Heroes of the Saddle (1940)

Genres - Action, Western  |   Run Time - 59 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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A fast-paced, enjoyable entry in the long-running Three Mesqueteers Western series, Heroes of the Saddle featured the three cowboy pals promising to look after Peggy Bell (Patsy Lee Parsons), the little daughter of mortally wounded rodeo champ Montana (Kermit Maynard). Legal technicalities, however, halt the adoption proceeding and Stony (Robert Livingston), Rusty (Raymond Hatton), and Rico (Duncan Renaldo) can only watch as the little girl is placed in the county orphanage. On a visit, the Mesqueteers discover that Peggy has been injured and Melloney the superintendent (sour-faced Byron Foulger) claims that the institution cannot pay for the necessary treatment. Stony wins the amount in a boxing match against "Killer" McCulley (Jack Roper), only to learn that Melloney is threatening the child to keep quiet about something. The "something" is the fact that Melloney and county supervisor Crone (William Royle) are not only mistreating the children in their care but cooking the books as well. Aided by a pretty nurse, Ruth Miller (Loretta Weaver of the Weaver hillbilly act), the Mesqueeters "kidnap" Peggy and the other kids and bring them to their spacious ranch. There is a final shootout before the three heroes can round up the gang and celebrate the election of a new county supervisor, nurse Ruth. A comic highlight of this Western has Duncan Renaldo pretending to be a department store dummy in order to fool drunken watchman Al Taylor. Heroes of the Saddle was one of the final films of ace villain William Royle, who later that year would appear in perhaps his best-remembered role as Sir Neyland Smith in the serial Drums of Fu Manchu (1940).

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Keywords

family, robbery, bachelor, bad-guy, cowboy, good-guy, investigation, orphan