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The Vigilante: Wikis


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The Vigilante

Movie Poster
Directed by Wallace Fox
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Lewis Clay
Arthur Hoerl
George H. Plympton
Starring Ralph Byrd
Ramsay Ames
Lyle Talbot
George Offerman Jr.
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff musical director
Sidney Cutner
Cinematography Ira H. Morgan
Editing by Earl Turner
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) 1947
Running time 15 chapters (285 min)
Country  United States
Language English
Preceded by Jack Armstrong
Followed by The Sea Hound

The Vigilante (1947) was the 33rd serial released by Columbia Pictures. It was based on the comic book cowboy, The Vigilante, who first appeared in Action Comics, and was starred by Ralph Byrd, well known for his central role in the Dick Tracy serials. It was his last ever serial appearance.

This serial makes the Vigilante one of the first live action adaptations of a DC Comics character, beating Superman by one year although Batman had already made an appearance with his own serial in 1943 (also from Columbia).



The Vigilante, a masked government agent, is assigned to investigate the case of the "100 Tears of Blood", a cursed string of rare blood red pearls sought by a gang led by the unknown X-1 that may have been smuggled into the country.

Greg Sanders (Saunders in the comics), in his civilian guise as an actor, is filming a western on George Pierce's ranch. Pierce is a wealthy rancher and nightclub owner. When the Prince Hamil arrives to the ranch, he gives a horse each to Saunders, Pierce, Captain Reilly, Tex Collier and Betty Winslow. But an outlaw gang soon attacks, attempting to steal all five horses. It turns out that each horse has twenty of the pearls hidden in their shoes (five in each) in secret compartments. Edging closer, Sanders learn that a prince's servant stole the diamonds from his master and smuggled them in on the horses with the intention of passing them on to X-1.


  • Ralph Byrd as Greg Sanders/The Vigilante
  • Ramsay Ames as Betty Winslow, rodeo star
  • Lyle Talbot as George Pierce
  • George Offerman Jr.   as Stuff, The Vigilante's sidekick
  • Robert Barron as Prince Hamil, dignitary of Aravania. Barron was wrongly listed on-screen as Prince Hassan but referred to as Hamil.
  • Hugh Prosser as Captain Reilly, highway patrol officer
  • Jack Ingram as Silver/henchman X-2
  • Eddie Parker as Doc/henchman X-3
  • Tiny Brauer as Thorne/henchman X-9


The Vigilante was originally a comic book character whose first appearance was in Action Comics (Issue #42, November 1941). He was a singing-cowboy radio performer who doubled as a motorcycle-riding crime-fighter along with a pre-teen Chinese boy, Stuff the Chinatown Kid, as his answer to Batman's Robin, although Stuff ran a lot more errands than Robin, since they did not have a butler like Alfred.

In the serial version, Stuff became a white, draft-age sidekick played by George Offerman Jr., which fit with the costume changes that Columbia tagged The Vigilante character with a snappy-brim fedora and a Montgomery Ward catalog, white Gene Autry-style shirt, instead of the large flat-brimmed hat and double-button blue shirt he wore in the comic books. The nose-chin covering bandana is about all that survived the comic book to screen transfer. They also changed Greg Sanders, the Vigilante's alter-ego, from a radio troubador to a western film actor and miscast Ralph Byrd in the role as the masked government agent.

Director Wallace Fox makes a cameo appearance as the director filming Greg Sanders' movie at George Pierce's ranch.

Chapter titles

  1. The Vigilante Rides Again
  2. Mystery of the White Horses
  3. Double Peril
  4. Desperate Flight
  5. In the Gorilla's Cage
  6. Battling the Unknown
  7. Midnight Rendezvous
  8. Blasted to Eternity
  9. The Fatal Flood
  10. Danger Ahead
  11. X-1 Closes In
  12. Death Rides the Rails
  13. The Trap that Failed
  14. Closing In
  15. The Secret of the Skyroom


See also


  1. ^ Cline, William C.. "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc.. pp. 245. ISBN 078640471X.  

External links

Preceded by
Jack Armstrong (1947)
Columbia Serial
The Vigilante (1947)
Succeeded by
The Sea Hound (1947)


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