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Rio Rattler (1935)

Approved | | Western | 1 August 1935 (USA)
A dying Marshal gives his identification papers to Tom. After Tom arrives in town, the papers drop and are found during a fight so Tom decides to assume the Marshal's identity. Mason, the ... See full summary »


Bernard B. Ray (as Franklin Shamray)


Bennett Cohen (story), Carl Krusada (screenplay)




Cast overview:
Tom Tyler ... Tom Denton
Eddie Gribbon ... Soapy
Marion Shilling ... Mary Adams
William Gould ... Banker Mason
Tom London ... Ranger Bob Adams
Slim Whitaker ... Rattler Brown (as Charles Whittaker)
Lafe McKee ... Pop - Hotel Owner (as Lafayette McKee)
Ace Cain Ace Cain ... Sam Hall - Henchman
Frank Ellis Frank Ellis ... Tonto - Henchman


A dying Marshal gives his identification papers to Tom. After Tom arrives in town, the papers drop and are found during a fight so Tom decides to assume the Marshal's identity. Mason, the chief, now sends Rattler, the killer of the Marshal, to also kill Tom. But when he overhears Tom is a fake, they change their plans and now go to arrest Tom for the murder of the Marshal. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 August 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De bende van Rio See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-46. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Cincinnati, where it was shown in two parts Sunday-Monday 10-11 April 1949 on freshly launched WKRC (Channel 11); in Atlanta it first aired Saturday 14 May 1949 on WSB (Channel 8), in Philadelphia Wednesday 28 December 1949 on WFIL (Channel 6), and in Los Angeles Tuesday 17 January 1950 on KLAC (Channel 13). See more »


Although the story seems to be taking place in the era of buckboards, stagecoaches, oil lamps, and primitive wall telephones, Marion Shilling, the leading lady, as well as all the other women visible in the film, wears 1935 fashions and hairstyles. See more »


Remade as Bandit Ranger (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent, despite very low budget
1 April 2015 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

Tom Tyler was a good actor who, in my opinion, deserved better. His distinctive voice should have helped him toward stardom, but possibly held him back because it was distinctive.

"Rio Rattler" had a really good cast, even though most of the people are generally unknown today, except to fans and historians. They didn't get fame, but they sure had talent.

The script is also surprisingly well done, even if the story itself is much like many others, which is OK by me anyway.

But there is some nice byplay among various groups of characters, again belying the budget and demonstrating some skillful writing and directing and, yes, acting.

Watch, for example, when a tall, thin, vulture-like character, dressed in black and wearing a top hat, enters the hotel while Tom and Soapy are registering. He is Nelson McDowell, and you know immediately what his role is because he has been thus cast so many times.

And he is perfect. (As many times as I have seen him, I never knew his name before. God bless IMDb!)

Lafe McKee, here billed as Lafayette McKee, is the hotel manager, and ubiquitous Tom London (One source credits him with some 2,000 movies!) is playing a strong and good character (a Ranger, by the way, not a marshal), to name just two familiar faces who help make this such an excellent film.

One aspect of this movie that fascinates me is the moving camera. That is not usually a feature of movies with such a small budget, and from a non-studio.

Director Bernard Ray, known for some reason here as Franklin Shamray, obviously understands his job, as witness the moving camera and general framing of shots. I never knew his name before, but now want to know more about him and his career. His work on "Rio Rattler" intrigues me.

"Rio Rattler" is available in a rather poor print at YouTube, but it is worth the pops and poor contrast and breaks in movement to watch this excellent B western, and I highly recommend it.

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