Here’s to the Thunder Riders

Photos courtesy of the Autry National Center.
Gene Autry reboots a Muranian robot deep beneath Radio Ranch.

The Autry National Center is marking the centennial of Gene Autry’s birth with a showing of “The Phantom Empire,” my favorite movie combining science fiction and cowboys (the other contenders being “Valley of Gwangi” and “Night of the Lepus”).

“Phantom Empire” will be shown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (remember it’s a 12-part serial) Sept. 29 at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry museum in Griffith Park.

I love the costumes in this movie. It looks like they just raided the wardrobe department for whatever they could find from all sorts of different period pictures.

In the 1969 “Valley of Gwangi,” bad things happen when cowboys capture a Tyrannosaurus rex for a wild west show.

In the 1972 “Night of the Lepus,” bad things happen when a studio green lights a movie about giant bunnies terrorizing the Southwest.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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1 Response to Here’s to the Thunder Riders

  1. Richard H says:

    I love the headgear all the bad guys wore. Even the robot is wearing a hat!
    Good guy Gene Autry goes bareheaded though. It helps to have a full head of hair.


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