Born to the Saddle (1952)

78 mins | Western | 1952

Director:

William Beaudine

Producer:

Hall Shelton

Cinematographer:

Marcel Le Picard

Production Designer:

David Milton

Production Company:

Elliott-Shelton Films, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although the opening credits indicate that Elliott-Shelton Films, Inc. copyrighted the film in 1951, the film is not included in the Copyright Catalog. This film was intended for release in 1952 under the title Quarter Horse , however, the release was delayed because actress Karen Morley received a subpoena from the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Although Morley did appear before HUAC, she refused to testify against her peers and invoked the Fifth Amendment as a response to many questions. According to modern biographical sources, Morley, who was blacklisted, had previously been involved with performers guilds as well as helping to produce an educational film with the United Auto Workers about racism. Born to the Saddle was Morley’s last feature film before her death in 2003. Modern sources include Bob Anderson as "Ricky Summers" in the ... More Less

Although the opening credits indicate that Elliott-Shelton Films, Inc. copyrighted the film in 1951, the film is not included in the Copyright Catalog. This film was intended for release in 1952 under the title Quarter Horse , however, the release was delayed because actress Karen Morley received a subpoena from the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Although Morley did appear before HUAC, she refused to testify against her peers and invoked the Fifth Amendment as a response to many questions. According to modern biographical sources, Morley, who was blacklisted, had previously been involved with performers guilds as well as helping to produce an educational film with the United Auto Workers about racism. Born to the Saddle was Morley’s last feature film before her death in 2003. Modern sources include Bob Anderson as "Ricky Summers" in the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 May 1953.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jul 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
23 Jul 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1950
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1950
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 1952.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
14 Nov 1952.
---
The Exhibitor
11 Feb 53
p. 3464.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Rec eng
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Adapted from the novel Quarter Horse by Gordon Young (Garden City, NY, 1948).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Quarter Horse
Release Date:
1952
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 23 July 1952
Production Date:
began mid July 1950 at California Studios
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Trucolor
Lenses/Prints
Prints by Cinecolor
Lenses/Prints
Photographed with Garutso Balanced Lens
Duration(in mins):
78
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14750
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When teenager Bill Walton rides bareback into town looking for his uncle, Joe Walton, he is referred to slick gambler Matt Daggett. As Bill is talking to Daggett outside the saloon, Joe appears, takes aim at Daggett and unintentionally shoots Bill, who collapses unconscious. After Daggett kills Joe, Daggett’s wife Kate looks after the boy as he convalesces in their rooms above the saloon. Daggett keeps the bullet extracted from Bill as a lucky charm, and thinks the boy may be of future use. Bill reveals to Kate, whom he now sees as a mother figure, that he and his father had been running a business breaking and selling wild horses. When his father died of a fall from a horse, their hired hands stole the business and ran Bill off his property. Bill had been seeking out his uncle for help, and is now stoic as he hears of his death. As Kate pleads with an unsympathetic Daggett to adopt Bill, the boy overhears her say that she will not back down even if Daggett beats her. When Bill vows to protect Kate against anyone who might harm her, Kate denies that Daggett has ever hurt her. Kate’s attempts at adoption are foiled by Daggett, who has arranged with the local judge, Henry R. Trumbull, for Bill to stay with ranch hand John Grant. Daggett pays Bill to train and care for his prize quarter horse, Blue Chip, in preparation for an upcoming race. As they are out riding to John’s cabin, John reveals that Blue Chip used to belong to rancher Bob Marshall, who lost the horse ... +


