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Riders of Death Valley (1941) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 37% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sherman L. Lowe (screenplay) and
George H. Plympton (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Riders of Death Valley on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 1941 (USA) See more »
THE GREATEST SERIAL...ever made by the master serial-makers! (original posters) See more »
Promoted and advertised as "The Million Dollar Serial", most of which appears to have been spent on... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Universal serial . . . you have been warned. See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dick Foran ... Jim Benton
Leo Carrillo ... Pancho Lopez

Buck Jones ... Tombstone

Charles Bickford ... Wolf Reade

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Borax Bill

Lon Chaney Jr. ... Henchman Butch

Noah Beery Jr. ... Smokey
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
Frank Austin ... Chuckawalla Charlie Morgan [Ch. 1]
Charles Thomas ... Rimrock [Ch. 4]
William Hall ... Dan Gordon [Chs. 1, 8-10]
James Guilfoyle ... Judge Knox [Chs. 2, 13-14]
Ernie Adams ... Cactus Pete, Prospector [Ch.14]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ted Adams ... Hank (uncredited)
Frank Brownlee ... Slim (uncredited)
Bob Burns ... Miner in Saloon (uncredited)
Rod Cameron ... Rider (uncredited)

Jack Rube Clifford ... Lafe Hogan (uncredited)
Edmund Cobb ... Salty (uncredited)
Art Dillard ... Miner (uncredited)
Jim Farley ... Graham (uncredited)
Chick Hannan ... Miner (uncredited)
Jerome Harte ... Richards (uncredited)
Al Haskell ... Barfly (uncredited)
Jimmie Lucas ... Saloon Waiter (uncredited)
Frank McCarroll ... Lyncher (uncredited)
Ivor McFadden ... Bragg (uncredited)
Leo J. McMahon ... Barfly (uncredited)
Jay Michael ... Cashier (uncredited)
Art Miles ... Green (uncredited)
Ken Nolan ... Cashier (uncredited)
Bud Osborne ... Stagecoach Driver (uncredited)
William Pagan ... Marshal (uncredited)
Tex Palmer ... Wagon Driver (uncredited)
Ed Payson ... Buck Hansen (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Fighter (uncredited)

Jack Perrin ... Stage Guard (uncredited)
Alonzo Price ... Mr. Wilson (uncredited)
Ruth Rickaby ... Kate (uncredited)
Don Rowan ... Blake (uncredited)
Dick Rush ... Saloon Waiter (uncredited)
Silver ... Tombstone's Horse (uncredited)
Smoke ... Jim's Horse (uncredited)

Richard Travis ... Joe Miller (uncredited)

Slim Whitaker ... Stable Owner (uncredited)

Directed by
Ford Beebe 
Ray Taylor 
Writing credits
Sherman L. Lowe (screenplay) (as Sherman Lowe) and
George H. Plympton (screenplay) (as George Plympton) and
Basil Dickey (screenplay) and
Jack O'Donnell (screenplay) (as Jack Connell)

Oliver Drake (original story) uncredited

Produced by
Henry MacRae .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Jerome Ash 
William A. Sickner  (as William Sickner)
Film Editing by
Joseph Gluck  (as Joseph Glick)
Louis Sackin 
Alvin Todd 
Art Direction by
Ralph M. DeLacy  (as Ralph DeLacy)
Visual Effects by
Cleo E. Baker .... miniatures (uncredited)
John P. Fulton .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Jack Casey .... stunt double (uncredited)
Art Dillard .... stunts (uncredited)
Leroy Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunt double (uncredited)
Frank McCarroll .... stunt double (uncredited)
Leo J. McMahon .... stunts (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunt double (uncredited)
Ken Terrell .... stunt double (uncredited)
Duke York .... stunt double (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Saul A. Goodkind .... supervising editor
Music Department
Charles Previn .... musical director
Ralph Freed .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Karl Hajos .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
W. Franke Harling .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Jacques Jaccard .... dialogue director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
283 min (15 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

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 »
Continuity: Chapter 6, being pursued by Wolfe's gang, Jim tosses a keg of powder into their path and explodes it, but after the smoke clears you can see a whole keg.See more »
Jim Benton:Let's Went!See more »
Fingal's Cave OvertureSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
A Universal serial . . . you have been warned., 20 February 2006
Author: reptilicus from Vancouver, Canada

Back in 1918 Universal Studios gave the world the first feature film that cost over $1 million to make. That was BLIND HUSBANDS directed by Erich von Strohiem. It was 23 years later when Universal also made the first serial that cost $1 million. By this time the Laemmle's, Snr. and Jnr. were long gone and I wonder when Carl Laemmle the elder would have said about spending so much on a serial?

Well that is the movie I am here to-night to talk about. RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY stars Dick Foran, best known as a singing cowboy. He's backed up by Buck Jones (Edward D. Wood Jnr's fave cowboy actor, there's a bit of trivia for you!), Jean Brooks, Leo Carillo, Noah Beery Jnr. and Guinn "Big Boy" WIlliams. On the side of the bad guys there's Charles Bickford, Lon Chaney Jnr., James Blaine and Monte Blue.

This is a western serial with 4 staff writers working on it so you just know not a single cliché will be left untapped. Characters have names like "Tombstone", "Pancho", "Smokey", "Trigger", "Tex", "Borax Bill", "Cactus Pete" and "Chuckawalla Charlie". There's even a location called "Funeral Pass" (what, no "Deadman's Gulch"? How'd they miss THAT one?). Have I mentioned the plot yet? I haven't? Sorry!

James Blaine and Monte Blue want to run all the prospectors out of Death Valley and grab all their claims for next to nothing. To do they they enlist the help of "Wolf" (Charles Bickford) and his gang. Butch (Lon) is the second in command and just as quick on the trigger as his boss. The good guys are known as The Riders and they just happen to know the location of a lost Aztec gold mine with a fortune in ore. For 15 chapters Wolf and his gang try to get it and are constantly thwarted by the Riders. Complications include framing good guy Jim (Dick Foran) for murder, sabotaging mining equipment, stampedes, explosions, shootouts and LOTS of fistfights! Sadly the cliffhangers are not as good as the ones offered by rival serial makers Republic and Columbia. One example: Jim and Mary are about to be run over by a stampede at one chapter ending but in the next chapter we see the horses have miraculously all missed them! Another one, Jim and Tombstone are going into the mine on an elevator when a minor villain sabotages the cable and they plunge to the bottom. In the next chapter they simply are pulled up again and neither has so much as a bruise!

Charles Bickford had worked as a villain for Cecil B. DeMille in movies like DYNAMITE (1929) and the rarely seen THIS DAY AND AGE (1933) so he knew how to be a convincing bad guy. For Lon Jnr this movie came after MAN MADE MONSTER and before THE WOLFMAN and he was still hoping to get more leading man roles. Noah Beery Jnr does not have much to do in this one but he and Lon would work together again, this time on the same side in OVERLAND MAIL (1944). Monte Blue and also worked with Chaney in the Republic serial UNDERSEA KINGOM (1936).

So do I like this movie? YES! It may be predictable but thanks to so many great character actors and competent direction by serial vet Ford Beebe it is never dull.

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