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Riders of the Badlands (1941)

Approved | | Western | 18 December 1941 (USA)
When Collins and his men attack the stage they kill Lucky's bride. When Lucky spots Steve Langdon, a dead ringer for Collins, he arrests him. With Steve scheduled to be hung, Lucky ... See full summary »


Howard Bretherton


Betty Burbridge (original screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Starrett ... Steve Langdon / Mac Collins
Russell Hayden ... 'Lucky' Barton
Cliff Edwards ... Bones Mallory
Ilene Brewer Ilene Brewer ... Flo Collins
Kay Hughes ... Celia Barton
Roy Barcroft ... Captain Martin
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson ... Sheriff Taylor
Edith Leach Edith Leach ... Ellen Taylor
Ethan Laidlaw ... Bill
Harry Cording ... Higgins
Hal Price ... Warden James


When Collins and his men attack the stage they kill Lucky's bride. When Lucky spots Steve Langdon, a dead ringer for Collins, he arrests him. With Steve scheduled to be hung, Lucky gradually realizes what happened and forges a release for Steve. With the Rangers after them they head out hoping to catch Collins. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TWO GREAT STARS RARIN' FOR ACTION AND SONGS ON THE TEXAS RANGE! (original lobby card-all caps) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 December 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bandoleiros do Faroeste See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Captain Rogers: Men, this countryside has been terrorized for more than six months and we've got to put a stop to it. It's liable to be as tough an assignment as you've ever tackled. Naturally, the county sheriffs will cooperate in every way possible, so don't hesitate to call on them if you need help. From now on, it's up to you.
See more »


Oh! Susanna
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Harry Cording
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User Reviews

Seeing Double
19 November 2005 | by krorieSee all my reviews

Although this is a standard oater with lots of action and not much of a plot, it is still of interest for several reasons. One, Charles Starrett has a co-star, Russell "Lucky" Hayden, who had been Hopalong Cassidy's sidekick in 27 of Hoppy's films. Lucky could ride, rope, and shoot with the best of them. He rode tall in the saddle and was a good counterpart for Starrett. Another reason to recommend "Riders of the Badlands" is to see and hear one of the top pop stars of the late 20's and early 30's, Cliff Edwards, aka Ukelele Ike. He helped popularize scat singing that was widely used by many of the jazz entertainers, in particular Louis Armstrong who took it to new levels of creativity. Edwards plays the comical sidekick, Bones, and he does a little scatting in the film. In 194l, the year this film was released, Edwards was heard by millions doing the voice of Jiminy Cricket for Disney's classic "Pinocchio," one of the greatest animation movies ever. He also had a hit with "When You Wish Upon a Star" from "Pinocchio." He was weak in the comedy department, much of his humor is dated today but was not that fresh when he first used it. He does have one funny part when he tries to break up a fight between Lucky and Steve Langdon (Starrett) whom Lucky mistakenly believes killed his new wife, Celia (Kay Hughes), while on their way to their honeymoon. He makes some outlandish moves and faces trying to dodge the swinging fists.

This film provides the viewer with two Charles Starretts, although there is yet no Durango Kid in the Starrett movies--so you don't get two Durangos. There are some clever shots and camera angles when Steve (Starrett) fights Mac Collins (Starrett). Starrett is also chasing Starrett on horseback before the fight.

Another strange twist in this shoot 'em up is that the outlaw leader Mac Collins (Starrett) has a daughter. He is shown as a loving, caring father who doesn't want his child to be placed in reform school. Otherwise he is pictured as a mean cold hearted killer. Making the lead outlaw more human was partly because the hero Charles Starrett was playing the part. The producers didn't want to show outlaw Starrett as all bad because that might confuse the youngsters in the audience. The writer Betty Burbridge who wrote many a B western script usually tried to put a little more depth of character into her creations. Betty Brewer who plays the outlaw's daughter looks more like a preteen, even though she was in her late teens at the time of the movie. She plays her role well indicating that she is headed down the same path her father is walking. Steve and Lucky attempt to get her on the right road before the movie ends.

There is yet another twist in "Riders of the Badlands" that is of interest to the Saturday matinée cowboy fan. Roy Barcroft, the villain of villains, is a good guy this go around. He is the head Ranger, Captain Rogers, who never fully believes that Steve, one of his main Rangers, would turn into a callous murderer. Being such a good actor he is believable in the role, but fans would rather hiss at him. Even Roy himself preferred playing the heavy. Friends said that off screen he was a pussycat. This is one of his few movies where the viewer gets to see his good side.

The plot is not much. Steve and Lucky are co harts, both Rangers. Lucky takes leave to get married. His bride is killed during a stage robbery by a man who is Steve's dead ringer. Lucky helps capture Steve who is sentenced to death for what his double did. The rest of the film is spent trying to straighten out the mess and bring the real criminal to justice. There is a lot of good action to enjoy along the way.

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