IMDb > The Dawn Rider (1935)
The Dawn Rider
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The Dawn Rider (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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The Dawn Rider -- When John Mason's father is killed, John is wounded. Attracted to his nurse Alice, a conflict arises between him and his friend Ben who plans to marry Alice...


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Release Date:
20 June 1935 (USA) See more »
The End Of The Vengeance Trail
When John Mason's father is killed, John is wounded. Attracted to his nurse Alice, a conflict arises... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Rote Poverty Row Western See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... John Mason
Marion Burns ... Alice Gordon
Dennis Moore ... Rudd Gordon (as Denny Meadows)
Reed Howes ... Ben McClure
Joseph De Grasse ... Dad Mason (as Joe DeGrasse)
Yakima Canutt ... Saloon Owner
Earl Dwire ... Pete - Expressman
Nelson McDowell ... Bates - Undertaker
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Allen ... Townsman (uncredited)
Chuck Baldra ... Henchman (uncredited)
Bert Dillard ... Buck (uncredited)
Jack Evans ... Barfly (uncredited)
Herman Hack ... Henchman (uncredited)
Jack Jones ... Henchman in Wagon (uncredited)
George Morrell ... Card Player (uncredited)
Tex Palmer ... Henchman (uncredited)
Fred Parker ... Doctor (uncredited)
Tex Phelps ... Henchman (uncredited)
Archie Ricks ... Townsman (uncredited)
James Sheridan ... Townsman (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert N. Bradbury  (as R.N. Bradbury)
Writing credits
Lloyd Nosler (story)

Robert N. Bradbury  screenplay (uncredited)
Wellyn Totman  story (uncredited)

Produced by
Paul Malvern .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Archie Stout (photography)
Film Editing by
Carl Pierson (film editor)
Sound Department
Dave Stoner .... recordist (as D.S. Stoner)
Yakima Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Jones .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Billy Barber .... 1985 video/TV added music creator (as William Barber)
Other crew
E.R. Hickson .... technical director
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cold Vengeance" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
53 min
Black and White | Color (colorized)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

John Mason:[responding to a threat from Ben] You and whose army?See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as Dawn Rider (2012)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Rote Poverty Row Western, 17 April 2014
Author: Bill Slocum ( from Greenwich, CT United States

About the only reason to see most of John Wayne's Lone Star Westerns is because Wayne is in them. That's certainly true here, as Wayne's character seeks out the man who killed his father and gets caught up in a love triangle.

Typically, Wayne's character here, John Mason, doesn't waste time. No sooner does he arrive in town than he gets into an argument with Ben McClure (Reed Howes). The two soon trade blows, followed by friendly drinks at the nearby saloon. Witnessing his father's murder changes the happy situation for Mason, though he still is in the mood for love when a woman McClure is sweet on nurses him back from a gunshot wound.

This all happens in the first 15 minutes. Lone Star westerns were typically short, though this is a bit longer than most I've seen at 55 minutes. You have to allow for a rushed narrative, but this one really starves for oxygen, relying on clichés to get across story points.

An opening scene features a hombre who is made to "dance" when another fellow shoots at his feet. Mason is warned to get out of town by four o'clock, or be shot on sight. Near the end of the movie, an out-of-luck cowpoke tells Mason that "it's getting' dark...Ain't sundown, is it? You oughta tell Alice I won't be home for dinner..."

The dialogue here is quite goofy, and made worse by the strange voices of Wayne's supporting cast. Yakima Canutt's high, sneering register didn't get in the way of his Hollywood career as a premier stuntman, but it makes his villainous barkeep character here tough to take. Dennis Moore as chief baddie Rudd employs a basso profondo baritone, while Marion Burns as love interest Alice (Rudd's sister) uses a tremulous soprano. It's like a real horse opera when one of these two are on stage.

Wayne is solid in the main role. Like other commenters here have noted, he had that short-stride, pigeon-toed walk working for him already here, and it's something to see from the opening moments when he strides into town. He demonstrates fine chemistry with the other actors, especially Howes, looking amiable and at ease (even if he should seem a bit edgier after seeing his father murdered in front of him.)

There is one good bit in this film, when Mason and an associate (Lone Star regular Earl Dwire, a good player) set a trap for the bad guys and find themselves in a gun battle on a runaway wagon. It looks to be authentic; no back projection anyway, and for a few minutes the film kicks into a higher gear.

But then the wagon crashes, Dwire's character is apparently dead and forgotten about, and Mason goes on with the increasingly pointless business of chasing down his father's killer. Soon we are back to Burns caterwauling about her brother's innocence, even if we know better. Why would Mason want such a woman? Why doesn't he confront her brother, instead of banter with him about his neckerchief? "The Dawn Rider" doesn't expect you to care any more than they did, and it shows.

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