Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tonight's Movie: Man in the Saddle (1951)

MAN IN THE SADDLE is one of Randolph Scott's many Westerns. It's a moderately entertaining movie, though not on a par with the Westerns I've seen thus far in which Scott was directed by Budd Boetticher, SEVEN MEN FROM NOW and THE TALL T.

Scott plays a rancher who loses the woman he loves (Joan Leslie) to a wealthy neighboring rancher (Alexander Knox), who is also wildly jealous and launches a war against Scott in an attempt to drive him away. Scott spends most of the movie battling Knox's henchmen, as well as finding a new love in a resourceful neighbor (Ellen Drew).

The supporting cast includes John Russell and Cameron Mitchell, along with Tennessee Ernie Ford as a cowhand. Ford sings the title song. MAN IN THE SADDLE was directed by Andre De Toth.

Like many other Randolph Scott Westerns, much of MAN IN THE SADDLE was filmed in the Alabama Hills outside Lone Pine, California. A fight sequence with the combatants sliding down a snowy hill makes particularly effective use of the scenery. (Unfortunately, a number of the scenes are somewhat murky, possibly as a result of "day for night" shooting, which dilutes the ability to fully appreciate the setting.) The creative staging of the climactic gun battle in a windstorm is another of the film's high points.

MAN IN THE SADDLE was filmed in color and runs 87 minutes. It's not a top-drawer Western, but it has enough memorable moments to make viewing it worthwhile.

This movie is available on DVD and video.


Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

This is a Scott Western I have yet to see. I will put it on my viewing list, which is already fairly long. Good thing i will be able to catch up a little bit after the holidays.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I can certainly relate to having a lengthy "to be watched" list. :)Would enjoy hearing what you think of this one. (I watched it on video and am also curious to know whether the exterior "night" scenes play any better visually on DVD, if you see it in that format.)

RIDE LONESOME (a Boetticher film) and an older Scott picture, FRONTIER MARSHAL, are high on my future Scott viewing list.

Best wishes, Laura

9:08 AM  

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