When teenager Bill Walton rides bareback into town looking for his uncle, Joe Walton, he is referred to slick gambler Matt Daggett. As Bill is talking to Daggett outside the saloon, Joe appears, takes aim at Daggett and unintentionally shoots Bill, who collapses unconscious. After Daggett kills Joe, Daggett’s wife Kate looks after the boy as he convalesces in their rooms above the saloon. Daggett keeps the bullet extracted from Bill as a lucky charm, and thinks the boy may be of future use. Bill reveals to Kate, whom he now sees as a mother figure, that he and his father had been running a business breaking and selling wild horses. When his father died of a fall from a horse, their hired hands stole the business and ran Bill off his property. Bill had been seeking out his uncle for help, and is now stoic as he hears of his death. As Kate pleads with an unsympathetic Daggett to adopt Bill, the boy overhears her say that she will not back down even if Daggett beats her. When Bill vows to protect Kate against anyone who might harm her, Kate denies that Daggett has ever hurt her. Kate’s attempts at adoption are foiled by Daggett, who has arranged with the local judge, Henry R. Trumbull, for Bill to stay with ranch hand John Grant. Daggett pays Bill to train and care for his prize quarter horse, Blue Chip, in preparation for an upcoming race. As they are out riding to John’s cabin, John reveals that Blue Chip used to belong to rancher Bob Marshall, who lost the horse to Daggett in a card game. John explains that Daggett had hired Joe to ride Blue Chip in a previous race, and when the horse lost and Joe drunkenly bragged about coming into a lot of money, he and Daggett fell into the dispute that resulted in Joe’s death. When they arrive, John is surprised to find Tom Roper waiting for him at his ranch to enlist the honest John in a secret criminal plan. While they are talking, Bill races after someone who tries to steal Blue Chip, and is shocked to find that the thief is Bob’s teenage niece, Jerry, who claims the horse as her own. Bob arrives soon after and orders the feisty tomboy to return to their ranch, then kindly offers to help Bill train Blue Chip. When John leaves Bill alone while he rides north with Roper for several days, Bill keeps busy fixing up the stable and training Blue Chip with Bob. One day, when Kate, accompanied by her friend saloon girl Doris, comes to visit, Bill realizes that Kate and Bob are old friends. Later that night John returns with Roper, and after Roper forces his unwelcome attentions on Kate, Bill becomes furious, grabs John’s gun and forces Roper to leave. Afterward, the sheriff informs Bob, John and Bill that Roper overheard Doris gossiping about the event and is angry that he has been publicly humiliated. The men determine that the boy would be safer at Bob’s ranch, but he gets into a fight with Bob’s other teenage boarder, Ricky Summers, after Summers pushes him off Blue Chip. Bill then decides to return to John’s cabin, and catches sight of Roper leaving after destroying the inside of the house. Bill rides to town to find John and while there, visits Kate, who shields Bill from learning that Daggett has beaten her. The next day, friendly barbershop patrons pressure Bill into placing a bet on Blue Chip. Jerry, now sympathetic to him, loans him the money. The sheriff, meanwhile, has arrested Roper and John for murdering two men during a stagecoach robbery. When Bob publicly accuses Daggett of involvement in the crimes, Daggett denies the accusations. Later that night, Daggett secretly arranges to have Roper and John released from jail and lynched. Daggett locks Bill in his room, but Bill escapes in time to lower the rope from which John hangs. John, still alive, then disappears. During the July 4th festivities, Daggett bankrolls two men to place bets against Blue Chip. Before the competition, Daggett secretly places a sharp wire around the horse’s leg. Bill races against an over-confident Ricky and wins, but after the race Blue Chip goes lame. When Daggett wants to shoot the horse, Bob insists on buying the animal. Jerry, Bob and Bill later discover the wire treachery, and the experience brings Jerry and Bill closer together. Later that evening, John secretly visits Bill and tells him that Daggett was behind the stagecoach murders and asks Bill to relay this information to the sheriff. They are interrupted when Jerry brings news that an unarmed Bob has been shot by Daggett. Bill then angrily confronts the gambler in the saloon. His accusations are confirmed by John, who challenges Daggett. In the ensuing gunfight, John and Daggett are both killed. Daggett’s cohorts are then subsequently jailed. On a sunny day, Bill and Jerry go out riding together and find Bob and Kate kissing. This inspires Jerry to kiss Bill on the cheek, and the two ride off happily. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.