Saddle Serenade


1945

Film Details

Also Known As
Cowboy Serenade
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 9 Aug 1945
Production Company
Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Newhall--Circle J Ranch, California, United States; San Fernando Valley--Circle J Ranch, California, United States; San Fernando Valley--Circle J Ranch, California, United States

Synopsis

During an ambush that has been staged for the amusement of new arrivals to the Vista Grande dude ranch, Tom Logan, a U.S. Marshal posing as one of the ranch's cowhands, is shot and killed by an unseen assailant. The ranch's co-owner, Doris Rogers, informs visiting friends Jimmy Wakely, Dusty Smith and Lasses that her recently deceased uncle, from whom she inherited the business, sent for Logan just before his death. Doris also tells her friends that her uncle did not like his newly acquired partner, Roy Williams, a former jeweler. After Jimmy, Dusty and Lasses assure Doris that they will help investigate Logan's murder, they notice Brenda Ames, one of the new guests, talking privately with Williams. Later, Brenda hides some diamonds in a bar of soap, then meets with Williams in a secret office in the ranch's icehouse. Fearful of arrest, Brenda announces to Williams that she is not going through with her planned sale to him of the diamond collection that she and her partner, Horatio Pennypacker, recently stole. Soon after, Sheriff Hawkins arrives at the ranch with arrest warrants for Brenda and Horatio, whom he has indentified as jewel thieves Diamond Amy and Frisco Packard. When the sheriff and his deputy go to Brenda's and Horatio's rooms, however, they discover the couple missing. Because Brenda's room has been ransacked, Jimmy, Dusty and Lasses suspect foul play and notice horse's shoeprints outside her room window. They also find a watch bob stuck in a tree trunk next to the shoeprints. Having seen the bob in Williams' vest, Jimmy accuses him of being mixed up with the jewel thieves. Williams denies any involvement, and a brawl soon erupts. The next morning, while Jimmy sings with the ranch's band, Dusty and Lasses sneak into Brenda's room to search for clues. After Dusty notices sawdust on the floor and deduces it must have come from the icehouse, Lasses steals Brenda's sweet-smelling soap, unaware that it contains the diamonds. The sheriff, meanwhile, informs Doris and Williams that Logan was shot with a high-powered rifle, and fearful of discovery, Williams sends Al Higgins, the killer, to retrieve the rifle's shell casings from the murder site. At the same time, Lasses gives his admirer, guest Fanny Vanderkoop, the gem-filled soap. He and Dusty then spy on the icehouse and are startled when Williams exits the shack, as they never saw him enter it. Jimmy, meanwhile, rides to the murder site and confronts Higgins as he is picking up the shell casings. Jimmy bests Higgins in a fight, ties him loosely to a tree and pretends to ride off. After Higgins escapes, Jimmy trails him to Williams' hideout, where Brenda and Pennypacker are being held prisoner. Jimmy finds Higgins' rifle and is about to arrest him when an armed Williams takes him by surprise. When Williams threatens to turn Brenda and Pennypacker over to the sheriff, Brenda gives in and tells him about the soap. While Jimmy is being held captive at the hideout, Williams and Higgins race back to the ranch for the soap. Jimmy soon escapes, however, and after Dusty joins him, they also head for the ranch. There, Vaughn, one of Williams' cohorts, detects a sweet-smelling odor on Lasses and cajoles him into admitting that he gave Brenda's soap to Fanny. At gunpoint, Higgins demands the soap from Fanny, and he, Vaughn and Williams lock Lasses up in the cold part of the icehouse. Just then, Jimmy and Dusty burst into Williams' empty office and discover a trap door and a tunnel. Dusty and Jimmy end up in Williams' secret icehouse room and there brawl with Williams, Higgins and Vaughn. They eventually defeat the thieves and free Lasses from his icy prison. Later, after the sheriff announces that the thieves, who had been shipping out stolen gems in the ranch's frozen fish, are to be tried, Jimmy, Dusty and Lasses ride off to their next adventure.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cowboy Serenade
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 9 Aug 1945
Production Company
Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Newhall--Circle J Ranch, California, United States; San Fernando Valley--Circle J Ranch, California, United States; San Fernando Valley--Circle J Ranch, California, United States

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Cowboy Serenade. Saddle Serenade was the first Jimmy Wakely-Monogram picture to co-star John James. According to a late April 1945 Hollywood Reporter news item, the picture was to be shot at the Circle J Ranch in the San Fernando Valley of CA. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Bob Duncan to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Dee Cooper, Carl Mathews and Jack Spears to the cast. It is possible that modern sources mistakenly listed Jack Sparks, who is listed as a cast member in reviews, as Jack Spears.