Riders of Death Valley
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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 riders...at 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)...Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The grandchildren and I are to watch the final chapter next week with bated breath.Published 5 months ago by Bill Collins
I'm not a serial fan but this one is much better than most. Good action and some decent character touches. Buck Jones steals the show. Image quality is so-so.Published 9 months ago by Mark Mcgee
Same as my review for Rancho Grande - good clean entertainment by people who lead good clean lives, Never have heard a negative comment about Gene Autry or Mary Lee.Published 15 months ago by R. Ruess
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 16 months ago by vernon egolf
poor sound quality, even for a 1941 movie...hard to follow because of the audio/visual quality...really hard for children to follow.Published 18 months ago by Knipper
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 morePublished on February 7, 2014 by Happy Girl
"Riders of Death Valley," Universal's "Million Dollar Serial" was clearly intended to be something special, better than their usual output. Read morePublished on May 8, 2013 by Stanley Kohl;
The Hal Roach edition from Image is the only option I would advise getting. There were no real issues with this release. Read morePublished on November 3, 2012 by larryj1