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Though well short of the classics he would go on to make with Budd Boetticher (Seven Men from Now, The Tall T, et al.), Man in the Saddle is measurably superior to most of Randolph Scott's other '50s Westerns. The script has enough characters, criss-crossed revenge subplots, and tortuous romances for a miniseries; yet somehow, within a B-movie running time, director André De Toth manages to give all of them enough attention so that the movie makes sense, even threatens to get really interesting. He also finds distinctive ways to stage standard set pieces like, say, a saloon shootout. And there's a cumulatively amazing fistfight that starts in a mountain cabin, totally uses up that set, then spills downhill through snowfield and waterfall. Randy's character is a more complicated fellow than usual, and the Scots-Canadian actor Alexander Knox, best known for his Oscar®-nominated turn as Woodrow Wilson, makes a creepily compelling range baron.

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CO09125 Man In The Saddle DVD (1951/Randolph Scott) $14.95 $12.95