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Bad Lands (1939)

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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 95 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

A posse of nine and Sheriff Bill Cummings set out after a renegade named Apache Jack, who has murdered the wife of Lopez, one of the posse members. The others are Rayburn, Chic Lyman, Billy... See full summary »



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Title: Bad Lands (1939)

Bad Lands (1939) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Complete credited cast:
Robert Barrat ...
Sheriff Bill Cummings
Chick Lyman
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Billy Sweet (as Guinn Williams)
Andy Clyde ...
Paul Hurst ...
Curly Tom
Robert Coote ...
Addison Richards ...
Douglas Walton ...
Bob Mulford
Francis Ford ...
Charlie Garth
Francis McDonald ...
Manuel Lopez


A posse of nine and Sheriff Bill Cummings set out after a renegade named Apache Jack, who has murdered the wife of Lopez, one of the posse members. The others are Rayburn, Chic Lyman, Billy Sweet, Bob Mulford, Curley Tom, Eaton, Garth and an old prospector named Cluff. Apache Jack leads them into Indian country where they come across an oasis in a gully wash. They not only find water but also a natural of vein of silver. Sheriff Cummings prevents any of them from returning to town to file a mining claim. The next morning, Eaton is missing and all of the horses are gone. Then Cluff is killed in an ambush. The posse is trapped by an unseen enemy. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

posse | sheriff | water | horse | prospector | See more »


Stark vengeance...reckless courage...white hot hate...Lightning gun play...Plunging action every blazing minute...ARIZONA IS BORN! See more »


Action | Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Lands  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the characters refers to the ten of spades as the death card. Most card readers/ fortune tellers refer to the ace of spades as the death card. The ten of spades is most often interpreted as indicating a journey (though, to be fair, death could be seen as a journey). See more »


Charlie Garth: Apaches don't do night work. It's against the rules of their God. They prefer the rosy dawn for murder.
Sheriff Bill Cummings: Of course, Apache Jack's influence will be pretty ungodly.
See more »


Version of Bataan (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

A B+ Movie
8 November 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

A topnotch ensemble cast and brilliant photography by Frank Redman make this little-known RKO western a sleeper that can only be compared to John Ford's Stagecoach, released the same year.

A posse pursues Apache Jack (played by John Payne) into the dessert, in a western variation of The Lost Patrol. The result is a nice variety of types played by veteran -- and up-and-coming -- character actors.

While Ford had begun using Monument Valley at this time, this movie was shot at Mount Whitney -- after seeing it in a hundred movies from Gunga Din, released the same year, on downward, you get so you can recognize the boulders. But while the prints of Ford's movie are pretty battered, this one is nearly pristine: the beautiful shadows producing shots like Hurrell portraits. See what a black and white movie is supposed to look like!

So this goes to the top of my list of sleepers. If you get a chance to see it, do so and let me know what you think.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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