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Riders of Death Valley (1941)

 -  Action | Western  -  1 July 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 44 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Promoted and advertised as "The Million Dollar Serial", most of which appears to have been spent on advertising and the most elaborate pressbook ever put out by Universal on a serial (or ... See full summary »




(screenplay) (as Sherman Lowe) , (screenplay) (as George Plympton) , 3 more credits »
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Title: Riders of Death Valley (1941)

Riders of Death Valley (1941) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Foran ...
Leo Carrillo ...
Pancho Lopez
Wolf Reade
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Borax Bill
Henchman Butch
Jean Brooks ...
Mary Morgan (as Jeanne Kelly)
James Blaine ...
Joseph Kirby
Monte Blue ...
Rance Davis
Glenn Strange ...
Tex, a Benton Rider
Roy Barcroft ...
Henchman Dirk
Jack Rockwell ...
Henchman Trigger
Ethan Laidlaw ...
Henchman Rusty
Richard Alexander ...
Henchman Pete Grump


Promoted and advertised as "The Million Dollar Serial", most of which appears to have been spent on advertising and the most elaborate pressbook ever put out by Universal on a serial (or 95% of their feature films for that matter), Universal's 51st sound-era serial (following "Sky Raiders" and before "Sea Raiders" and, to quote the late Oliver Drake who wrote the original story,..."we were lucky they didn't call it 'Land Raiders'), "Riders of Death Valley" remains a favorite for the 7-12 year-old kids who saw in on original release in 1941, and a major disappointment for those who came later and never saw it in the 35mm version shown on a screen in a 350-seat grind-house theatre, and now question what all the excitement was about. Hey, you had to have been there. Actually, it is just one long prolonged chase after another for the most part and, even worse, it is usually the 5-6 good guys running from 2-3 of the bad guys (which even had eight-year-old kids of 1941 wondering what's up ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A MILLION-DOLLAR SUPER SERIAL! With a thousand teeming thrills in 15 exciting chapters! (original posters) See more »


Action | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 July 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les justiciers du désert  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chapter Titles:
  • 1. Death Marks the Trail!

  • 2. Menacing Herd!

  • 3. Plungle of Peril!

  • 4. Flaming Fury!

  • 5. Avalanche of Doom!

  • 6. Blood and Gold!

  • 7. Death Rides the Storm!

  • 8. Descending Doom!

  • 9. Death Holds the Reins!

  • 10. Devouring Flames!

  • 11. Fatal Blast!

  • 12. Thundering Doom!

  • 13. The Bridge of Disaster!

  • 14. A Fight to the Death!

  • 15. The Harvest of Hate.

See more »


Chapter 11, in the fight in the cave, Jim Benton jumps out to strike one of the outlaws with his gun, butt forward, then next shot, the gun is no longer seen, as he jumps on the outlaw and the fight begins. See more »


Jim Benton: Let's Went!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Main Title is composed with bones. See more »


Ride Along
Written by Milton Rosen and Everett Carter
Sung by Dick Foran and chorus over opening credits in all episodes
See more »

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User Reviews

Interminable length for a B western plot
28 April 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I'm not a fan of movie serials in general. I think it's an art form that has come and thankfully gone. Especially a western serial like this where Universal Pictures got an interesting name cast for Riders Of Death Valley.

The plot is one that could have been used for a good B western. Dick Foran and Buck Jones head the Riders Of Death Valley, a vigilante outfit formed because the law is ineffective against ruthless outlaws like Charles Bickford and Lon Chaney, Jr.

The whole serial is longer than Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments sound version and not nearly as good. The first part is Foran and company battling Bickford to locate a lost mine. The second part is Foran trying to work his mine and at the same time meet his financial obligations.

Through fifteen chapters Foran manages to survive, a landslide, a desert sandstorm, a mine accident, stampeding horses, and a framed murder charge. Just one is enough for any cowboy hero.

Serials were never meant to be viewed as I did on a DVD at home. 20 or so minute chapters every week back in the old days. But even at that I suspect they're no better.

With a length longer than a biblical spectacle, it must have taken Universal a long time and a big budget to film Riders Of Death Valley. It was a waste of time.

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