Rider on a Dead Horse (1962)

John Vivyan, Bruce Gordon, Kevin Hagen, Lisa Lu,
Three gold prospectors bury their gold in a secret location but greed quickly reduces their number to two.
  • 5.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • James Edmiston, Stephen Longstreet, Writer:
  • Herbert L. Strock, Director:
  • Kenneth Altose, Producer:

All subtitles:

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5 / 10

But didn't everybody that saw the movie enjoy it? be honest

i saw this baby first run and liked it so well that i told my old high school buddy about it and we went to see it and he loved it too! it kind of set the stage for the later spaghetti westerns i think. it was in an abstract form that sort of reminded me of the Day of the Painter which won the Cannes Film Festival in the late 50's. i always enjoyed John Vivyian in his TV series Mr.Lucky as the offshore gambling boat owner. It was similar to Peter Gunn in its "coolness". i always enjoyed The Untouchables where i think the co-star of R.O.A.D.H. played the role of Frank Nitti. oh well, either you will like this movie or you wont.

1 / 10

Hilariously bad

I saw this movie when it came out. It was a black and white western.

Can't remember the plot, except that Bruce Gordon (who had acted as a mafia guy in the Untouchables) was the villain, and John Vivyan (with a marvelous chin, similar to that of Kirk Douglas) was the hero. And they were fighting about gold or something, and Lisa Lu, (a Chinese girl who had been imported to build the railroads[!]) kept getting between them, and at various times in the movie had pulled a knife on both of them more than twice. I laughed every time she pulled her knife... I don't remember if she had a speaking part or if she just had a knife pulling part.

This film was unintentionally one of the funniest I have seen.

2 / 10

Strock delivers a crock!

Rider on a Dead Horse is directed by Herbert Strock and adapted to screenplay by Stephen Longstreet from a story by James Edmiston. It stars John Vivyan, Bruce Gordon, Kevin Hagen and Lisa Lu. Music is by Fairlane - with title song by Millard Woods - and cinematography by Frank Philips.

It's a great title, the sort of title that would be more suited to a Spaghetti Western, sadly the film is very poor. Plot revolves around two gold prospectors on a collision course after the one kills another member of the original gold digging trio, and promptly puts the word out that the other man did the dirty deed. Into the mix comes a Chinese girl and a bounty hunter. Et voila!

In among the "greed is bad" fable, there's some interesting attempts at racist observations here, where the colour of a persons skin - and the attitudes to such - is desperately trying to make a point. Unfortunately the whole is badly performed and is quite frankly dull as dishwater. Some of the goofs are laughably bad, the musical score is atrocious, like it was composed by some rinky-dink pot head, and there's one of the best fake dives in a fight ever. What action there is is just about passable as entertainment, with a dynamite offensive against the pesky Apaches briefly raising the pulse. But by the time that arrives, and the twist that comes with it, you would be forgiven for having fallen asleep by then.

This would have just about passed muster as a half hour TV episode, maybe a Rod Serling throw away for contract obligation. Poor on almost all levels. Nice black and white print mind... 2/10

6 / 10

The Gold, the Greedy and the Dust!!

According my records, I never saw any movie starred by John Vivyan, the story is simple, but striking at least, the cast are summarized in few characters only, however all them colorful, here including a beauty Chinese girl Ming Kwai (Lisa Lu), three gold prospectors after found a substantial portion of gold on a Indian reserve at desert, they share the gold, suddenly the greed leader Barney Senn (Bruce Gordon) kills his black partner Taylor (Charles Lampkin) to great astonishment of the other partner Hayden (John Vivyan) as they had enough gold for themselves, henceforth Hayden tries figure out when and where he'll be the next to die, meanwhile the Apaches realize their presence and start pursuing them, Hayden plans misleading the Indians and run away thru the rock ground without horses, due the heavy gold bags he also decides buries the gold to return later, when they foil the Apaches once more Barney shot in Hayden that even wounded dragged nearest at railroad on construction, Ming Kwai finds him fell in the ground, she helps Hayden taking him to a little tent, they make a deal, if Ming Kwai takes care him and recovers his gold he'll pay a travel to her to San Francisco, get ready to a lot of upcoming surprise to next, unusual B-Western notwithstanding the low budge, really enjoyable!!!


First watch: 2019 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD-R / Rating: 6

6 / 10

Is A Spaghetti Western Before They Became Popular Popular Antepasto?

John Vivyan and Bruce Gordon kill their partner. But there are Apaches about, so they have to bury their $200,000 in gold dust to come back for it later. When they reach a town, they part ways in more ways than one. Vivyan takes up with dance hall girl Lisa Lu, and Gordon tries to recruit bounty hunter Kevin Hagen to kill his ex-partner. Meanwhile, Miss Lu dreams of a rider on a dead horse.

This movie looks like what you'd get if you remade the second half of THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE as a spaghetti western, which is remarkable considering America was unaware of the subgenre. Nonetheless, some cheap co-productions were being made in Europe, and they were a lot more violent than the traditional B westerns. It looks like they cast Miss Lu to ease American minds about the sequence in which she is raped.

Miss Lu made a late entry to the movies in Borzage's CHINA DOLL. Since then she has appeared in a lot of big and little screen efforts; she was in the recent CRAZY RICH ASIANS and is still appearing in movies at the age of 95.