22 September 2009 | JohnHowardReid
Slow, old-fashioned melodrama in a western setting
In the sound era, director Robert North Bradbury's fondness for whip pans often got him into trouble, but better a bit of occasional inventiveness than the dull, dreary style he adopted for movies like "Desert Rider". Mainly of interest for the casting of the tragic Evelyn Nelson as the heroine (she died around the same time the film was released), "Desert Rider" features villainous-looking Jack Hoxie as the stoic hero, and overly clownish Frank Rice as the comic. Not to be outdone, the mustache-twirling heavy is enacted with all stops out by Claude Payton. Even five-year-old Walt Wilkinson is adept at poking faces for the camera. Admittedly, the plot does finally meander into one or two unexpected by-ways, but on the whole this "B" movie, alas, is mainly a curiosity, even in the beautifully tinted DVD currently on release.