A great introduction to the great serials of the past..
angst24 | Hartsdale, NY United States | 11/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My father was a western film collector and I grew up watching this serial on film. The cliffhangers were always amazing to a 9 year old and I had a big crush on Ray "Crash " Corrigan. When I had the opportunity to get this on tape it reminded me of those nights watching the movie with my dad and wanting to be a cowboy when I grew up. There are great action sequences consisting of betrayals, Indian attacks and more as this wagon train makes its way west. The title refers to the mysterious rider of the Painted Stallion who comes to aid of the wagon train when it is in trouble. I highly recommend this serial as a starting point to anyone who wants to sample a taste of early western film. Anyone who enjoyed watching cliffhangers at the movies every week will surely enjoy this."
William Witney's First
Scott Lothrop | Tampa, FL, USA | 01/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was William Witney's first turn as a director. He replaced Ray Taylor, who had a drinking problem and apparently caused a huge problem the first day on location. Witney, then an editor, was rushed in to replace him, and the rest is history. At age 21 Witney became the youngest director ever in Hollywood. During his career he directed hundreds of movies and television Westerns. Witney's serials always had lots of action, and were especially known for their fistfights. He himself described his directorial style as "In a door, into a fight; out a door, into a chase," and that's the title of his excellent book describing his experiences in serials.
This is a terrific Western, one of the very best. It has an exceptionally strong cast, dramatically photographed action, a fine score, and in the Rider, an element of mystery seldom found in Westerns. Ray Corrigan plays a scout escorting the wagon train, and he's much better suited to a Western than he was in his role in "Undersea Kingdom." Western star Hoot Gibson plays the wagon master. Sammy McKim is Kit Carson before he grew up to become a famous scout, serial regular Hal Taliaferro is Jim Bowie, and silent-screen star Jack Perrin is Davy Crockett. The beautiful Julia Thayer is suitably mysterious as the Rider who frequently saves all their skins. Ever-reliable Duncan Renaldo ("The Cisco Kid") plays a heavy this time around. Yakima Canutt set up and participates in the stunts, and on the side plays a character named Tom. The rube comics Oscar and Elmer are embarrassing as always, but they have a funny bit at the very end."
Early Republic Western Serial
BVT | Paranaque City Philippines | 02/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is no other product available for this early Republic serial. Thus, one has to live with this one. But this transfer to DVD is NOT that bad. The picture quality is not pristine. But the copy which Madacy worked on to put to DVD is not deteriorated, as is the case on other "economical" serials hastily put on the market for a fast profit. It is the sound which is bad. It cracks and and appears muffled. The actors spoke as if they were eating their words. Sometimes it's difficult trying to understand what is being said. But then, this is a 1937 serial and we should count ourselves lucky that Madacy put this on the market. The story is typical serial, simple and long drawn out with preposterous premises. But that is what make these features enjoyable, vain attempts to project reality resulting in absurdity. Note the sound of the gunfire. It does not have the characteristic "Republic serial gunfire sound" heard in later productions. Again, this is because it was a 1937 feature. Get one and enjoy."
Ten stars out of five - great ridin', shootin', and mystery.
Derek Hagen | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | 09/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one has some of the best riding sequences I have seen, especially by Crash. I paused a lot during his riding and a lot of the stills look like Frederick Remington paintings. And check out Crash's thigh-high boots! Great stuff Crash, wherever you are. Lots of shootin' too. The characters include Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and a young Kit Carson who gets his training as a scout during the first wagon train heading west for Santa Fe (pronounced "Santa Fee" - nice touch) under the guidance of Hoot Gibson. Bye the way, the guns look authentic, not the cap pistol looking ones of most westerns. Little touches like that really make it. I saw the same looking guns in another Hoot Gibson western; was he responsible for them? Yakima Canutt does his falling-under-the-horses-and-wagon stunt and Charlie King is one of the bad guys. Any movie with Charlie and Yak is a keeper. Duncan Renaldo is another bad guy. The pluses just keep on coming in this serial. Madacy's reproduction is decent, too. It looks pretty good even on a computer monitor.
But what really tickles my fancy is the Rider of the Painted Stallion. Picture this: a white woman raised and dressed as a native American, headress and all, riding bareback on a pinto stallion (and rather obviously a stallion at times), saving the lives of white Americans heading west. Saving them from the white bad guys. If, as in much literature, you take the female as a representative of the soul, the thoughts that come to mind can be downright mythical, or at the very least poetic.
I love this serial.