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Riders of the Whistling Pines

USA 1949
produced by
Armand Schaefer for Gene Autry Productions/Columbia
directed by John English
starring Gene Autry, Patricia Bary (as Patricia White), Jimmy Lloyd, Douglass Dumbrille, Damian O'Flynn, Clayton Moore, Harry Cheshire, the Cass County Boys (= Jerry Scoggins, Fred S. Martin, Bert Dodson), the Pinafores, Emmett Vogan, Loie Bridge, Lane Chandler, Roy Gordon, Nolan Leary
written by Jack Townley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Wright (Damian O'Flynn) shoots a forester, just because he has discovered the local forest is plagued by bugs, and Wright just wants that to not come out yet. But not only has he shot the forester, he even manages to blame it all on another forester, Gene Autrey, who has been hunting nearby, and thus even himself believes that he has shot his colleague. Even though court ultimately acquits him, Gene is a broken man, and he decides to move far far away ... when he too notices the bug plague, and can't but report it - and after he also finds out it couldn't have been him who shot his colleague, he even assumes responsibility for spraying the forest with DDT by aeroplanes ...

But why did Wright kill the other forester in the first place ?

Wright is the right hand man of Mitchell (Douglas Dumbrille), who runs the local logging corporation, and Mitchell and Wright figure if they would have to cut the whole forest clear, it could be mighty good business ...

But now that Autrey and company spray the forest with DDT, that could ruin everything - or indeed could it ?

So before long, Mitchell sends his own airplane into the air that sprays a much stronger dosage of DDT on the land that the one Autrey is using, and soon enough lifestock starts to die - and he even uses one of Autrey's man, the alcoholic Joe (Jimmy Lloyd) to fly the plane ...

However, after Autrey talks it over with Joe, he sees the error of his ways and now tries to collect evidence against Mitchell - and catches a bullet that almost kills him.

Wright notices that his and Mitchell's cause might be lost before long, so he organizes the locals who think Autrey's DDT has killed their lifestock into an angry mob to fight the foresters, but ultimately Autrey finds conclusive evidence against Mitchell and suddenly Wright and Mitchell realize they have to kill Autrey, so Mitchell tries to lure Autrey into a trap ... but Joe learns about it and - with Wright as a passenger - crashes the plane into the shack where Mitchell is hiding kamikaze style ...

Patricia Barry plays Autrey's love interest in this one but has precious little to do ...


Cowboys, airplanes and DDT all in one film - now that sounds pretty exciting ... unfortunately though, Riders of the Whistling Pines is not, it's actually a routine Western with a certain production line look that was obviously made on the cheap - which is why the film's two plane crashes happen off-screen. In all, one can't fail but realize that the B-Western genre as a whole has grown tired in the late 1940's, and this film is apt proof for it.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD