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Riders of Death Valley (1941)

Approved | | Action, Western | 1 July 1941 (USA)
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) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Pancho Lopez
Wolf Reade
Borax Bill
Henchman Butch
Mary Morgan (as Jeanne Kelly)
Joseph Kirby
Rance Davis
Tex, a Benton Rider
Henchman Dirk
Henchman Trigger
Henchman Rusty
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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE GREATEST SERIAL...ever made by the master serial-makers! (original posters) See more »


Action | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 July 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los jinetes de la muerte  »

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 1, Tombstone's horse keeps disappearing and reappearing when tied to the stagecoach. Also he is seen following the stagecoach not tied, then he is tied. See more »


Pancho Lopez: I guess this is going to be the end of this, uh, assoc...
Borax Bill: Association.
Pancho Lopez: Assocination, no?
Borax Bill: Yes,
Pancho Lopez: Well, I say no.
Borax Bill: All right then... No.
Pancho Lopez: What it gonna be - yes or no?
Borax Bill: I don't think they'll hold another meeting. Can't you understand?
Pancho Lopez: [nodding his head in the affirmative] No.
Borax Bill: [disgustedly] Adobe brain...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Main Title is composed with bones. See more »


Fingal's Cave Overture
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the dullest serials despite the cast
25 June 2008 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

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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