In the John Wayne Western from 1944, Tall in the Saddle, land seizures are interrupted when a man threatens to tell the authorities about the sell of marked playing cards.  The man, never shown, is killed.  John Wayne plays the newly hired worker and good shot who, naturally, discovers the truth.

Wayne plainly attracts the haters here, including an insufferable biddy.  A saucy cowgirl (Ella Raines) believes Wayne has made a fool of her, and she intends to fire him from his ranch job, but—aw—she becomes infatuated with him.  There is a pleasing little moment in Saddle when a fellow female looker, Raines’s competition, praises the cowgirl’s prettiness and Raines gives a verbal indication that she knows about her looks and intends to use them to her advantage.

Tall in the Saddle

Tall in the Saddle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Director Edwin L. Marin‘s movie is a fun romp in which Wayne’s character is refreshingly less contemptuous of certain people than some other Wayne characters.  The cast is not wholly effective but it comes close, especially with the admirable fire of Ward Bond and Miss Raines.