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The Vigilantes Are Coming [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 01 - The Eagle Strikes
In chapter one of Republic Pictures' first western serial, Don Loring (Robert Livingston) learns that power mad empire builder Jason Burr (Fred Kohler) has made a bargain with Imperial Russian Emissary Ivan Raspinoff (Robert Warwick) to declare himself czar of California. Burr, who has discovered gold at the Northern California hacienda belonging to Don's father (Henry Hall) and younger brother (John O'Brien), has his henchmen murder both Lorings and kidnap mining engineer John Colton (Lloyd Ingraham) and his daughter Doris (Kay Hughes). Don, who along with sidekicks Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) and Whipsaw (Raymond Hatton), is returning from a trailblazing expedition under the leadership of John Charles Fremont (Ray Corrigan), hastens to join his friend Father José (William Farnum), with whom he concocts a plan to seek vengeance disguised as a masked mystery man known as "The Eagle." Using trickery, our hero gains entry to Burr's lair in Santa Rosalia but is discovered and chased up into a bell tower. As chapter one concludes, Don loses his grip of the steeple and plunges to what appears to be certain death. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 02 - Birth of the Vigilantes
In chapter two of The Vigilantes are Coming, Don Loring, alias "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston), lands safely in a (hitherto unseen) river and continues to wreak vengeance on the megalomaniacal Jason Burr (Fred Kohler) and his Russian Imperialist lackeys. Stealthily climbing aboard a wagon train delivering gold to Count Raspinoff (Robert Warwick), Don manages to get away with the loot, leaving behind a note warning Burr that California will resist Russian dominance to the last man. Threatened by this action, Burr instigates a conscription of all able-bodied men in Sonoma Valley. As a counter measure, Don forms a vigilante committee consisting of the area's many disgruntled ranchers and the first order of the day is to raid an arms warehouse. Unfortunately, the vigilantes are betrayed by one Clem Peters (Tracy Layne) and as the chapter concludes, Don finds himself trapped in a powder house about to be blown sky high. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 04 - Unholy Gold
In the fourth chapter of The Vigilantes are Coming (entitled "Unholy Gold" but mistakenly referred to in the "cliffhanger" of the previous chapter as "Unholy Three"!), Don Loring (Robert Livingston and Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams manage to duck each and every bullet emanating from the Cossack firing squad, an almost divine miracle unchallenged in all of serialdom. Escaping the Cossacks, the two avengers join the Vigilantes in an all-out attack on Burr's (Fred Kohler) fortress that culminates in the rescue of Doris Colton (Kay Hughes). The girl then leads them to the villain's secret gold mine but a couple of henchmen, Kramer (Stanley Blystone) and Pedro (Steve Clemente), learn of their approach and devise a counter attack. As chapter four reaches its climax, Don, aka "The Eagle," finds himself trapped beneath the hammer of a hydraulic ore crusher, his body writhing in pain.. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 07 - Wings of Doom
As chapter seven of The Vigilantes are Coming reveals, rather than perish in the explosion of the powder-laden wagon, Don Loring, aka "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston), jumped free at the last possible moment. He later learns that Petroff (Robert Kortman) has trapped the Vigilantes in an ambush at Stone Canyon and, sans disguise, enters Burr's lair to warn the megalomaniac of "The Eagle's" wrath. Assuming his disguise, "The eagle" then forces Burr (Fred Kohler) to release the Vigilantes but loses his balance in the ensuing duel. As the chapter comes to a close, Don is at the mercy of Petroff and four of his Cossacks, all with swords ready to thrust. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 11 - A Race with Death
Chapter 11 of The Vigilantes are Coming reveals that instead of burning to death in the bell tower, Don Loring, alias "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston), manages to break the bonds that tied him and escape through the belfry. Informed by Colton (Lloyd Ingraham) that Burr (Fred Kohler) is luring Fremont (Ray Corrigan) and Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) into an ambush at Ortego Pass, "The Eagle" hurries to their rescue. Although he successfully flags down his friends, Don himself becomes trapped in an avalanche caused by a huge explosion. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 09 - Arrow's Flight
Chapter nine of The Vigilantes are Coming reveals that rather than crashing, the coach carrying Don Loring (Robert Livingston) and Count Raspinoff (Robert Warwick) lands more or less intact in a (hitherto unseen) river. A rousing game of "who's got the treaty" ensues with Don and his partners, Whipsaw (Raymond Hatton) and Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams), as the victors. But as our three heroes make their escape, Don's horse stumbles and he falls to the ground directly in the path of the on-coming Cossacks. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 06 - A Tyrant's Trickery
