Back in the Saddle Film Details
Overview: After Gene discovers copper on his ranch, Bennett tries to get control of the fortune by framing him in a jail-break.
Tagline: A symphony of Romance and ACTION…in Six-Gun Time!
Review: This Autry flick has a somewhat offbeat opening with New York City street scenes and a glimpse of the first Madison Square Garden hosting a rodeo show complete with stock footage of cowboys and bucking broncos. Gene and Smiley are in the big town to bring their Bar Cross Ranch owner Tom Bennett (Edward Norris) back home; Tom’s father wanted him to take a working interest in the spread. Bar Cross sounded awful similar to Bar 20, so I wonder if the writers were thinking of Hopalong Cassidy when they put this together. Most of the time these stories offer your standard good guys versus bad guys scenario and it’s no different here, but the attitude of copper mine owner Blaine (Arthur Loft) really bothered me in this one. How hard would it have been for the guy to suspend his mining operation for a week or so in order to put in some drainage ditches so the runoff from the mine would stop poisoning the local water supply? That seemed like such an easy fix to the problem the ranchers faced and yet Blaine would have none of it. Served him right in the end I guess. Well this one offers a lot of musical numbers starting out with the title tune, along with a fair number of standards like ‘In the Jailhouse Now’, ‘I’m an Old Cowhand’, and ‘You Are My Sunshine’. I always liked it that Gene would share the singing duties with other players like he does here. Entertainer Taffy (Jacqueline Wells) offers up ‘Where the River Meets the Range’ and younger sister Patsy (Mary Lee) has a nifty number called ‘Swingin’ Sam the Cowboy Man’. Meanwhile Smiley’s trying to perform the old Indian rope trick after reading ‘Dr. Wofford’s History of Black Magic and Superstition’. He isn’t successful, even after ‘purifying his spirit’ with his ninety nine bullfrogs song, but you can’t blame him for trying. All that standing on his head might have wound up confusing him though because he called his horse Nellie at one point; everyone knows it’s Ringeye. Well this one had quite the unusual finale you have to admit. With the town of Midland sheriff (Joe McGuinn) in cahoots with Blaine attempting to frame Gene and Tom Bennett with a jail break, Smiley and the rest of the good guys stampede their cattle into town to make the save! How that wound up working I’ll never know, I guess you just have to take it on faith.
Duration: 73 min
Also known as: Song at Twilight,Back in the Saddle,Minério Infernal,El valiente justiciero