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Brothers in the Saddle

Brothers in the Saddle(1949)

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teaser Brothers in the Saddle (1949)

Tim Holt's first of five westerns released in 1949 surprised viewers by slightly altering the series' formula. Holt's hero Tim Taylor doesn't come to anybody's rescue, but instead must deal with a no-good varmint of a brother, Steve (Steve Brodie). With his sidekick Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) staying mostly on the sidelines, Tim tries to help the wayward Steve, who is gambling with money borrowed from his fiance, rancher Nancy Austin (Virginia Cox). Tim takes Steve's side over a killing at a card table, and with Chito helps him escape when the gambling crooks rig a trial to insure that Steve will be hanged. Tim and Chito run to Mexico to find the witness Flora Trigby (Carol Forman) who can clear Steve, but the impatient Steve chooses to go on a crime spree. Tim eventually has no choice but to settle his family differences with a gun. The critics once again praised a Holt western as superior entertainment, noting J. Roy Hunt's handsome camerawork on location in the San Bernardino National Forest. Variety was impressed by the convincing fight scenes, and higher level of tension: Chito is wounded in one scene, and in another Holt's character is thrown from a cliff and left to die. Screenwriter Norman Houston must have welcomed the change of pace; the former actor penned twenty of Tim Holt's western adventures.

By Glenn Erickson

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