Plot & Details
Gene Autry rescues a young boy from a gang of kidnappers in this delightful musical-Western from Republic Pictures. Having lost their jobs with the rodeo, Gene and sidekick Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) are heading west when they discover a young British stowaway, Ronnie Willoughby (Clifford Severn Jr.), who mistakenly assumes that the two cowboys represent his father's large "Rancho San Quentin." Gene, however, doesn't have the heart to tell the boy that San Quentin is no ranch at all, but the state penitentiary. Along the way, the merry little group picks up a couple of pretty hitchhikers, runaway society bride-to-be Joyce Halloway (June Storey) and her kid sister, Patsy (Mary Lee), and they, too, keep mum about "Rancho San Quentin." In fact, Joyce nobly arranges for her own family ranch to be renamed after the prison lest the boy should learn the truth. Wrongly assuming that Gene and company are kidnappers, Ronnie's father, Frederick (Lester Matthews), makes a daring escape from San Quentin but Gene manages to make it appear as if the escapee is returning from a long and arduous cattle drive. The real kidnappers turn up soon enough, of course, and after the inevitable chase, Willoughby's establishes his innocence and Gene agrees to stay on as Joyce's foreman. Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, and girl singer Mary Lee perform no less than seven musical numbers, including the title tune, "The Singing Hills," "Give out With a Song," "Headin' for the Wild Open Spaces," and "Wooing of Kitty MacFuty." A television print entitled Keep Rollin' also exists, but without many of the songs and all the Mexican cantina production numbers.