The Vigilante
Movie Poster
Directed byWallace Fox
Written byLewis Clay
Arthur Hoerl
George H. Plympton
Based on
Greg Saunders
Produced bySam Katzman
StarringRalph Byrd
Ramsay Ames
Lyle Talbot
George Offerman Jr.
CinematographyIra H. Morgan
Edited byEarl Turner
Color processBlack and white
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 22, 1947 (1947-05-22)
Running time
285 minutes
(15 chapters)
CountryUnited States

The Vigilante is a 1947 American Western film serial directed by Wallace Fox. The 33rd serial released by Columbia Pictures, it was based on the comic book cowboy Vigilante, who first appeared in Action Comics, published by DC Comics. It stars Ralph Byrd, well known for his central role in the Dick Tracy serials. It was his last serial appearance.


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 (Sanders at that time, later changed to 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 Prince Hamil arrives at the ranch, he gives a horse each to Sanders, 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 learns that Prince Hamil'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.



The Vigilante was originally a comic book character whose first appearance was in Action Comics (Issue #42, November 1941).[1] 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.

In the serial version, Stuff became a white, draft-age sidekick played by George Offerman Jr. Ralph Byrd was cast as the Vigilante. 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



  1. ^ "Action #42 at the Grand Comics Database". Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  2. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 245. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.