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Weird Western: The Vanishing Riders (1935)

"The Vanishing Riders" is a better-than-average Poverty Row Western, a product of the Ray Kirkwood Productions, which existed mostly to make movies starring movie cowboy Bill Cody. The St. Paul-born Cody just coincidentally shared a name with Buffalo Bill Cody, which was enough to get you a film career in the early days of of Hollywood.

But Cody was a likeable lead, competent at all the cowboy stuff he was required to do and seemingly charmed by everyone he shared the screen with — he spends a lot of his screen time looking at other actors and grinning at what they do. Eventually he was paired with his own son, Bill, Jr., who was a terrific actor who seemed like he might mature into a genuine leading man, but whose film career seems to have mostly been waylaid by traumatic experiences in World War II.

Father and son made a series of films together, and this seems to have been the only one with a supernatural theme, although it barely has one; I'll get to that in a momen…

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