Great moments for a B movie
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film offers glimpses of Wayne's greatness that would only come after he was more well known. The plot is a simple B-movie western. Local ranchers are being strong-armed by the landowner (Kincaid) who has the only water rights to Lost Creek. Facing the prospects of selling out for a dollar an acre, the ranchers write to Washington for help. Wayne shows up as "Singing Sandy Saunders", the undercover agent sent to investigate. The shootout that ensues between Wayne and Kincaid's gunman is worth the price of the film. Wayne approaches the gunman singing an old cowboy gunfighter song. The director got a really great close-up shot of Wayne approaching the gunman as he stops singing and says, "Make it fast slippery, this is your last draw." Overlook some of the hoaky B-movie acting by the supporting cast. Wayne is as great as ever."
John Wayne as a (dubbed) singing cowboy from 1933
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Riders of Destiny" was the first of the many Lone Star/Monogram Westerns in which John Wayne starred in 1933-35, but it is of additional historical value because this is John Wayne as a singing cowboy. Granted, the singing is dubbed by Bill Bradbury, one of the twin sons of writer-director Robert North Bradbury (although since there is no official credit the matter remains a disputed issue), but still, you have to admit it is a rather mind boggling notion, like how the title really has anything to do with the plot.In this 1933 film Wayne stars as Singin' Sandy Saunders, who also happens to be a government agent. James Kincaid (Forrest Taylor) has taken control of the water in the area and is willing to grant water rights to other ranchers at exorbitant rates. One of those being exploited is the lovely Fay Denton (Cecilia Parker), so Sandy takes a special shine to her. Meanwhile he plans on sinking Kincaid's operation by opening up a lost river and sending the bad guy to a rather ironic but richly deserved fate. Our hero also does some pretty fancy shooting in the requisite gunfight near the end.Wayne certainly looks uncomfortable during the singing parts of "Riders of Destiny," but there is something compelling about watching him try. One thing to remember with these Lone Star Westerns is that the one person who is also well worth watching, when you can spot him, is the famous stuntman Yakima Canutt, who plays one of Kincaid's henchmen. In this one his big stunt would be as Kincaid during the bad guy's death scene. You will also spot George Hayes, who plays Charlie Denton in the early part of his career before he was known as "Gabby.""