Encore Westerns Celebrates the Life of Gene Autry with 100-Hour Marathon of Restored Films Beginning Sept. 28
Autry Movie Marathon Includes World TV Premiere of 30-Minute Original Special Looking at the Life of the Legend
When Gene Autry went to Hollywood in 1934, he couldn't act, he couldn't ride, he couldn't rope and he couldn't shoot. But that didn't prevent him from becoming the screen's most popular cowboy star within just a few years, revitalizing the whole genre and paving the way for Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter and other Western warblers.
This September, Encore Westerns pays tribute to the legend on what would be his 100th birthday with "Gene Autry: A Century in the Saddle," a 100-hour marathon of fully-restored Autry films beginning Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
The marathon includes the exclusive world television premiere of "Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen," a 30-minute special which chronicles the singing cowboy's remarkable movie career through interviews with friends, colleagues and film historians, along with highlights from many of his 89 B- Westerns made between 1935 and 1953.
Those featured in the special, among others, include Gene's widow Jackie Autry; Boyd Magers, author of "Gene Autry Westerns;" and Johnny Western, Gene Autry band member.
Autry's personal success built the fortune of his home studio, Republic, which purchased many hit songs for him to sing in such films as Tumbling Tumbleweeds (1935), South of the Border (1939), Melody Ranch (1940) and Back in the Saddle (1941). All of these films, and many more, will air as part of the 100-hour movie marathon.
After his wartime service, Autry returned briefly to Republic, but in 1947 set up shop on the Columbia lot, where he made several dozen musical Westerns before turning to television in the early '50s. In addition to his own TV series, his Flying A Productions also produced such early TV Westerns as "The Range Rider" and "Annie Oakley."
He also enjoyed long-running success on the radio with his weekly "Melody Ranch" series, and sold millions of records over the years. A shrewd businessman from the start, Autry invested wisely and retired from performing in the late '50s, a multimillionaire. He owned hotels, real estate, radio stations and the California Angels baseball team.
Gene Autry is the only entertainer to have all five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for records, radio, movies, television and live performances.
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. It offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz® and Encore® brands with approximately 16.1 million and 28.4 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Starz On Demand and Vongo®. Starz Entertainment (http://www.starz.com/) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to Liberty Capital Group.
Gene Autry: A Century in the Saddle
In honor of what would be Gene Autry's 100th birthday, enjoy a 100 hour marathon of the actor's films. "Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen," a 30-minute special chronicling the singing cowboy's remarkable movie career through interviews with friends, colleagues and film historians, along with highlights from many of his 89 B-Westerns made between 1935 and 1953 will air throughout the marathon. The marathon kicks off Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
SOURCE: Starz Entertainment, LLC
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 6, 2007 /PRNewswire/ --
Photos: Gene Autry in "Oh, Susanna" and "Ride Range Ride."