Riding Speed (1935)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 50 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The redoubtable Victor Adamson (aka Denver Dixon) got together a few hundred bucks, assigned the screenplay chores to his wife, Delores Booth, and persuaded old friend Buffalo Bill, Jr. to both star in and direct this embarrasingly inept oater, which was then dumped on an unsuspecting public by the ill-named Superior Talking Pictures. Bill (aka Jay Wilsey) had just helmed his first film, Trails of Adventure, and he apparently felt that there was no other way to go but up. He was wrong. Dedicated to "the riders of the U.S. Border Patrol," Riding Speed stars Buffalo Bill, Jr. as Steve Finney, a member of the patrol assigned to track down a gang of outlaws smuggling Chinese immigrants across from Mexico. Incognito, he obtains a job as ranch hand on John Vale's (Lafe McKee) spread and discovers that the foreman, Bill Dirky (Bud Osborne), is the head of the smugglers. With the assistance of Old Man Vale's annoyingly spunky daughter, Gypsy (Jolie Benet), Steve manages to bring the entire gang to justice in less than 50 minutes of screen time. Buffalo Bill, Jr.'s direction was typically lackluster and not noticeably different from the usual Victor Adamson product. In fact, how much he really directed is open to argument. Like Adamson himself, Bill apparently filmed everything in one take only. At one point in the film a crew member is clearly visible in the frame and in no particular hurry to get out. Not much in the story (credited to Ella May Cook) makes much sense and continuity seems to have been an unknown concept. Mrs. Adamson, screenwriter Delores Booth, briefly appears as a harlot, and Adamson himself, billed as Denver Dixon, plays one of the bandits. A former silent screen cowboy hero, Buffalo Bill, Jr. hit rock bottom with this film and billed himself Jay Wilsey thereafter.



bad-guy, cowboy, good-guy, smuggling, border [geographic], Mexico, speed, stars [celebrities]