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Man in the Saddle (1951)

 -  Western  -  2 December 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 473 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 6 critic

A small farmer and rancher is being harassed by his mighty and powerfull neighbour. When the neighbour even hires gunmen to intimidate him he has to defend himself and his property by means... See full summary »


(as Andre De Toth)


(screenplay), (based upon the novel by)
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Title: Man in the Saddle (1951)

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Complete credited cast:
Owen Merritt
Laurie Bidwell Isham
Nan Melotte
Will Isham
Richard Rober ...
Fay Dutcher
Hugh Clagg
Alfonso Bedoya ...
Cultus Charley
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Bourke Prine
Clem Bevans ...
Pay Lankershim
George Vird
Richard Crane ...
Juke Vird
Frank Sully ...
Lee Repp


A small farmer and rancher is being harassed by his mighty and powerfull neighbour. When the neighbour even hires gunmen to intimidate him he has to defend himself and his property by means of violence. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SIX-GUN SHOWDOWN IN THE SIERRAS (original print ad - all caps)




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Release Date:

2 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le cavalier de la mort  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Ellen Drew. See more »


Man in the Saddle
Written by Harold Lewis and Ralph Murphy
Sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Randy Scott western but should have been much better
30 December 2005 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Though "Man in the Saddle" has some effective moments and a few good action scenes, it is below average for Randy Scott who usually did better. The high point of the action comes near the beginning of the movie when the cattle are stampeded with Randy trying to outrun the herd in a covered wagon that is ablaze. The shoot out at the end is much too abbreviated only lasting a few minutes. Randy doesn't even get to duke it out with the hired gunslinger Fay Dutcher (Richard Rober). What kind of name is Fay for a gunfighter? Owen Merritt (Scott) shoots Dutcher as he rolls for his gun in the street. The talented actor John Russell has a fairly nondescript role. He would have been much better cast as gunman Dutcher.

The story of a love triangle with two women Joan Leslie and Ellen Drew after one man (Scott)is at times overplayed. Exactly what Owen's relationship was with Laurie Bidwell (Leslie) before she married Will Isham (Alexander Knox) for money and power is never revealed. Apparently the two had one hell of a relationship the way it still tugs at their heartstrings and is the continued buzz of the town. The hired gun is not just after more ranch land for his boss but after Owen as well.

Alexander Knox who played President Woodrow Wilson magnificently in "Wilson" several years earlier was thus typecast and unable to find himself in other parts. When he played the boss rancher in "Man in the Saddle" he was still trying to find his way after Wilson. Alfonso Bedoya and veteran cowboy actor Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams do well in the comedy department. Bedoya is a good foil for Big Boy. He continually looks for a new hat. Big Boy tells him he doesn't need a new hat for his head, he needs a new head for a hat. Even Randy Scott gets in on the humor this time and comes across with some funny lines. When Bedoya tells Scott that the trees are talking to him. Scott replies, "You'd better lay off that vanilla extract." When he is hold up with Nan Melotte (Ellen Drew)recuperating from a gunshot wound he feels the stubble on his face and comments, "It's like a coyote running through brush." The usually serious Scott plays a lighter role this go around and it is a plus for this otherwise dark and moody film. Look for Cameron Mitchell of television's "The High Chaparral" in a small part as one of the two brothers murdered by Will Isham's gang.

In the days before Tex Ritter gave immortality to the theme from "High Noon," showing Hollywood how cowboy music should be presented to the public, multi-talented Tennessee Ernie Ford sang the theme to "Man in the Saddle" with much the same feeling of authenticity. He also gets to sing another ballad on camera as one of the wranglers. He's hard to recognize at first because of his youth and no mustache. Tennessee Ernie was singing hillbilly boogie that sounded very much like Rockabilly when Elvis was still driving a truck in Memphis. He ended up concentrating mainly on television, retiring early from show business, except to cut a gospel album every now and then. "Man in the Saddle" is one of his few screen appearances.

Though not up to par for a Randolph Scott western, still worth seeing for fans of 50's westerns.

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