Gene Autry in The Big Show (1936)

A Wild and Wooly Western

Actor Tom Ford (Gene Autry) is not the most gracious of western movie stars and as soon as he can he clears off leaving his stunt double Gene Autry (Gene Autry) to finish off the picture he was working on. When Mammoth Pictures need Tom to do some promotion work at the Texas Centennial in Dallas they can't get him so good old Gene agrees to fill in as Tom. But things don't go entirely to plan as not only does he get his clothes ripped off by adoring fans Gene goes and sings on a radio show, something which Tom can't do but some gangster heavies show up looking for Tom to collect on the money he owes and believes Gene is Tom.

You shouldn't be able to but there are some movies which you can judge just by reading through the credits and one of these is "The Big Show" from 1936. So to start with we have Gene Autry who is down for two roles which means there has to be some confusion comedy in there. Then there is Smiley Burnette as Frog which is a comedy sidekick name if there ever was one. Burnette is followed by Kay Hughes and Sally Payne which means somewhere down the lines someone is going to get a girl. And for good measure the "Sons of the Pioneers" appear which means Autry will sing in a few scenes. That basically fills up three quarters of the movie with the sort of typical stuff which you got in other Gene Autry westerns.

But then there is another aspect to "The Big Show" which sees Gene as Gene getting hassle from gangsters trying to collect on Tom Ford's debt. There isn't anything amazing about this as it is just some confusion comedy but at least it adds something more to the movie to make it a little bit more than just average. The thing is that "The Big Show" is exactly what you expect from one of these 1930's Gene Autry westerns and that includes the action which is functional but seems to play second fiddle to the musical scenes and amusing songs.

What this all boils down to is that "The Big Show" is just another mildly entertaining western style movie from 1936 with nothing overly special to make it stand out but delivers some okay laughs.