SADDLE BUSTER, THE (director: Fred Allen; screenwriters: story by Cherry Wilson/Oliver Drake; cinematographer: Ted McCord; editor: William Clemens; music: Harry Richman; cast: Tom Keene (Montana aka Monty), Helen Foster ( ‘Sunny’ Hurn), Marie Quillan (Rita), Robert Frazer (Rance), Richard Carlyle (Bible Jude), Charles Quigley (Cladgett, ranch hand), Charles “Slim” Whitaker (Keno), Fred Burns (Dan Hurn), Jack Kirk (Curly), Ben Corbett (Shorty), Harry Bowen (Calgary); Runtime: 59; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry Joe Brown; RKO; 1932)
“Winsome because of its authentic cowboy feel.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Fred Allen directs this “aw shucks” formulaic Western that despite its amateurish acting is winsome because of its authentic cowboy feel, and it does it without six-shooters. It’s based on a story by Cherry Wilson and written by Oliver Drake.
Set in Wyoming. Montana (Tom Keene) is a hick who was raised when orphaned by Bible Jude (Richard Carlyle), an old codger who drops homespun homilies at the drop of a hat. Having become an expert bronco rider, Jude takes Montana over to his friend Dan Hurn’s (Fred Burns) Big Horn ranch and gets him employed as a saddle buster. Top rider of the ranch Rance (Robert Frazer) becomes jealous when the hick proves to be a better rider and his flirtatious gal Rita (Marie Quillan) is seen in his company. Rance suckers Monty into riding Wild Fury, an untamed horse Dan would never let anyone ride ever since it killed one of his riders. Dan’s single daughter Sunny (Helen Foster) is sweet on Monty and begs him not to ride, but he does. The cowhands bet Rance that Monty can ride the horse and even when they agree to forfeit the bet, Monty still takes the dare. Rance cuts the Cinch on the saddle and Monty takes a spill and gets knocked unconscious. When he recovers he still has nightmares of the horse rearing his front legs atop of him and loses his nerve. He then goes off to his mountain cabin retreat and regains his courage to ride again. Monty then rejoins Hurn’s riders at the Coolee City rodeo and discovers that Rance is crippled and married to Rita. She dared Rance to ride Wild Fury and the horse bucked him. Rance needs money to go to Cheyenne and get an operation. Montana rides Wild Fury at the rodeo and when successful collects the $1,000 prize money and donates it to Rance. Sunny and Montana agree to marry, and everything is as corny as Kansas.
REVIEWED ON 9/27/2005 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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