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Published on May 8, 2009
The Phantom Empire, starring Gene Autry the Singing Cowboy, was a 12-chapter 1935 Mascot serial that combined the western, musical, and science fiction genres. The first episode is 30 mins, the rest about 20 minutes. This was Gene Autry's first starring role, playing himself as a singing cowboy.
Directed by Otto Brower, B. Reeves Eason Produced by Nat Levine Writers: Wallace MacDonald Gerald Geraghty Hy Freedman John Rathmell Armand Schaefer Maurice Geraghty Starring Gene Autry Frankie Darro Betsy King Ross Dorothy Christy Wheeler Oakman
Cinematography: Ernest Miller, William Nobles Editing by Earl Turner, Walter Thompson
Cast * Gene Autry as Gene Autry, singing cowboy at the Radio Ranch * Frankie Darro as Frankie Baxter, one of Gene's sidekicks * Betsy King Ross as Betsy Baxter, one of Gene's sidekicks. Ross was an experienced rodeo performer and was billed as the "World's Champion Trick Rider". * Dorothy Christy as Queen Tika, evil queen of Murania * Wheeler Oakman as Lord Argo, the Muranian High Chancellor and leader of the rebels * Charles K. French as Mal * Warner Richmond as Rab * J. Frank Glendon as Professor Beetson, villainous scientist after the land's Radium deposits * Smiley Burnette as Oscar, comic relief. Burnette went on to be Gene Autry's partner in many more films. * Peter Potter as Pete, comic relief * Edward Peil Sr. as Cooper * Jack Carlyle as Saunders