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Riders of Destiny


John Wayne portrays Singin' Sandy Saunders and has a reputation as the most notorious gunman since Billy the Kid. That's somewhat ironic though, since it's later revealed that he's a special Secret Service agent sent from Washington to investigate a land swindle scheme under the direction of town boss James Kincaid (Forrest Taylor).

Riders of Destiny is a 1933 Western (genre) musical film starring 26-year-old John Wayne as Singin' Sandy Saunders, the screen's second singing cowboy (the first being Ken Maynard in the 1929 film The Wagon Master). It was the first of a series of Lone Star Westerns made for Monogram Pictures by Wayne and director Robert N. Bradbury and the first pairing of Wayne with George "Gabby" Hayes.


Wayne's singing voice was Dubbing (filmmaking) and the film is considerably darker than the Gene Autry singing cowboy movies that followed it; for example, Singin' Sandy's ten-gallon hat was black instead of white and he would grimly chant about "streets soon running with blood" and "you'll be drinking your drinks with the dead" as he strode purposefully down the street toward a showdown. The supporting cast includes George "Gabby" Hayes, acrobatics comedian Al St. John, and stuntman Yakima Canutt, and the movie was written and directed by Robert N. Bradbury. The film was the first of the Lone Star Productions released through Monogram Pictures.
John Wayne's dubbed singing, which bore no resemblance to his unique speaking voice, was the reason he abandoned the singing cowboy format after only one film: he was chronically embarrassed during personal appearances when he couldn't accommodate children who clamored for a Singin' Sandy song. Gene Autry was chosen by the studio as Wayne's replacement in the new genre, immediately solving the live singing problem while ushering in a much lighter take on the format than Wayne's grimly intense rendition.


  • John Wayne as Singin' Sandy Saunders
  • Cecilia Parker as Fay Denton
  • Forrest Taylor as James Kincaid
  • George "Gabby" Hayes as Charlie Denton (billed as George Hayes)
  • Al St. John as Henchman Bert
  • Heinie Conklin as Henchman Elmer
  • Yakima Canutt as Henchman
  • Earl Dwire as Slip Morgan
  • Lafe McKee as Sheriff Bill Baxter
  • Addie Foster as Mrs. Mason

See also

  • John Wayne filmography
  • Category:1933 films
    Category:American films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:Films directed by Robert N. Bradbury
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:1930s musical films
    Category:1930s Western (genre) films
    Category:Monogram Pictures films
    Category:American Western (genre) films

    Paul Malvern

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