In one of the all time most preposterous solutions to a "cliffhanger" peril, chapter six of The Vigilantes are Coming reveals that rather than plunging to his death, "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston) calmly dismounts and smartly steps down to a lower ledge on the cliff, thus completely avoiding the marauding Cossacks. Re-grouping, "The Eagle," aka Don Loring, learns from one of Doris Colton's (Kay Hughes) homing pigeons that Burr (Fred Kohler) and Raspinoff (Robert Warwick) plan to wipe out the Vigilantes by using a brand new cannon and a wagonload of fresh ammunition. But when Don boards the wagon, he finds himself confronted by Petroff (Robert Kortman), who summarily knocks him out. As chapter six reaches its conclusion, the powder-laden wagon containing the unconscious "Eagle" rolls down an embankment and explodes. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 05 - Treachery Unmasked
Although he seemed for all the world to have been crushed to death in the previous episode, chapter five of The Vigilantes are Coming reveals that Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams), fully living up to his name, managed to extricate Don Loring (Robert Livingston) well before the ore crusher could do any damage whatsoever. Whipsaw (Raymond Hatton, meanwhile, learns that the megalomaniacal Burr (Fred Kohler) is scheming to trap the Vigilantes by having the traitorous Peters (Tracy Layne) impersonate "The Eagle." As a counter measure, Don, aka "The Eagle," disguises himself as Peters, a masquerade that causes Petroff (Robert Kortman) and his Cossacks to shoot and kill the wrong man. Learning from their mistake, the Cossacks take off after the real "Eagle," who in the conclusion of the chapter is forced over a steep cliff. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 08 - A Treaty with Treason
In yet another gigantic serial "cheat," the solution to chapter seven's "cliffhanger" consists of entirely different footage and instead of stumbling over a chair in his duel with Jason Burr (Fred Kohler), Don Loring, alias "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston), actually wins the fight and is able to make his escape with Doris Colton (Kay Hughes). Learning that Burr and Count Ivan Raspinoff (Robert Warwick) have signed a treaty that will make California a Russian colony under the leadership of the former, our hero manages to intercept the coach carrying Raspinoff and the all-important document. But as chapter eight nears its fiery conclusion, the coach careens out of control and crashes down a steep embankment (courtesy of stock footage from John Wayne's 1933 Sagebrush Trail). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 12 - Fremont Takes Command
Despite the avalanche in chapter 11 of The Vigilantes are Coming, the 12th and final chapter reveals that Don Loring (Robert Livingston), in yet another of those serial miracles, manages to escape unscathed. With the returning Captain Fremont (Ray Corrigan) and Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) by his side, Don comes to the aid of Whipsaw (Raymond Hatton) and the Vigilantes, who are holding their own with great difficulty against the forces controlled by Jason Burr (Fred Kohler) and his Imperialist Russian cohort Count Raspinoff (Robert Warwick). Fortified by the presence of Fremont, presumably, Don is able to expedite Burr's entry into the next world and Raspinoff voluntarily lowers his country's flag in favor of Stars and Stripes. Celebrating victory along with the freed Doris Colton (Kay Hughes) and her father (Lloyd Ingraham), Don learns that a grateful citizenry has elected him California's first governor. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 03 - Condemned by Cossacks
In chapter three of The Vigilantes are Coming, Don Loring, aka "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston), smartly dives through a (hitherto unseen) window in the powder house, thus staying completely clear of the ensuing explosion. After leading the Cossacks on a merry ride to nowhere, Don is able to meet with the Vigilantes and sign a pledge of allegiance. But Peters (Tracy Layne), the traitor, absconds with the tell-tale document sharply followed by "The Eagle's" sidekick, Salvation (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams). Determined to learn Peters' identity, the latter steals into the fortress but is caught by Petroff (Bob Kortman) and his Cossacks and brought before a firing squad. Alerted to the danger, the captured Doris Colton (Kay Hughes) releases a homing pigeon with a warning note to Don, who hastens to the rescue. But just as "The Eagle" is about to free his friend, the Cossacks send forth a deadly round of lead. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Vigilantes Are Coming: Chapter 10 - Prison of Flame
Chapter 10 of The Vigilantes are Coming reveals how Don Loring, alias "The Eagle" (Robert Livingston), managed to roll away from the on-coming horse and escape with only minor injuries. Using Don's friend John Charles Fremont as bait, Jason Burr (Fred Kohler) lures both "The Eagle" and Doris Colton (Kay Hughes) into his lair, the latter quickly "persuaded" to reveal where the Vigilantes hold Count Raspinoff (Robert Warwick) prisoner. Locked in the sexton's room below the bell tower, a tied-up Don manages to reach the bell and summon the Vigilantes. But a kerosene lamp has overturned during the struggle and as chapter 10 reaches its conclusion, the burning rafters in the tower collapse. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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