Men with Steel Faces (1940)

Genres - Science Fiction, Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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In hopes of cashing in on the popularity of "Number One Cowboy" Gene Autry, a fly-by-night firm called Times Pictures reissued a shortened version of Autry's 1935 Mascot serial Phantom Empire under the title Men with Steel Faces. It will be remembered that the original plotline of this 12-episode chapter play required Autry to head to the underground city of Murania, where the evil Prime Minister Argo (Wheeler Oakman) plotted to overthrow Queen Tika (Dorothy Christie) and take over the Surface World. In addition, Gene had to take leave of Murania on a daily basis and return to his ranch, lest he jeopardize his radio singing contract! As silly as this was in 1935, it was even more ridiculous in 1940, especially when compared to Autry's slicker Republic singing westerns. Even so, Men with Steel Faces posted a profit, as did practically anything associated with the name of Gene Autry.

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Keywords

cowboy, evil, overthrow, Prime-Minister