Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Oaters - The Vanishing Riders (1935)

Hiya Kiddies! So let's spend a few minutes talking about "Buffalo Bill" Cody. William Frederick Cody was born in 1846 in what was then known as the Iowa Territory. His nickname came from his time supplying buffalo meat to workers for the Kansas Pacific Railroad. In one eight month period he reputedly killed over 4800 buffalo. Bill Comstock, another buffalo hunter, was actually the original "Buffalo Bill", and when Cody began using the nickname, Comstock challenged him to a shooting match over the rights to the name which Cody won.

Cody also was a scout in the Civil War and was given the Medal of Honor in 1872 for "Gallantry in Action". However, Bill's biggest claim to fame came once he started performing in a series of "Wild West Shows". first touring with Wild Bill Hickok and then striking out on his own, Cody toured the states and territories presenting reenactments of western battles and showcasing sharpshooters and colorfully attired performers. Later in life he was instrumental in the founding of Cody Wyoming, opened a hotel and a dude ranch, and eventually passed away in 1917.

That, however, is not the Bill Cody that stars in today's film. the only connection the actor Bill Cody had with "Buffalo Bill" was then name, which appears to have been mere coincidence, though it did attract the attention of producers and was possibly something that opened doors for him in auditions. Nope, our Bill Cody was born in 1891, and starred in a number of films, including the one we're spotlighting today, which also features his son, Bill Jr. In the film, Bill Sr. plays a sherrif who kills an outlaw in the line of duty. Vowing to raise the outlaw's now-orphaned son as his own, he quits his job, and the man and boy eventually find themselves working for a female rancher who is threatened by rustlers. Donning skeleton costumes and tricking out their horses, the two become "ghost riders" and mange to frighten away the superstitious bad guys.

Again, there doesn't appear to be a trailer or any embeddable clips online, so let's just skip straight to the skinny:
Title: The Vanishing Riders
Release Date: 1935
Running Time: 51min
Black and White
Starring: Bill Cody, Bill Cody Jr
Directed by: Robert F. Hill
Produced by: Ray Kirkwood

The Vanishing Riders is available to watch or download for free here.
It's also available on DVD from Amazon on this collection: Creepy Cowboys: Four Weird Westerns.
Netflix doesn't have it available for rent, but it is available to watch instantly: Vanishing Riders.

Until next time, Happy Treasure Hunting,
-Professor Damian


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