Heroes of the West (1932 film)

Heroes of the West (1932) is a Universal Pre-Code 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.

Heroes of the West
Directed byRay Taylor
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
June 20, 1932
Running time
12 chapters (225 min)
CountryUnited States

Plot overview

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] 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]



Along with Flaming Frontiers (1938), this serial was based on The Tie That Binds by Peter B. Kyne.[3] 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. Much of the material was reused in Universal's 1942 serial Overland Mail starring Lon Chaney Jr..

Heroes of the West was directed by prolific film director Ray Taylor.[4] 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

  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]
  12. The End of the Trail


The 12 chapters ran for a total series screen time of 225 minutes.[6]

See also


  1. Blake, Jerry. "Heroes of the West". The Files of Jerry Blake, Operator 99. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  2. "Plot Summary for Heroes of the West (1932)". the Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  3. Cline, William C. (1984). "In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 10. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  4. "Ray Taylor (I) (1888–1952)". Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  5. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 206. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  6. "Heroes of the West (1932)". the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
Preceded by
The Airmail Mystery (1932)
Universal Serial
Heroes of the West (1932)
Succeeded by
Jungle Mystery (1932)
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