The Night Riders (1939)

58 mins | Western | 12 April 1939

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Heroes of the Desert . Modern sources add Cactus Mack, Lee Shumway, Hal Price, Hank Worden, Roger Williams, Olin Francis, Francis Walker, Hugh Prosser, Jack Kirk, Yakima Canutt, Glenn Strange, David Sharpe, Bud Osborne and Georgia Summer to the cast. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see entry for The Three Mesquiteers ... More Less

The working title of this film was Heroes of the Desert . Modern sources add Cactus Mack, Lee Shumway, Hal Price, Hank Worden, Roger Williams, Olin Francis, Francis Walker, Hugh Prosser, Jack Kirk, Yakima Canutt, Glenn Strange, David Sharpe, Bud Osborne and Georgia Summer to the cast. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see entry for The Three Mesquiteers . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
4 Apr 39
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Apr 39
p. 61.
Variety
5 Apr 39
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by William Colt MacDonald.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Heroes of the Desert
Release Date:
12 April 1939
Production Date:
ended 25 February 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
12 April 1939
Copyright Number:
LP8797
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA "High Fidelity" Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
58
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5176
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1880's, when a gambler posing as a Spaniard presents a phony land grant dating from the Spanish occupation, which deeds him 13,000,000 acres of ranchland in the Western United States, the government upholds his claim. Setting himself up as a virtual dictator, the phony land baron demands excessive rents for his land and evicts all those unable to pay. Among those evicted are the Three Mesquiteers, Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin, who appeal to President James Garfield for justice. When Garfield declares that he is powerless to aid the ranchers because the baron's claim has been validated by the court, the Three Mesquiteers become Night Riders to smash the cruel dictatorship of the tyrant. Riding furiously in mask and cape, the Night Riders rob the messengers of the land baron and return the money to the ranchers. Arrested for their crimes, the trio awaits a sentence of death when their friend, Soledad, unearths evidence that the land grant is a forgery. Unfortunately, the evidence reaches Garfield a moment after he is killed by an assassin's bullet. The trio nevertheless is rescued by a friendly sheriff who, realizing that their crimes were committed for the good of the people, loads his firing squad's guns with ... +


In the early 1880's, when a gambler posing as a Spaniard presents a phony land grant dating from the Spanish occupation, which deeds him 13,000,000 acres of ranchland in the Western United States, the government upholds his claim. Setting himself up as a virtual dictator, the phony land baron demands excessive rents for his land and evicts all those unable to pay. Among those evicted are the Three Mesquiteers, Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin, who appeal to President James Garfield for justice. When Garfield declares that he is powerless to aid the ranchers because the baron's claim has been validated by the court, the Three Mesquiteers become Night Riders to smash the cruel dictatorship of the tyrant. Riding furiously in mask and cape, the Night Riders rob the messengers of the land baron and return the money to the ranchers. Arrested for their crimes, the trio awaits a sentence of death when their friend, Soledad, unearths evidence that the land grant is a forgery. Unfortunately, the evidence reaches Garfield a moment after he is killed by an assassin's bullet. The trio nevertheless is rescued by a friendly sheriff who, realizing that their crimes were committed for the good of the people, loads his firing squad's guns with blanks. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.