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Riders of the Purple Sage (1931) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Lassiter's sister was killed and her young daughter taken and raised by outlaws. Years later Lassiter arrives at the Withersteen ranch looking for the now grown daughter. He immediately gets caught up in the ranch's struggle against rustlers. Trailing a rustled herd of horses leads him to the rustler's hideout and the missing daughter.

    - Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>
  • A Remake of two earlier silent films and remade again in 1941 by TCF with George Montgomery, all of which audiences paid to see. Turner made a "version" of it as a TV offering. George O'Brien's follow-up film was "Rainbow Trail", a direct sequel to "Riders of the Purple Sage", which takes place 20 years later with O'Brien playing a young man searching for Jim Lassister (the character he played in "Riders") and Jane in their sealed valley and falling in love with the now-grown-up Fay: Seeking traces of his lost sister and her two young daughters, Jim Lassister reaches the Utah ranch of Jane Withersteen. He offers to help save Jane and her property from the depredations of a gang of crooked officials, organized under Judge Dyer. He rescues Vern Venters, Jane's foreman, from Oldring and Tull, Dyer henchmen, and later turns a herd of stampeding cattle and traces Oldring and Judd to their lair. Lassister confronts Oldring, learns that his sister is dead, and that her daughters are safe. One is a little girl, Fay, at Jane's ranch. The other, Bess, is a mysterious masked rider, whom Lassister and Venters later save from Oldring. Lassister goes to Judge Dyer's courtroom and makes his accusations as the Judge is about to take "legal' possession of Jane's property. Dyer draws his pistols and Lassister shoots him through both wrists. Lassister and Venters escape from town ahead of a posse, rescue Jane and Fay, but are forced to fire the Withersteen ranch to save it from falling into the hands of Tull's men. Venters and Bess, now in love, go one way, while Lassister, Jane and Fay (Lassister's niece) make their final escape by starting an avalanche which traps Tull and his men in a narrow canyon. Lassister, Jane and baby Fay prepare to make their future in the now-sealed valley.

    - Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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