Devil's Saddle Legion (1937)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Run Time - 59 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Returning to his home spread in the Red River border area between Texas and Oklahoma, Tal Holladay (Dick Foran) is falsely accused of murdering a young family friend (Carlyle Moore, Jr.) in this frequently entertaining Western directed, incongruously, by dance director Bobby Connolly. Imprisoned, Holladay later makes his escape while breaking Karen Ordley's (Anne Nagel) wild stallion. Forming a vigilante of fellow (innocent) prisoners, Holladay quickly learns that his own father was murdered in an attempt to prevent the building of a dam and that Karen's foster-brother Hub Ordley (Willard Parker) is the brain behind the scheme. In an attempt to plead his case to the visiting Secretary of the Interior (Walter Young), Tal is once again arrested by Sheriff Gorman (Raphael Bennett) and is nearly lynched. He is saved in the nick of time by the vigilantes, and with the help of newly elected U.S. Marshal Chris Madden (Granville Owens), he manages to disarm the evil Hub Ordley and save his ancestral ranch. Rather violent for a B-Western, The Devil's Saddle Legion incorporated three songs -- "When Moonlight Is Riding the Range," "My Texas Home," and "God's Country" -- all performed by leading man Foran, a pleasant baritone. Warner Bros.' answer to Gene Autry, Foran looked good on a horse but was rather obviously doubled in several fight sequences. Although surrounded by the studio's sumptuous production values (sumptuous for a B-Western), the former Academy Award nominee (The Petrified Forest, 1936) was perhaps a bit too "operatic" for B-Western stardom, and his 1936-1937 Warner Bros. series was never a threat to the supremacy of Autry, Rogers, et al.



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