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The Night Riders (1939)

Passed  |   |  History, Western  |  12 April 1939 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 218 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

Talbot uses a phony land grant to rule thirteen million acres, taxing everyone heavily and evicting those who won't pay. The Three Mesquiteers becomes mysterious "night riders" to fight ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Night Riders (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Max Terhune ...
Doreen McKay ...
Ruth Rogers ...
Susan Randall
George Douglas ...
Talbot posing as de Serrano
...
Jackson
Kermit Maynard ...
Sheriff Pratt
Sammy McKim ...
Tim Randall
Walter Wills ...
Hazleton
Ethan Laidlaw ...
Andrews
Edward Peil Sr. ...
Rancher Harper
Tom London ...
Rancher Wilson
Jack Ingram ...
Wilkins
Bill Nestell ...
Allen - A Brawler (as William Nestell)
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Storyline

Talbot uses a phony land grant to rule thirteen million acres, taxing everyone heavily and evicting those who won't pay. The Three Mesquiteers becomes mysterious "night riders" to fight this evil. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SENTINEL OF THE PLAINS! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lone Star Bullets  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[the outlaws are shooting through the windows of the building where the townsmen have holed up]
1st Townsman: Well, they're askin' for it!
2nd Townsman: Yeah. Let's give 'em an answer.
[the townsmen return fire]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Under Texas Skies (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Garfield Connection
11 March 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I imagine that Night Riders was probably done immediately after Stagecoach was finished shooting, but was not out yet. No one knew that it would be the film that would make John Wayne a huge star, so he was back doing the Three Mesquiteers western series for Republic Pictures. It is the film listed immediately after Stagecoach on IMDb and in the Films of John Wayne book.

In this entry Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and a whole bunch of other honest folk are being tossed off their ranches by a man showing up with titles from an old Spanish land grant. The only problem here is that you're dealing with the Three Mesquiteers who ain't gonna take this lying down.

The three of them, Duke included, decide to go Zorro on the bad guys. They dress up as three stylish bandits with caped hoods and call themselves, Los Capequeros. They rob the rent collectors from the "Don" and give it back to the ranchers. Even sheriff Kermit Maynard is sympathetic to them.

What makes Night Riders interesting is the fact that the Three Mesquiteers go calling on President James A. Garfield who is making a goodwill trip out west. They are looking to elude the rent collectors and break in on President Garfield while he's reading in bed. Don't say much for Presidential security, but they put up their guns and Garfield doesn't give them away. And he offers to help if they can get the evidence after the Mesquiteers tell their tale.

Of course Garfield never went west in the brief three months he had as President in 1881 before an assassin shot him in Washington's Union station. Oddly enough his successor Chester A. Arthur did make a trip west, a well publicized good will trip that was worked into the plot of the Robert Taylor western, Cattle King which I also reviewed. Garfield's shooting was worked in, albeit in a minor way, in the climax of Night Riders.

The Garfield connection does make Night Riders somewhat interesting to watch. And the Three Mesquiteer films were a bit above average of the ordinary B picture westerns of the time.

I hope no one sees that title and assumes some cartoon cat guest starred with the Duke in one of his films.


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