Riders of the Purple Sage (1931) Poster

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9/10
A great old cowboy film!!
timmauk11 September 2001
George O'Brien saves the day in this wonderful Zane Gray film. Though time has not been good to this copy(some spots are very choppy) it is still a VERY enjoyable movie.

The story is that the bad guys in the area are trying to run this girl out of town. Seems she has control of land that they need. They run her cattle off cliffs and shoot her men. What is a girl to do?

Then along comes George O'Brien who wants to help her out by shooting the bad guys. This girl will have no violent acts done on her behalf, she says it solves nothing. Will she stick to her beliefs or give in?? Will evil overcome good?? I won't spoil the ending but it is great. If you get the chance, watch it! It'll take you back to Saturday afternoons at the movies when you were a kid. Enjoy the show partners!
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10/10
Amazing camera-work and location filming
gcube194218 July 2015
I would like to call the attention of viewers of this fine film to the unusual use of camera movement. In most B westerns of the 1930s the camera was very static except in chase scenes. Not so here. As a for instance, note the scene where George O'Brien rides into town - the camera picks him up and is pulled backward around a corner and then pans to catch his dismount. Not easy to execute but fun to watch. There seems to have been an informal "contest" in the 1931 - 1932 time frame to break away from cameras nailed to the ground and get them moving. Many examples exist but few were done in this type of film. Although some outdoor shots are obviously Southern California, many more were made closer to the scene of the original book, Utah. No buttes and mesas in SoCal! The themes addressed in this film are enjoyably adult and the ending thankfully avoids the cliché of the hero kissing his horse and riding off into the sunset.
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8/10
Like the man said
Manton2929 January 2012
I agree with the previous reviewer, but wanted to add that there are some nice scenes/ideas involving clever use of the rocky landscape and a waterfall, and some surprisingly well shot action scenes on horseback and with stampeding cattle (shot from below!). I have the Sinister Cinema DVD, quite likely the same 'choppy' copy as the other reviewer, which I believe is taken from an old 16 mil copy. It is very worn, has very bad sound with lots of background noise, and is missing many frames and even significant chunks of dialogue in places, but it was STILL good fun and well worth seeing. George O'Brien (star of Murnau's Sunrise) makes a charming cowboy hero and Marguerite Churchill (the sassy secretary in Dracula's Daughter) is fine as the pacifist damsel in distress with a cute toddler O'Brien befriends in a nice fatherly scene. The two of them found some serious off-screen chemistry, got married and had a couple of kids. A solid 7.5. Recommended.
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