Saddle Serenade (1945)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Run Time - 57 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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An above-average entry in the Jimmy Wakely singing cowboy series, this movie features a suspenseful murder mystery set on a dude ranch. Wakely and cohorts John James and Lee "Lasses" White are hired to investigate the mysterious murder of a U.S. marshal. There are plenty of suspects, of course, including a couple of jewel thieves (Claire James and Alan Foster) and the late ranch owner's unscrupulous partner (Jack Ingram). A lovesick ranch guest (Kay Deslys of Laurel & Hardy fame) and sundry Country & Western performers liven things up considerably while Wakely and Co. track down the killer. Filmed at the Circle J. Ranch in the San Fernando Valley, Saddle Serenade included such songs as "My Saddle Serenade", by Johnny Bond, Chiquita, by producer-director Oliver Drake and Sam H. Stept, and Saddle Pals, by Wakely. The western marked the first of three Wakely appearances by John James, a handsome second lead who should not be confused with the later Dynasty star of the same name.