Saddle Tramp, Joel McCrea, who likes life free, easy, and independent in Saddle Tramp, on an impulse visit to friend John Ridgely finds himself taking responsibility for his four boys when Ridgely is killed in an accident.
That in a nutshell is the film Saddle Tramp. But it’s far more than that, it’s what is meant when a film is said to be family entertainment. It’s one of Joel McCrea’s better westerns in his post World War II period.
The change of lifestyle doesn’t come without problems for McCrea. Now he has to get some real work in order to take Ridgely’s small ranch out of debt and put food on the table for five. During the course of the film it’s six as runaway Wanda Hendrix joins the merry band as she’s looking to escape from Uncle Ed Begley.
McCrea also finds work for John McIntire and Jeanette Nolan and gets himself in the middle of a range war between McIntire and neighbor Antonio Moreno. Cattle is being stolen from both ranches and the two neighbors are blaming each other. The film gives you two possibilities as the brains behind the stealing.
Best supporting performance is that of McIntire as the irascible ranch owner who doesn’t like children and won’t hire anyone with them. That fact is the reason for all the machinations McCrea has to go through.
Saddle Tramp is a nice easy to take western