Shag Johnson, owner of the Johnson Brothers Rodeo, has been trying for years to gain control of the World-Wide Wild West Show managed by Jennifer Benton, by fair means or foul. Gene Autry and Frog Millhouse arrive on the scene during a battle between the two rival shows and rescue Pa and Ma McCracken from an attack by Johnson's hired henchmen. All hands are carted off to jail, and great crowds are attracted there by Gene's singing, and Pa McCracken decides to add the singing cowboy to his World-Wide show. He does and Gene skyrockets the box-office receipts, which enrages Johnson since it appears certain that World Wide will be able to secure the contract for the annual Capistrano festival and the following Madison Square Garden rodeo. Gene refuses Johnson's offer of $10,000 per week to change shows, and Shag hires Jenkins to burn the Capistrano set-up to the ground. Pa McCracken is seriously injured and Gene learns that only a specialist from the east can save him, and his fee is ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gene Autry's last film for Republic Pictures before leaving for war service in the Army Air Corps is this item. Bells Of Capistrano finds him and sidekicks Smiley Burnette and Joe Strauch getting involved in helping to save a rodeo from going bankrupt and being taken over by a competitor.
The show is being run by boss lady Virginia Grey and when her adoptive parents Lucien Littlefield and Claire DuBrey hire Autry as a singer, she's skeptical feeling they need some hard riding cowboys for the various events. But Gene shows he's up to that and his singing all of a sudden starts bringing in the cash customers.
Which is of concern to villains Tris Coffin and Morgan Conway. Coffin opts for traditional villainy, but Conway is opening up an all fronts offensive which includes romancing Grey. That does not sit well with his girlfriend, Marla Shelton.
Gene sings some nice songs in this which include that old Ruth Etting favorite At Sundown. And in keeping with the times and Autry's personal decision to enlist in the Armed Forces there is a rousing patriotic cowboy finale.
Gene Autry went to war on a relatively high note cinema wise. Bells Of Capistrano should please his legion of fans.
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