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.
Ted Hayden impersonates a wanted man and joins Gentry's gang only to learn later that Gentry was the one who killed his father. He saves Virginia Winters' dad's ranch from Gentry and also rescues his long-lost brother Spud.
Robert N. Bradbury
Virginia Brown Faire,
George 'Gabby' Hayes
Sheriff John Higgins quits and goes into prospecting after he thinks he has killed his best friend in shooting it out with robbers. He encounters his dead buddy's sister and helps her run ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Saunders first appears in the film, he is carrying a guitar and singing. The guitar is not with him when he gives his horse to Faye Denton to make her escape, but he has it back when he is at the Denton's house and sings to the family. See more »
This film, and most of the rest of the "Lone Star Films" John Wayne catalogue no longer have their original musical score, save for Wayne's singing (whether from copyright problems or sound deterioration is unclear), and were replaced sometime in the 1980s with a score done on a synthesizer. See more »
"Riders of Destiny" was the first of several westerns Wayne made for the Lone Star arm of Monogram Pictures between 1933 and 1935. In this entry, the producers try to make the Duke into a singing cowboy called "Singin' Sandy Saunders with hilarious results. Any Wayne fan knows that the Duke couldn't have carried a tune if his life had depended on it. His voice was apparently dubbed by Smith Ballew whose deep baritone sounds nothing like Wayne. Wayne looks awkward and uncomfortable in "performing" the musical numbers. Thank heavens the singing cowboy experiment soon ended.
As for the movie itself, it contains a standard "B" western plot of the fight over water rights between the villain (Forrest Taylor) and the local ranchers. Duke, of course plays the hero. He had not yet developed his on screen character and still looked like a poverty row cowboy.
Also cast in the film were George (pre-Gabby) Hayes as the heroine's father, Cecilia Parker as the heroine and Yakima Canutt as "one of the boys" who performs his "falling from the racing horses under the wagon" stunt while doubling Wayne. Both Canutt and Hayes would go on to appear with Wayne in most of the other entries in the series. Canutt, in particular would have a profound effect on Wayne's future development teaching him, among other things, how to move, fight and look comfortable on a horse.
As "B" westerns go this one isn't too bad, however, I have to give it a failing grade because of the "singing".
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