a Gene Autry movie too, it does so in a very no-nonsense yet charming manner. As it sets up scenes, adds a couple of tunes, and then tells a fairly mumbled tale which I'd say can easily be divisible by two.

The Cowboy and the Indians (1949) Starring Gene Autry
Well, whilst the first half of this adventure defines who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, the second half concentrates on a fairly long and drawn out 'hunter / hunted' type scenario.

Personally speaking, I much rather preferred watching the first half, myself. From my point of view the actual story-line -- even though comparatively jumbled in tone -- had a very warming and congenial manner of setting things up whilst conveying character and pathos. Heck, one of my most favorite scenes in this entire film was when Gene tricked the school children to be vaccinated, despite it not being an integral part of the overall premise.

Also, I best mention that I loved hearing Gene singing his country and western songs. OK. I know this type of tune is an acquired taste, folks. But my God, I'd go so far as to say that his singing ability far outshines his acting ability.

In a good way, obviously -- as I'm not implying that Gene can't act. It's just that I found his performance came across rather stiff and wooden on occasion -- like at the beginning of the movie. Whilst at other times his presence and demeanor was so heartfelt he almost moved me to tears. Especially when you know he's trying to do the right thing for the right people at the right time. 

Come on. Let's face it. Isn't it better to be a positive and helpful person than being an evil and bitter one? As that's what is at the very heart of this movie, you know -- being good is always a lot better than being a money grabbing scumbag who wants to fill up their pocket less than their conscious!

The Cowboy and the Indians - 1949 - Starring Gene Autry and Father Christmas

Gene Autry Stamp
On a lesser note, though, the only aspect about this adventure that didn't float my boat were the action scenes because they felt slow, monotonous, un-dynamic, and absolutely nothing like the following filmic-facts. Ha! (1) 'Gene Autry Productions' first released this flick in America on the exact same day "The Lone Ranger" first premiered on the ABC television network. It was on the 15th of September, 1949. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'The Cowboy and the Redskins' in Brazil. (3) The majority of this movie was shot on location at Old Tucson, South Kinney Road, Arizona; plus throughout numerous parts of the Californian state, Pioneertown. (4) Dwight Cummins, who was one of the two writers assigned to pen this production, also wrote for other such 'media cowboys' as 'Roy Rogers' and 'Buffalo Bill Junior'. (5) That nice English chap who directed this movie, John English, was in the business between 1935 to 1966, and during that time he has directed such television shows as 'Lassie', 'Broken Arrow', 'State Trooper', and 'Mike Hammer'. (6) Excerpts from this movie can be seen in the 2003 TV movie, 'Images of Indians: How Hollywood Stereotyped the Native American'. (7) Gene Autry's real name isn't Gene Autry. It's Orvon Grover Autry, and he was born in Tioga, Texas, on the 29th of September, 1907, and passed away in Studio City, California, on the 2nd of October, 1998. (8) After this pow-wow danced around the camp-fire, Gene Autry starred in his next film, 'Riders in the Sky'; Sheila Ryan starred in the western, 'Mule Train'; and Frank Richards starred in the film-noir, 'Thieves' Highway'.

The Cowboy and the Indians Starring Gene Autry

Overall I'd say 'The Cowboy and the Indians' was a pretty decent western to watch. Its message was a pertinent one in any day and age. The acting styles were fairly bi-polar to say the least. And all in all -- yeah -- a good job and a great movie that has compelled me to start watching more Gene Autry films in the future. 

Nuff said.


THE COWBOY AND THE INDIANS (1949) THE COWBOY AND THE INDIANS (1949) Reviewed by David Andrews on September 10, 2014 Rating: 5
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