The Miracle Rider
|The Miracle Rider|
B. Reeves Eason|
Barney A. Sarecky|
|Distributed by||Mascot Pictures|
|15 chapters (306 minutes)|
Zaroff (Charles Middleton), a rancher and oil company owner, wants to drive the Ravenhead Indians off their reservation so that he can mine the rare element X-94, a super explosive, found there and sell it to the highest bidder. Texas Ranger Tom Morgan tries to stop him and save the tribe.
- Tom Mix as Tom Morgan, Texas Ranger
- Joan Gale as Ruth
- Charles Middleton as Zaroff, a rancher and oil company owner
- Robert Frazer as Chief Black Wing
- Niles Welch as Metzger
- Jason Robards Sr. as Carlton (billed as Jason Robards)
- Bob Kortman as Longboat
- Edward Earle as Christopher Adams, Indian Agent
- Edward Hearn as Emil Janss
- Tom London as Sewell, one of Zaroff's henchmen
- Edmund Cobb as Vining, one of Zaroff's henchmen
- Ernie Adams as John Stelter
- Max Wagner as Morley, one of Zaroff's henchmen
- Charles King as Hatton, one of Zaroff's henchmen
- George Chesebro as Crossman, Janss Hand
- Tex Cooper as Buffalo Bill (uncredited)
- Bud Geary as Davy Crockett (uncredited)
- Jay Wilsey as Daniel Boone/Henchmen (uncredited)
This was Tom Mix's last film and his only sound serial. Tom Mix was still an A-list star in 1935, alongside Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Mary Pickford. He was paid $40,000 for four weeks work on The Miracle Rider, which he used as urgent funding to support his circus.
The serial combined the large cast and interlocking plots of a silent serial with the science fiction and cliffhangers of the sound era. Filming of the outdoor action sequences took place primarily at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The movie ranch, which had been in use as a filming location since the early silent movie era, was known for its rugged landscape and giant sandstone boulders. One of those boulders became known as Tom Mix Rock in later years, after it was discovered that bootholes had been carved in the rock to help the actor shoot a scene atop the rock for The Miracle Rider.
- The Vanishing Indian
- The Firebird Strikes
- The Flying Knife
- A Race with Death
- Double Barreled Doom
- Thundering Hoofs [sic]
- The Dragnet
- Guerilla Warfare
- The Silver Road
- Signal Fires
- A Traitor Dies
- Danger Rides with Death
- The Secret of X-94
- Between Two Fires
- Justice Rides the Plains
This was Mascot's only 15-chapter serial.
"Zaroff" is obviously inspired by Basil Zaharoff, a notorious early twentieth-century arms merchant, often cited as one of the so-called "merchants of death", who supposedly helped bring on World War I.
- Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "3. Science Fiction/Westerns "Drop That Zap Gun, Hombre"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 67–70. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
- Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 212–213. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.