The period is the 1820's and the first wagon train leaves Independence heading west to Santa Fe. In order to maintain his power, the ruthless Official at Santa Fe must not let them arrive ... See full summary »
The period is the 1820's and the first wagon train leaves Independence heading west to Santa Fe. In order to maintain his power, the ruthless Official at Santa Fe must not let them arrive and he sends out his men to stop them. The wagon train then has to endure repeated attacks but is aided by a mysterious rider that shoots singing arrows and rides a painted stallion. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The rights to Hal G. Evarts' story were sold to Republic Pictures by his widow. Ironically, the serial isn't faithful whatsoever to Evarts' original story: the writers substituted an entirely different story. See more »
The "mule" Roberto, introduced in Chapter Seven, is actually a small horse which has been made up to look like a mule. I know modern mules have long tail hair, but this movie is set at a time before they were even bred, and the word "mule" meant the same thing as "donkey." Even its braying is fake and has been dubbed. See more »
Get your men under cover and don't fire until I give you the signal.
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The serial that started my Saturday matinee attendance habit!!
Over the years, I found myself daydreaming about this serial from time to time. It was my introduction to the Saturday matinee habit which followed for five or six more years. Later, with the advent of VCR's I learned that a copy of this serial was available and it now occupies a spot on my videotape library shelf. I'm still of two minds as to whether the purchase was a wise or foolish move. I must admit that I did enjoy the regular dosage of suspense. These closers recalled the discussions my chums and I would have trying to resolve the hero's predicament before the next Saturday. Occasionally we would recall the two or three scenes which were added to the story but had been omitted from the end of last week's chapter. Still and all, we didn't complain and felt that our 10¢ had been very well spent. The viewing of the serial several decades later was, on the whole, a disappointment. The reason is that in 1938, I was always allowed to spend a week in suspense, sounding out my buddies' soutions and comparing them with mine. The following Saturday, of course, the solution was revealed. As for the story itself, I identified with the boy hero completely. The light-hearted comic relief was much appreciated as well and served to ease the tension of the exciting segments. The concluding chapter when "all was revealed" was always a disappointment for I had already conjured up a solution far more exciting and thrilling than the one the writers ever thought of. Of course, to a ten-year old, the budget and elaboration prohibited the use of my quite logical, but enormously expensive resolution and so I always felt somewhat let down when the final chapter appeared. Our local cineman was jammed each Saturday with screaming and howling boys and girls sitting on the edge of their seats in order not to miss a second of the serial and the clarification of the dangers our heroes faced. And all for a dime, too!! Ah, the good old days!
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