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Riders of Death Valley (1944)

Buck Jones , Dick Foran , Ford Beebe , Ray Taylor  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Buck Jones, Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo, Glenn Strange, Lon Chaney Jr.
  • Directors: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor
  • Writers: Basil Dickey, George H. Plympton, Sherman L. Lowe, Jack O'Donnell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005
  • Run Time: 287 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A6CKXE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,951 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Riders of Death Valley" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This western serial has our able heroes escaping various perils devised by the evil Wolfe Reade and his pack of outlaws, who wish to lay claim to a fabled lost mine. Bonus Features: Digitally Mastered & Restored | Photo Gallery & Serial Poster Gallery | Actor Bios | Scene Selection Menu | Bonus Serial Trailers. Specs: 2-DVD9s; Dolby Digital Mono; 287 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1941; SRP - $29.99.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best serials ever made? August 27, 2006
An earlier review by "Mr. Jim" expresses my same views on RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY. It is one of the finest serials, certainly the finest Western serial, ever made. Released by Universal, reputedly in sepia tone and costing one million dollars to make, and featuring one of the finest casts to be corraled by any studio at the time, RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY will offer just about any viewer thrills, chills, and spills...amidst magnificent scenery and great camera work. VCI has obtained an immaculate print, sharp and clean, and the soundtrack is fine. With such familiars as Dick Foran, Buck Jones, Charles Bickford, Leo Carrillo, Noah Beery Jr., Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Glenn Strange, Roy Barcroft, Monte Blue, Ethan Laidlaw, and a host of other stalwarts ridin' and shootin', well, this is the kind of entertainment that won't let you down. VCI has attractively packaged this release, with all sorts of extras, including cast bios'. The price is right, and this release is highly recommended. Our thanks again to VCI for a superior product at a reasonable price....
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VCI Entertainment and Universal Pictures present "Riders of Death Valley" (1941) (digitally remastered), 15 Chapters of vintage serial loaded with thrilling drama and high adventure sequences featuring heroes and villains Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo, Buck Jones, Charles Bickford, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Lon Chaney Jr, Noah Beery Jr. Glenn Strange and Roy Barcroft..there is a great deal of entertainment here for the cliffhanger fans out there... It has more of everything with lots of action, hard riding chases and plenty of shootouts...Universal Pictures publicity department reportedly budgeted one million dollars for "Riders of Death Valley", this was an unheard dollar amount for any B-Western.

The "Riders" are a group of stout hearted men protecting local miners from the bad guys of the territory...Jim Benton and Tombstone head up the the other end of the story we have a pack of wolves lead by Wolf Reade, Kirby and Davis who control the town and want more, meaning gold and total power...Benton has part ownership in the "Lost Aztec Mine" along with Mary Morgan...can Benton fight off Wolf Reade and the other hyenas....each episode gets closer to the answer, watch this and relive those thrilling yesteryears of the Saturday Matinee.

Under director's Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor with screenplay by Sherman Lowe, George H Plympton and Basil Dickey...the cast include Dick Foran (Jim Benton), Leo Carrillo (Pancho Lopez), Buck Jones (Tombstone), Charles Bickford (Wolf Reade), Guinn "Big Boy" Williams (Borax Bill), Lon Chaney Jr (Butch - Henchman), Noah Beery Jr (Smokey), Jean Brooks (Mary Morgan), James Blaine (Joseph Kirby), Monte Blue (Rance Davis), Glenn Strange (Tex, sidekick toBenton), Roy Barcroft (Dirk - Henchman), Jack Rockwell (Trigger - Henchman)...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ridin' and Ridin' and Ridin'--For Fifteen Weeks May 24, 2006
I managed to finish the Alpha release of RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY. It nearly finished me! If you have to have it, the VCI release is probably the better choice for sound and picture quality.

