Songs and Saddles (1938)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Release Date - Jun 1, 1938 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Famous for his rendition of "My Blue Heaven," crooner Gene Austin was turned into a Western star by the independent Alexander brothers, Max and Arthur. The vehicle, Songs and Saddles, was then road-shown on a personal appearance tour throughout the South, where Austin was very popular. Not your typical handsome Western hero, the pudgy Austin was nevertheless able to stay in the saddle long enough to warble such ditties as "I'm Coming Home" and "Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Man from Texas," both written by himself, and to romance leading lady Lynne Barkeley without appearing too much the fool. Austin played himself, a traveling troubadour coming to the aid of an elderly rancher, "Pop" Turner (Walter Wills), who is about to be cheated out of his property by an evil realtor (Karl Hackett) and his contractor accomplice (Charles King). Unbeknownst to Pop, a new highway is projected to run through his land, making said property very valuable. Left for dead by the villains, Pop is kept out of sight by daughter Carol (Barkeley) and Austin, who then go after the would-be killers. Nothing to get too excited about, Songs and Saddles nevertheless proved popular with its intended audience of Austin fans. The uninitiated simply assumed it was a Gene Autry Western, a mix-up of names the Alexander brothers were happy to leave well enough alone. Songs and Saddles was photographed in California's picturesque High Sierras by veteran cinematographers Robert Cline and Harry Forbes.



con/scam, false-accusation, friendship, homestead, land-scheme, land-war, murder, ranch