|Index||6 reviews in total|
Tex Ritter tries to solve the mystery of a band of hooded horsemen running
roughshod over the country side around the Four Star Mine.
The movie is okay. The plot sort wanders about for the required running time before coming to an end with a chase and a shoot out. Those wishing to learn how not to film a movie chase scene should be required to watch this as good guys and bads guys come from every side of the screen without rhyme or reason. There are a few too many songs that prevent the plot from ever being fully fleshed out.Actually the plot here is more a sketch or a rough idea than an actual story. Its completely forgettable and unremarkable. Its not bad but its something you'll have forgotten five minutes after you watch it.
A Final Note: Whoever was Tex Ritter's make-up man should be shot, I spent a great deal of the movie wondering when all of the flour on his face was going to turn into a cake. Its awful and makes Ritter look like a dead refugee from the silent era.
When his old mentor is killed by black-hooded baddies with
skull-and-crossbones on their chests, Tex and his sidekick Stubby head
up to the old man's mine look for clues and protect the remaining
miners from the mysterious gang.
Colorful villains, some decent action scenes, including a nice saloon brawl with veteran heavy Charles King, and some great songs, all make this pretty agreeable entertainment for fans of Tex Ritter and nineteen-thirties B-westerns in general.
In my opinion, Ritter was the most personable and the best singer of the Saturday matinée westerns and Grand National Pictures the best at strategically placing great songs to cover up the slow parts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This one gives us little more than the standard formula for B movie
The bad guy Norton (played by the classic villain Forrest Taylor) steals the deed to the mine; the good guy, Tex Martin (the easy going but tough fighting Tex Ritter) immediately rides into the thick of the trouble, and is quickly involved in a barroom fight with Blackie (Charles King); then Tex and his partner Stubby (Horace Murphy) try to unravel the suspicious goings-on regarding the mine, and the evil gang of black caped and hooded horsemen (wearing a skull and cross bones logo) known as "The Masked Riders."
Tex infiltrates the gang, gets discovered, is falsely put in jail and then rescued by Stubby, and off they go with the vigilantes to pursue and capture the Masked Riders in a final mass horseback open prairie chase sequence, that by 1937 had been done many times: the Masked Riders finally being encircled by the vast group of vigilante horsemen. The 'mystery' of the title lay in discovering who the real boss of the Masked Riders would turn out to be. Although this is a spoiler, I won't tell you, but it's not the bartender!
Although too short and too routine to be of more than passing interest, the highlights are: 1) the direction of Ray Taylor, here giving Horace Murphy (described by Blackie as "short, fat, and wall-eyed") his biggest and best played role so far; 2) the fight between Tex and Blackie in the bar (one of their best-- too bad there weren't more); 3) the slight presence of the Priscilla Presley look alike, Iris Meredith as Nancy, who herself was in almost 50 films as the "Prairie Flower," mostly in the Charles Starret (who?) westerns, but also in those of Bill Elliot, Johnny Mack Brown, and Buster Crabbe's 'Billy the Kid.' She also played the helpless heroine in 'The Green Archer' (1940) serial.
The real high points, of course, in the Tex Ritter westerns are the musical numbers and his singing. We get a nice little yodelin' country and western swing banjo number from Ray Whitley and his band, and Tex singing "Ride Around Little Dogies," and "Ride, Ride, Ride," which is introduced by Blackie as Tex enters the bar: Norton says, "What's he doing here?" and Blackie answers, "I don't know, but it's a cinch he's up to no good." Does he mean his singing?
Other than the above, it's too routine to be of much interest, and too short, with not enough music numbers or enough fights of various types with Charles King.
There are Hooded Horsemen but not much of a mystery in The Mystery Of
The Hooded Horseman. Still as this was a B picture feature for the
Saturday matinée kid crowd it had a lot of riding and shooting with Tex
Ritter singing a song or three for Grand National Pictures.
Tex Ritter and sidekick Horace Murphy come upon a gang of masked horsemen wearing Ku Klux Klan like hoods instead of your regular bandanna masks who shoot down and kill an old friend of Tex's father. The cowboy code demands Tex take action and he does. Of course there's some singing and a little romance with leading lady Iris Meredith.
There are a couple red herrings thrown at the audience as suspects, but it doesn't take too much to figure out who the leader is. Keep it simple for the kids and I'm sure they enjoyed it back then.
Tex Ritter's country stylings in his songs are the main reason to watch The Mystery Of the Hooded Horsemen today however.
To all you lovers of B-westerns, hold on tight...I am about to say
something really, really mean. I've seen at least a hundred or more of
these movies in the last six months and of all the cowboy heroes, the
lamest I have seen is Tex Ritter. I know he had a lot of fans since he
made so many movies, but I just can't see his appeal. Since these are
particularly cheaply made films (even for Bs), the acting is among the
worst and his singing, generally, is pretty limp. When you see a Ritter
film and compare it to a Roy Rogers, Tim McCoy or Three Mesquiteers
film, the quality difference is very noticeable--and not for the
In this installment, Tex investigates a group of hooded killers. They are NOT the KKK neither are they particularly scary. For example, there is one shootout scene where at least 100-200 shots are fired--and at the end, only one guy is hit! These must be the most myopic villains in film history--as the gang of a dozen or more don't manage to have even one of their bullets land!! The only bullet that hits its mark is one of Tex's--and for that, the community wants him to head a vigilante crusade--though they have no idea WHO these men are. All they know is that Tex's gun can apparently hit something...occasionally. But, when Tex dresses up as a hooded rider, d, now things look bad as the community now think HE is one of the dreaded gang (and you know that they are bad due to the skull and crossbones on their silly uniform). Can Tex extricate himself and find the real baddies? And, can he manage to sing a song that doesn't make your ears bleed? Well, as for the latter, no. His song "I'll Ride, Ride, Ride" is particularly painful--with all of its 'woo-woo-woos'! Of all the Ritter movies I've seen so far, this is probably the worst due to dopey villains and really, really bad acting. Only for die-hard fans who can look past all this. Limp and silly.
This is a mediocre western programmer, utterly unremarkable and not worth your time, except for Ritter's singing of traditional songs, particularly his rendition of "Ride Around Ye Little Dogies." The acting is more concerned with making sure that people speak clearly, and the gunfire sounds like cap pistols.
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