The 1941 serial, a Universal product, is alternately goofy and tedious, with no resemblance to a taut chapterplay like FLASH GORDON, released only five years earlier by the studio. Way too long at fifteen chapters, it nonetheless makes an effort to tell a story with recognizable characters--that is, characters with actual personalities, rare in the world of serials. Most of the actors, some of them well above average, seem to be enjoying themselves and the quirky script. Light humor is the order of the day among the Riders (good-guy vigilantes who are out to protect miners' interests against corrupt businessmen and their hired guns), with Guinn "Big Boy" Williams and Leo Carillo playing a sagebrush version of the Bickersons, while Buck Jones throws in one wisecrack after another (often aimed at Carillo's fractured English). As Pancho, Leo Carillo plays a somewhat feistier version of the Pancho he would play alongside Duncan Renaldo in TV's THE CISCO KID. Watching that series as a child, I had no idea that Carillo had already used the line "Let's went!" seven thousand four hundred and sixty-seven times before--and all in this serial.

Among the heavies, Charles Bickford's Wolfe Reade stands out. A worthy villain--he even scares his own men. Bickford had appeared with Garbo in ANNA CHRISTIE a decade earlier and looks annoyed at having to gallop around in the tumbleweeds with Lon Chaney, Jr.

The town to which everyone repairs now and then is called Panamint, which sounds like something you might put on your toothbrush.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A generally good B comedy July 11, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Road Show is far from Hal Roach's best, but nowhere near his worst either. Oddly, Adolph Menjou is the mediocrity in this film, the rest of the cast holds up pretty well.

The highlight of this film is 'The Charioteers,' a nearly forgotten African American ensemble from the 30's and 40's singing several songs including "Calliope Jane." The DVD audio transfer of the song from the film is better than any I've heard off old Columbia '78's.

Shemp Howard makes a cameo.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ridin ona rainbow.
you will love this gene autry movie ridin on a rainbow it is an excellent movie and the songs very good to so enjoy.
Published 18 days ago by vernon egolf
1.0 out of 5 stars poor sound quality
poor sound quality, even for a 1941 movie...hard to follow because of the audio/visual quality...really hard for children to follow.
Published 3 months ago by Knipper
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene Autry Movie Ridin on a Rainbow.
I have been a Gene Autry since childhood. I love all of his movies. I wish they made movies like this today. They were made for families without all the terrible language. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Happy Girl
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining in small doses; VCI vs. Alpha
"Riders of Death Valley," Universal's "Million Dollar Serial" was clearly intended to be something special, better than their usual output. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stanley Kohl;
4.0 out of 5 stars HAL ROACH EDITION!!!!!
The Hal Roach edition from Image is the only option I would advise getting. There were no real issues with this release. Read more
Published 24 months ago by larryj1
5.0 out of 5 stars Autry review
Good music if you like this type of music. Purchased for mother in law as it is her taste in tunes. Not my style but not bad.
Published on June 7, 2012 by Stats Master
1.0 out of 5 stars Total turkey
Given the cast, this is a shocking stinker. The plot rambles, whole scenes are ridiculous, there can't be more than a single laugh in this "comedy," and the music is the worst... Read more
Published on September 11, 2009 by C.A. Arthur
1.0 out of 5 stars ALPHA VS. VCI!!!!!
This serial itself deserves 5 stars, but the Alpha DVD deserves none. Besides the print quality, Alpha has marked the DVD with their logo during the credits. Read more
Published on May 18, 2009 by larryj1
5.0 out of 5 stars LOGO WARNING!!!!!
First off, the 5 stars are for the serial and not for VCI's presentation which rates zero. This is one of a handfull of VCI's serials where their logo pops up here and there. Read more
Published on May 6, 2009 by larryj1
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant time killer, with three fine Hoagy Carmichael songs you'll...
When millionaire society playboy Drogo Gaines (John Hubbard) backs out of his marriage in front of the minister by pretending to be crazy, his society gold digger fiancé has... Read more
Published on November 21, 2008 by C. O. DeRiemer
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