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Riders of Destiny (1933)

Bad guy Kincaid controls the local water supply and plans to do in the other ranchers. Government agent Saunders shows up undercover to do in Kincaid and win the heart of one of his victims Fay Denton.


Robert N. Bradbury


Robert N. Bradbury (story) (as R.N. Bradbury)




Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Singin' Sandy Saunders
Cecilia Parker ... Fay Denton
Forrest Taylor ... James Kincaid
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Charlie Denton (as George Hayes)
Al St. John ... Bert - Henchman
Heinie Conklin ... Elmer - Henchman
Yakima Canutt ... Henchman
Earl Dwire ... Slip Morgan
Lafe McKee ... Sheriff Bill Baxter
Addie Foster Addie Foster ... Mrs. Mason


Kincade controls the area's water supply and is about to force the ranchers into contracts at exorbitant rates. Government Agent Saunders has a plan that will open up the lost river and dry up Kincade's supply. So he gets the ranchers to insist on a clause that Kincade's land will revert to the public if he fails to deliver water. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Wrote The Code Of Justice With A Blazing Six-Gun! (1939 poster) See more »


Music | Romance | Western


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Did You Know?


Marlon Brando's line from The Godfather (1972) "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" was not an original term, as may be believed by some fans of the movie. In 'Riders of Destiny', Kincaid made a similar devious statement (see the Quotes section) nearly four decades before The Godfather (1972) was released. See more »


At 50 minutes, as Singin'Sandy chases the evil Kincaid, a modern power line/telephone pole, double poled high tension line, and even a radio tower can be clearly seen in the background. The power pole is to modern to even try to pass itself off as a telegraph pole, as does the one which can be seen by the side of the road behind Sandy as he gallops past. See more »


Singin' Sandy Saunders: Howdy, folks. Could you tell me where the Sheriff is?
James Kincaid: Oh, I take charge when he isn't here. Can I do anything I can you do for you?
Singin' Sandy Saunders: Thanks, I'll wait for him.
James Kincaid: The Sheriff didn't care especially for this job - he might not come back.
Singin' Sandy Saunders: I'll take that chance. I have an idea he *will* come back.
[Singin' Sandy leaves the jailhouse]
James Kincaid: I don't like the way that fellow talks. We'll watch him.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Later UK releases of this film were cut by 4 seconds to remove animal cruelty (a horse being ridden off a cliff into water) to comply with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of John Wayne (2007) See more »


Song of the Wild
Composer unknown
Performed by John Wayne
See more »

User Reviews

Old Western in which John Wayne takes on a powerful owner who is about to force the ranchers to leave their lands
1 July 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Early talkie in which John Wayne accompanied by George ¨Gaby¨ Hayes and a beautiful damsel face ominous enemies who attempt to take the water supply . Bad guy Kincaid (Forrest Taylor) controls the local water supply and plans to do in the other ranchers . Government agent Saunders (John Wayne) shows up undercover to do in Kincaid and to find out who is stealing water from the local farmers . Meantime, Saunders wins the heart of one of his victims , Fay Denton (Cecilia Parker) . Sanders meets Charlie Denton (George Gaby Hayes, this time without beard and he bears the comic relief , as usual), an old rancher , become partners and Sandy helps as well as secures water rights for farmers . Meanwhile , the nasty wealthy Land Baron seeks vengeance and take lands from poor farmers at exorbitant rates.

The picture gets thrills , Western action , shootouts , a love story , and several fights between Wayne and his enemies ; being quite entertaining and including some comical elements . It's a low budget film with good actors , technicians, mediocre production values , pleasing results and usually regarded as one of the best Westerns made by John Wayne during his ¨Lone Star¨ period . The picture packs brawls and fights in silent cinema style and and exciting pursuits . Nice acting by John Wayne as a young Singin' Sandy Saunders who finds himself involved with claim jumpers , powerful owners and ambitious guys . Very early Wayne has the Duke looking awfully young as an undercover agent securing water rights and he even sings some songs . Sympathetic performance from veteran George ¨Gaby¨ Hayes as short-tempered person , Gaby steals the show , as usual . One of the few sidekicks to land on the annual list of Top Ten Western Box office Stars, he did so repeatedly . In his early films, he alternated between whiskered comic-relief sidekicks and clean-shaven bad guys, but by the later 1930s, he worked almost exclusively as a Western sidekick to stars such as John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Randolph Scott. After his last film, in 1950, he starred as the host of a network television show devoted to stories of the Old West for children, The Gabby Hayes Show (1950). Mediocre cinematography by Archie Stout , a notorious cameraman with a long career . Being necessary an alright remastering because of the film-copy is washed-out . The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film . Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely and usually badly edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duplicated from second- or third-generation or more copies of the film . The motion picture was professionally directed by Robert North Bradbury who made various early John Wayne vehicles .

John Wayne played a great role in the super-production ¨The big trail¨(1930) but he subsequently fell in B series during the thirties . Most of them in ¨Lone Star¨ productions , usually directed by Robert N. Bradbury , such as : ¨Rough romance¨, ¨The range feud¨, ¨Texas cyclone¨, ¨Two-fisted law¨, ¨Ride him cowboy¨, ¨Big stampede¨, ¨Haunted gold¨ , ¨The telegraph law¨, ¨Somewhere in Sonora¨ , ¨The man from Utah¨ , The man from Monterrey¨, ¨The lawless frontier¨ , ¨West of the divide¨, Rainbow Valley¨ , The desert trail¨ , The dawn rider¨, ¨Lawless range¨, The Oregon Trail¨ , and ¨Born in the west¨ . In 1938 he participated in Republic series with ¨The three musketeers¨ replacing Robert Livingston and in which George Sherman directed 8 films . Later on , Wayne starred the hit ¨The stagecoach¨ by John Ford and took part in ¨A movies¨ such as¨: ¨Allegheny uprising¨, ¨Dark command¨, ¨The spoilers¨, ¨In old California¨, ¨War of the wildcats¨, ¨Tall in the saddle¨, ¨Flame of the Barbary Coast¨ and ¨Dakota¨ . And financed his first production : ¨Angel and the badman¨ . Subsequently , with ¨Red River¨ John rose at top box-office and after that , he starred many successes .

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Release Date:

10 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Riders of Destiny See more »


Box Office


$15,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Balsley & Phillips Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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