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>
Chapter Titles: 1. Trail to Empire; 2. The Rider of the Stallion' 3. The Death Leap; 4. Avalanche; 5. Volley of Death; 6. Thundering Wheels; 7. Trail Treachery; 8. The Whistling Arrow; 9. The Fatal Message; 10. Ambush; 11. Tunnel of Terror; 12. Human Targets. 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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Any film with Lou Fulton is automatically at a huge handicap.
Lou Fulton, fortunately, only made a small number of film appearances--and they were mostly in westerns. He played a VERY offensive and unfunny guy named 'Elmer'--a guy who stutters and contorts his face in a palsied manner and seems almost subhuman--all in the name of laughs! His appearance in "The Painted Stallion" is a major strike against this movie serial. Are the rest of the cast up to the task of making the viewer forget about Fulton's ridiculously bad acting?
This western serial is apparently set around 1820. So, you see Jim Bowie and Davy Crocket--the same men who died at the Alamo in 1836. Yet, despite being such a very, very early western, you'd never know it because everyone fires revolvers and wears cowboy hats--which hadn't yet come into use. The earliest revolvers were being invented then and each chamber was hand-loaded (there were no cartridges) and a gun might be fired five or six times--but then took several minutes to reload. Well, that's NOT the case here, as the Colt .45 and other anachronistic weapons were used throughout the film. I know many viewers won't care about this sort of thing, but seeing clothing and guns from 30-40 years in the future annoys me--probably in part because I am a retired history teacher. Get it right folks--it just means doing a tiny bit of homework before you make the film.
As far as the acting goes, I was a bit disappointed. Although Ray Corrigan was the leading man, I assumed it was more an ensemble cast with his buddy, Hoot Gibson, getting equal treatment in the film--and I liked this thought since I really like Hoot Gibson films. Well, Gibson was pretty much a minor character. I also didn't like all the attention the kid (who was SUPPOSED to be a young Kit Carson) got in the film--as most child actors are pretty annoying. So, with these folks starring in the film, it's obvious that Fulton's bad acting would NOT be overshadowed by the rest of the cast--since the cast were all semi-mythical representations of real western characters. Carson, Bowie and Crocket did NOT pal around together!
Overall, this isn't a terrible western serial, but it isn't all that good of one either. There are many dull patches, the reuse of scenes for the sake of economy and the mistakes I've already mentioned. While most serials were rather slapped together and often played loose with the facts, even without all this the serial wasn't nearly as interesting as many others such as "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" or "Spy Smasher". Worth a look only if you are a devoted serial junkie.
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