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Riders of Destiny
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In this 1933 film Wayne stars as Singin' Sandy Saunders, who also happens to be a government agent. James Kincaid (Forrest Taylor) has taken control of the water in the area and is willing to grant water rights to other ranchers at exorbitant rates. One of those being exploited is the lovely Fay Denton (Cecilia Parker), so Sandy takes a special shine to her. Meanwhile he plans on sinking Kincaid's operation by opening up a lost river and sending the bad guy to a rather ironic but richly deserved fate. Our hero also does some pretty fancy shooting in the requisite gunfight near the end.
Wayne certainly looks uncomfortable during the singing parts of "Riders of Destiny," but there is something compelling about watching him try. One thing to remember with these Lone Star Westerns is that the one person who is also well worth watching, when you can spot him, is the famous stuntman Yakima Canutt, who plays one of Kincaid's henchmen. In this one his big stunt would be as Kincaid during the bad guy's death scene. You will also spot George Hayes, who plays Charlie Denton in the early part of his career before he was known as "Gabby."
This early movie features "Singing Sandy", the original character for John Wayne (it didn't last). George Hayes and Al St. John are also in the cast. Lafe McKee usually played villains. A man on a white horse sees a man afoot. The Sheriff was shot in the back. The driver on a stagecoach shoots the rider of a horse. "Are you hurt, Miss?" He will help by letting her use his horse to get back to town. Two men provide some comedy. We learn what that woman did. The stagecoach continues on its way. Two riders talk to the men driving the stagecoach. A hidden passenger hears their conversation. Miss Denton reports her stolen horse. Will the Sheriff come back? Sandy brings Miss Denton back to her ranch. Mr. Saunders is thanked for helping Miss Denton. Three men ride up to return Miss Denton's saddle. They see the white horse in the barn.
Sheriff Phil Baxter disappeared, like his predecessor. "He was a fine man." Kincaid wants to buy up all the land for $1 an acre. He owns the water rights to Lost Creek, the main water supply for Antelope Valley. The ranchers object to Kincaid's policies, they will appeal to the government. Kincaid tells them he will charge four times more when the present contract expires. Two men plan a trap for Saunders; it backfires. They are taken for a ride back to town; this sends a message to Kincaid. Saunders delivers a letter found on the road. It is illegal to divert a stream. Saunders rides to town. Kincaid orders his water turned off to other people. What can the people do? The people hope for a man from Washington to fix the problem. Saunders sings after supper. [A double? Who really played that guitar?]
A water tank is filled at Denton's well. They will stick with their neighbors.Read more ›
1) dubbed sound track for the singing
2) the California Water rights theme
John Wayne never again let them fake his voice after this.
This movie was before he became an international star.
The L.A. Antelope valley/ Kern county water wars are part of California history and were heating up again when I was a boy in the late 50's with the construction of a dam.
We are again in a water shortage period with the desert communities on the short end of the list.
So the several movies about the California water problem in the early 1900's are important historically as well as fun as westerns.
All the LA county/ Orange county citrus ranches had a price to other communities in water.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Any John Wayne movie is worth watching. Some are nice and easy watching. This is one of those. . .Published on January 30, 2014 by Wolf4020
good, clean fun. funny to see john wayne in these circumstances. especially the singing.fun story plot and very entertaining