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Riders of the Purple Sage (1925)

A Texas Ranger searches for his kidnapped sister.


Lynn Reynolds


Zane Grey (novel), Edfrid A. Bingham (scenario) (as Edfrid Bingham)


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Complete credited cast:
Tom Mix ... Jim Carson aka Jim Lassiter
Mabel Ballin Mabel Ballin ... Jane Withersteen
Beatrice Burnham Beatrice Burnham ... Milly Erne
Marian Nixon ... Bess Erne
Warner Oland ... Lew Walters aka Judge Dyer
Harold Goodwin ... Bern Venters
Arthur Morrison Arthur Morrison ... Frank Erne
Wilfred Lucas ... Oldring
Charles Le Moyne ... Richard Tull (as Charles LeMoyne)
Seessel Anne Johnson Seessel Anne Johnson ... Bess as a Child
Tony the Horse Tony the Horse ... Tony (as Tony the Wonder Horse)


When Lew Walters and his three henchmen kidnap Millie and her child, her brother Jim Carson sets out to find her. Now known as Jim Lassiter, he kills the three henchman. In Cottonwood County he joins up with rancher Jane Witherspoon in her fight against the rustling Riders of the Purple Sage. The crooked County Judge is Dyer, who unknown to Lassiter is really Lew Walters. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 March 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A legjobb rossz ember See more »

Filming Locations:

Prescott, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(1973 alternate)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The alternate version has non-original cast credits. Except for 'Tom Mix' , whose name appears above the title, actors originally were not credited in this movie at the start or at the end. Instead, 8 additional actors and their character names are credited in the intertitles right before they appear on-screen and are listed in the same order in the IMDb cast. All other actors are marked uncredited. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1973, Killiam Shows Inc. copyrighted a 56-minute, re-tinted version with a new piano score composed by William P. Perry. The cast credits shown were supplied by Killiam and not original. See more »


Followed by The Rainbow Trail (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

Earliest filmed version of this story that still exists
17 November 2018 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Based on the novel by Zane Grey, the film stars Tom Mix as the gunslinger Lassiter who hunts down the men responsible for kidnapping his sister and niece years ago. His trek takes him to a ranch owned by Jane Withersteen (Mabel Ballin) who is having her own problems with cattle rustlers. The two plots eventually meet up, and the movie features a haunting finale, remaining true to the novel.

Mix is somewhat bland as the hero, and his outfit is a bit too "ornate." However, he does have a cute, playful scene with an orphan girl played by Dawn O'Day (who later changed her name to Anne Shirley). Warner Oland, as the main villain, is suitably hiss-worthy. IMDb lists Gary Cooper in a bit, but I couldn't find him. Possibly the real star of the film is the beautiful scenery.

During the climax, Mix, with O'Day hanging onto him, and Ballin had to climb up a granite wall. Although wires held them in place, Mix admitted he was not comfortable. "I felt ill at ease because of that little shaver on my back. I kept talking all the time we were climbing to divert attention but let me tell you I watched my step."

In the novel, the kidnappers and some of the other "bad guys" are Mormons. However, there is no mention of any religious organization in this film. The 1918 version, with William Farnum, is presumed lost, although some stills exist, so this is the earliest surviving filmed version. The 1931 version, with George O'Brien, is available on youtube. There is also a 1940s version with George Montgomery.

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