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Homesteaders Gene Autry, Dan Coleman and his daughter Jennifer ride into Trail's End from Sunshine Valley settlement in order to buy much needed supplies, only to discover that the only supply store, run by Lola Riker and her partner, Ross McLain, has promised all its stock elsewhere. When Gene shows Lola the $5,000 in cash that the settlement has contributed for necessary food and medicine, however, she reconsiders. Lola then introduces Gene to McLain at the town saloon, but when McLain makes a suggestive remark about Jennifer, a brawl breaks out. Later, Gene reunites with his friend, Smiley Burnette, who delivers supplies by mule train. Smiley offers to accompany Gene and Dan on their return to Sunshine Valley to help protect the supplies. Lola apologizes to Gene for McLain's boorish behavior and presents Gene with a contract and receipt for supplies, the bulk of which will be delivered upon their arrival in two weeks. After paying Lola and taking a small amount of supplies, Gene departs with Dan, Jennifer and Smiley for the settlement. That evening, a handful of McLain's henchmen ambush Gene's camp, but disperse when the homesteaders return fire. Roy Wade, one of McLain's top men, remains behind and attacks Gene with a knife, but Gene overpowers him, then allows him to go free when he admits that McLain ordered the attack in an attempt to recover the supply contract. The next day at Sunshine Valley, the expectant homesteaders are disappointed by Gene's limited supply delivery, but when he promises that the remaining supplies will arrive shortly, their hopes brighten. Two weeks later, however, Gene grows concerned because Smiley's delivery is two days overdue. Dan notes that the oncoming winter also threatens the settlers, heightening their need for medicine and food. Nevertheless, Gene waits another ten days before returning to Trail's End in search of the supplies. Upon meeting Smiley, Gene learns that a gold strike in the mountains has diverted all of Lola and McLain's supplies, for which they are charging exorbitantly high prices. Smiley admits that he was attacked while attempting to take the settlers' supplies. When Gene notices a wagon loading fresh supplies from the train, he is determined to take the settlement's share. Gene confronts Lola and McLain, and McLain offers to return the settlement's money, despite Lola's protests. Gene refuses, demanding the contract be honored under threat of legal action. Gene hires a crew and loads up his supplies and despite Smiley's warning that he has observed McLain buying several sticks of dynamite, departs for Sunshine Valley. Knowing they will make slow progress because of their large load, Gene plans to camp midway at Red Rock, but along the way, Gene spots McLain and his men setting the dynamite on a mountain ridge. Although Gene manages to turn the wagon train around, the explosion and subsequent avalanche injure several men and destroy most of the wagons. At Red Rock, Gene arranges with Smiley to send the wounded back to Trail's End for medical treatment and to fashion the torn reins into harnesses to turn the horses into a pack train to carry the supplies on to Sunshine Valley. Before the group departs the next day, one of the men is found murdered and another is killed in an ambush along the way. Growing alarmed at the attacks, the remaining men, Pete and John, contemplate selling the supplies back to McLain. With Pete and John's departure, Gene and Smiley realize they are alone, but continue herding the pack train toward Sunshine Valley. As they arrive at the settlement, they are attacked by McLain's gang, who have been led there by Pete and John. The settlers fight back, however, driving McLain's men off. Later, Gene is dismayed to learn of the death of a little girl from diphtheria, while waiting for the supplies. Holding McLain responsible, Gene returns to Trail's End with Dan. Roy approaches Gene and admits he is also disgusted with McLain's callousness and reveals that McLain is chasing the outbound train hoping to avoid a fight. Gene and Dan ride after the train and upon catching it, Gene leaps aboard, where he struggles with McLain on top of one of the speeding cars. After knocking McLain out, Gene returns with him to Trail's End. There McLain and Lola are arrested and the train load of supplies is directed to Sunshine Valley, with Smiley acting as the new supply distributor.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1953||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Production Co:||Gene Autry Productions|
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Pack Train (1953)
James Higgins 2010-05-21
A little more serious in tone than most Gene Autry westerns. Good story and the supporting cast is fine. There are a few pleasant songs to be had. All in...