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Twenty years after being framed for murder and reluctantly abandoning his valuable White Slides ranch, Ben Wade rides the Arizona range as a masked bandit known as "Pecos Bill." Following a chance encounter with Jack Bellhounds, son of the ranch's current owner, Ben drifts over to White Slides andsecures a job there. Wade's daughter Collie, ward of the elder Bellhounds, is being forced into a marriage with the hot-tempered Jack. Ben tries to aid Collie without letting the girl know that he's the disgraced father who disappeared when she was a small child. In 1938, nearing the end of its long association with prolific Western novelist Zane Grey, Paramount delegated contractually mandated film adaptation of the author's works to "Hopalong Cassidy" producer Harry Sherman. The Mysterious Rider, first of Sherman's four Grey-inspired programmers, bears little resemblance to Paramount's previous two cracks at the novel; Maurice Geraghty's script is densely plotted and richer in characterization than the earlier versions. The offbeat casting of perennial heavy Douglas Dumbrille as Ben Wade and director Lesley Selander's staging of sequences in Arizona's picturesque Saguaro Forest further distinguishes this edition of Rider from other film versions of this classic tale.

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ALP6725 Mysterious Rider DVD (1938/Douglas Dumbrille) $5.99