Heroes of the West (1932 film)

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Heroes of the West
Heroes of the West FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Ray Taylor
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
Running time
12 chapters (225 min)
Country United States
Language English

Heroes of the West (1932) is a Universal movie serial that depicts the dangers and thrills of building a transcontinental railroad.

This was the 82nd serial (and the 14th serial with sound) to be released by Universal.

Plot overview[edit]

John Blaine – helped by his teenaged son and daughter, Noah and Ann – work to build a section of a transcontinental railroad "through the heart of the wild and wooly west."[1] Unfortunately for them but fortunately for film-goers who love Western adventure, their section threads through Wyoming territory, dangerously close to hostile Indians.[2] In addition to tribulations inherent in the Old West, work is hindered by crooked foreman Rance Judd, who is "secretly in the pay of a rival contractor and aims to make Blaine lose his government railroad contract by fouling up construction in any way he can"[2] with help from his henchmen Butch Gore, Bart Eaton, and Buckskin Joe. Blaine is aided by a group of men also working on the railroad: surveyor Tom Crosby, scout Noah Blaine, and rail crew leader Bart Eaton. Together, our heroes must battle skullduggery from Judd's henchmen, stagecoach problems, saloon brawls, horse stampedes, train robberies,[1] Indian attacks, and other perils "to complete the line on time."[2]

As is typical in serial films, each episode ends on a cliff-hanger. For example: after a tremendous fight in an old trapper's cabin, the cabin catches on fire and burns down with our heroes still inside; however, the next episode shows how they escaped the fire through a secret tunnel in the cabin floor.[1]


Actress Julie Bishop was already a veteran film actress when Heroes of the West was made, despite her young age of 18. Her filmography includes works billed under Jacqueline Wells (beginning in 1914 at age 9), Diane Duval (Heroes of the West was her only billing with this name), and Julie Bishop (1941 on).[3] As Jacqueline Wells she appeared in almost 50 B-movies for Universal – spanning the silent era and the talkies – including two comedies with Laurel and Hardy. She adopted the name Julie Bishop when she signed with Warner Bros., and she appeared in more than a dozen feature films including Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) with John Wayne.


Along with Flaming Frontiers (1938), this serial was based on The Tie That Binds by Peter B. Kyne.[4]

Heroes of the West was Universal's 82nd serial. In terms of Universal's serials in the sound era, it was the 14th. See the list of film serials by studio for more information about other serials of the time.

Heroes of the West was directed by prolific film director Ray Taylor.[5] With more than 150 films to his credit, Taylor is best known for his serials, for example Dick Tracy (1937) for Republic Pictures in the detective's live-action debut, plus almost 50 serials for Universal Pictures including Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) and Don Winslow of the Navy (1942).

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. Blazing the Trail
  2. Red Peril
  3. The Avalanche
  4. A Shot from the Dark
  5. The Holdup
  6. Captured by Indians
  7. Flaming Arrows
  8. Frontier Justice
  9. The Iron Monster
  10. Thundering Death
  11. Thundering Hoofs [[sic| [sic]]]
  12. The End of the Trail


The 12 chapters ran for a total series screen time of 225 minutes.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Blake, Jerry. "Heroes of the West". The Files of Jerry Blake, Operator 99. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Plot Summary for Heroes of the West (1932)". the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Heroes of the West (1932)". the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "2. In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 10. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 
  5. ^ "Ray Taylor (I) (1888–1952)". the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 206. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Airmail Mystery (1932)
Universal Serial
Heroes of the West (1932)
Succeeded by
The Jungle Mystery (1932)