Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
First filmed by Fox in 1918 with William Farnum, Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage became a typically lavish Tom Mix extravaganza, filmed on locations at picturesque Lone Pine, California. Mix plays Jim Lassiter, the bold Texas Ranger whose sister, Millie Erne (Beatrice Burnham), and her little daughter (Seesel Ann Johnson, later Marian Nixon) are abducted by a discredited lawyer, Lew Walters (future Charlie Chan Warner Oland). Dedicating his life to the recovery of his relatives, Lassiter takes the job of ramrod at the ranch belonging to Jane Withersteen (Mabel Ballin). From a captured outlaw, the former lawman learns that his prey has become a judge under the assumed name of Dyer. An enraged Lassiter marches into Judge Dyer's courtroom and shoots his long time enemy dead. A posse is formed and Lassiter and Withersteen are forced to flee. They find a hideout at a secret plateau reachable only through steps carved in the rock. To rid themselves of their pursuers once and for all, Lassiter blocks the entrance with a huge boulder, realizing full well that he and Jane will be trapped forever. Grey had written a sequel to his melodramatic saga, The Rainbow Trail, which Mix, like Farnum before him, also filmed. Both Riders of the Purple Sage and The Rainbow Trail were turned into vehicles for B-Western hero George O'Brien in 1931 and 1932 and Riders was filmed a third time ten years later starring George Montgomery.
rescue, bad-guy, cowboy, daughter, death, escape, good-guy, justice, kidnapping, lawman, lawyer, love, lover, outlaw [Western], posse, ranch, ranger [military], revenge, rock, scoundrel, search, seclusion, shoot-out, sister, sweetheart, Texas-Ranger, tracking [following], victim