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Cowboy Rarities of the Thirties: Code of the Fearless/Songs and Saddles [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Songs and Saddles
Famous for his rendition of "My Blue Heaven," crooner Gene Austin was turned into a Western star by the independent Alexander brothers, Max and Arthur. The vehicle, Songs and Saddles, was then road-shown on a personal appearance tour throughout the South, where Austin was very popular. Not your typical handsome Western hero, the pudgy Austin was nevertheless able to stay in the saddle long enough to warble such ditties as "I'm Coming Home" and "Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Man from Texas," both written by himself, and to romance leading lady Lynne Barkeley without appearing too much the fool. Austin played himself, a traveling troubadour coming to the aid of an elderly rancher, "Pop" Turner (Walter Wills), who is about to be cheated out of his property by an evil realtor (Karl Hackett) and his contractor accomplice (Charles King). Unbeknownst to Pop, a new highway is projected to run through his land, making said property very valuable. Left for dead by the villains, Pop is kept out of sight by daughter Carol (Barkeley) and Austin, who then go after the would-be killers. Nothing to get too excited about, Songs and Saddles nevertheless proved popular with its intended audience of Austin fans. The uninitiated simply assumed it was a Gene Autry Western, a mix-up of names the Alexander brothers were happy to leave well enough alone. Songs and Saddles was photographed in California's picturesque High Sierras by veteran cinematographers Robert Cline and Harry Forbes. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Code of the Fearless
The first of four Fred Scott singing Westerns produced by C.C. Burr, Code of the Fearless was like all thirteen Scott vehicles released by poverty row company Spectrum Pictures. Scott, a former baritone with the San Francisco Opera, played a Texas Ranger infiltrating the feared Skull Mesa Gang by pretending to be an outlaw himself. Unfortunately, the lawman is so convincing that he even seems to have fooled Ranger Captain Walter McGrail, who accuses him of fraternizing with the enemy. Scott's only defender is pretty Jean Morrison (Claire Rochelle) but even she is dumbfounded when he joins the Skull Mesa bandits at their secret hideout. It is all a ruse, of course, and Captain Rawlins and his Rangers arrive just in time to round up the entire gang. The story had been told many times before (and would be many times again); the only difference here is that Scott took time out to warble such ditties as Here's Romance and Gonna Ride, both by Lew Porter and Johnny Lange. Popular sidekick Al St. John, who had supported Scott in seven previous Westerns, was replaced here by former burlesque comic Harry Harvey. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Gene Austin
  • Charles King
    Charles King
  • Image coming soon
    Lynne Berkeley
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