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 »
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 <email@example.com>
With a cast of Western B movie royalty this was billed as "The million dollar serial." Its also an hour long programmer stretched to an ungodly length.
Dick Foran, Leo Castillo, Lon Chaney, Noah Beery Jr, Buck Jones and several others are brought together to tell the story of bunch of cowboys fighting to find and maintain a lost gold mine. Its a typical tale thats been told a thousand times before in an hour long movie, only this time its being told in way that lasts five times that. It doesn't need it.
To be honest the cast almost makes this worth watching, however the pacing and story line of the first 8 or 9 chapters is what I call the "40 years in the wilderness". Its a long haul where not much really happens. To be certain watching on a chapter by chapter basis this works better than trying to do it in one sitting, but at the same time the rewards beyond the great cast are minimal. Lets face it its just really dull.
For western fans or fans of the stars only.
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