The Indians Are Coming

The Indians Are Coming is a 1930 American Pre-Code Universal movie serial based on The Great West That Was by William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. The serial was the first "all-talking" (complete sound rather than a silent movie with occasional sound sections) film of its kind. It played at The Roxy Theatre and was responsible for saving the film serial format into the sound era.

The Indians Are Coming
Directed byHenry MacRae
StarringTim McCoy
Allene Ray
Edmund Cobb
Francis Ford
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • 1930 (1930)
Running time
12 chapters
CountryUnited States
Box officeAlmost $1,000,000[1]



Along with Battling with Buffalo Bill (1931) this serial was based on The Great West That Was, by William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.[2]



The release of The Indians Are Coming was the first time a serial was given an "uptown" treatment. The serial played at The Roxy in New York City and had full runs across the country.[2]

According to Raymond Stedman, The Indians Are Coming earned a profit on "near" $1M.[1] The success of the serial ended doom-mongering about the sound technology being the end of the serial format.[1] It is "credited with reviving interest in what seemed to be a dying form of entertainment" and proved that action sequences could still be done with sound equipment.[2]

Critical reception

Stedman compares Tim McCoy's delivery to that of Adam West in the Batman television series but declares it restrained compared to other stars. He goes on to comment that "Only the dog managed not to fall victim to the natural tendency of actors groomed in the silent film to overplay when thrust into a talkie."[1]

Chapter titles

  1. Pals in Buckskin
  2. A Call to Arms
  3. A Furnace of Fear
  4. The Red Terror
  5. The Circle of Death
  6. Hate's Harvest
  7. Hostages of Fear
  8. The Dagger Duel
  9. The Blast of Death
  10. Redskin's Vengeance
  11. Frontiers Aflame
  12. The Trail's End


See also


  1. Stedman, Raymond William (1971). "3. At This Theater Next Week". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5.
  2. Cline, William C. (1984). "2. In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  3. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 202. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded by
Terry of the Times (1930)
Universal Serial
The Indians are Coming (1930)
Succeeded by
Finger Prints (1931)
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