Riding with Buffalo Bill (1954)
APPROVED · Action, Adventure, Western · 11 November 1954
Columbia's 54th serial production (of 57) finds long-time villain player Marshall Reed top-billed for the first and last time in his film career that stretched across over 130 westerns, 17 serials and 23 features (TV credits and duplicated/changed-for-TV titles not included) and, thanks to liberal use of stock footage from prior Columbia westerns and serials, a player such as Jack Kirk makes an appearance six years after his 1948 death. The primary stock footage source for this serial was 1940's "Deadwood Dick" with Reed in his alter-ego role as "The Ridin' Terror" costumed to match Don Douglas or, to be more precise, the Don Douglas double from the 1940 serial. Reed plays a clean-shaven version of famous hunter and Indian scout Bill Cody who comes to the aid of miner Rocky Ford when outlaws attack his ranch. Rocky tells Cody that the man behind the local terrorism is King Carney who is trying to keep the new railroad out of the territory in order to carry on with his illegal operations. Rocky asks Cody to don the disguise of a legendary masked man (no, not that one), known as "The Ridin' Terror", who once before smashed outlaw rule in the area, which makes good sense since the opening chapter title is "The Ridin' Terror From St. Joe", which doesn't make sense since the short name for Saint Joseph, Missouri is St. Jo, but what the hey, it is a Sam Katzman production which means typo's are not re-written, just the plots. Cody enlists the aid of settlers Reb Morgan and his sister Ruth, dons the recycled "Deadwood Dick" costume and rides his way right out of stardom at the end of the 15th chapter, "Law Comes to the West."
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