Final film of Tom Mix. NOTE: Afterr this film he retired from the screen, and died in a car accident 4-1/2 years later.
CHAPTER TITLES: 1. The Vanishing Indian; 2. The Firebird Strikes; 3. The Flying Knife; 4. A Race With Death; 5. Double-Barreled Doom; 6. Thundering Hoofs; 7. The Dragnet; 8. Guerilla Warfare; 9. The Silver Band; 10.Signal Fires; 11.A Traitor Dies; 12. Danger Rides With Death; 13.The Secret of X-94; 14.Between Two Fires; 15.Justice Rides the Range.
Producer Nat Levine went out on a financial limb on this production, Mix's last film. Aging cowboy superstar Tom Mix's $10,000-per-week salary alone exceeded many of poverty-row Mascot Pictures' entire production budgets of many of its earlier films, but Levine was confident that the gamble would pay off. He was right--it paid off big. Mascot reaped $1 million from the serial, giving Levine enough clout (and money) to realize his long-held dream of purchasing his own studio. With the money he made from this film, his reputation grew to the degree he was able to convince Herbert J. Yates to buy the old Mack Sennett studios and enlist the production team of Trem Carr and W. Ray Johnston from Monogram to come on board. In the meantime, he took out an option on the studio and rented out space to other independents when he wasn't using it, thereby guaranteeing himself a steady cash flow, and eventually Mascot was merged (along with independents Liberty Pictures, Victory Pictures and Monogram Pictures) into Republic Pictures, with Levine taking a major position with Republic. The new conglomeration's output would largely resemble Mascot's product for much of the next decade. Levine would be bought out with $1 million in 1939 and end up divorced, living in an apartment and managing a movie theater after losing his fortune at the race track.
Mascot pretty much pioneered the two-director approach to serials with this film, a system much copied by other studios (Republic, Columbia, Universal) for their own serial output. One director, an action specialist (in this case B. Reeves Eason), would shoot all the outdoor action and stunt scenes. A second director, more suited to handling dialogue scenes (in this case, Armand Schaefer), would simultaneously shoot all the interiors and dialogue scenes. In this way production time was halved, at considerable savings. Levine's main concern was keeping star Tom Mix's time spent filming to a minimum, as he was paying Mix $10,000 a week. Because of Levine's efficient production methods, he was able to keep Mix's shooting schedule down to four weeks.
Producer Nat Levine paid Tom Mix $10,000 per week to appear in this serial. It was the highest salary Mascot ever paid an actor.
Tom Mix's daughter Ruth Mix was to play the lead female role, but it went to Joan Gale, who played the character named "Ruth".
Among the many featured serials on RE-TV "Super Serial Cinema" that can be seen for free through Roku and the app.