Songs and Saddles (1938)
Standard oater with a plot line of a local schemer and his henchies trying to beat an old rancher out of his unknown-to-him valuable property, which sets where a new highway is going to be built. Well, maybe not so standard, since it was usually a railroad that was planned. The producers (Max and Arthur Alexander) and Associate Producer (their cousin Alfred Stern)didn’t make this on a budget that allowed for rental of ties, tracks and locomotives, so opted for highway construction and having to only rent a Caterpillar tractor for the construction scene. The fictional Gene Austin (played by the real Gene Austin) is the fictional foster son of a fictional rancher and comes to the fictional Sage City to lend a hand against the baddies. Austin (aided by Coco & Candy, whose character names aren’t Coco and Candy in the film)plays the piano and sings five songs he wrote—“Song of the Saddle”; “I’m Coming Home”; “I Fell Down and Broke My Heart (in Two)”; “Why Can’t I Be Your Sweetheart, Tonight” and “The Man From Texas”—and they are passable, for fans of Austin’s singing style. The trouble comes when Austin takes to the saddle. That isn’t a pretty sight.