When not performing heroics onscreen, Bill Cody worked in Wild West shows, circuses and rodeos. He was no relation to the infamous "Buffalo Bill" Cody, but sharing his name certainly didn't harm his career. Cody had the opportunity to co-star with his son, Bill Cody, Jr., in four pictures during the mid-1930s, two of which are featured here. Following Tom Tyler's late-career lead, Cody tried his hand at serials, including The Masked Marvel
(1943), just five years before passing away at age 57.
The Vanishing Riders (1935, B&W): Sheriff Bill Jones (Bill Cody) kills outlaw Joe Land, leaving the gunman's young son, Tim (Bill Cody, Jr.), an orphan. In atonement, Jones hangs up his badge and adopts the boy. Wandering the Montana mountains, the pair ride into Silver City, a veritable ghost town where the few remaining residents are being terrorized by a gang of vicious castle rustlers. Knowing that the outlaws have a fear of ghosts, Jones and his son stage an elaborate "haunting" to break the desperados' stranglehold on the once booming town.
Starring Bill Cody, Bill Cody, Jr., Roger Williams, Budd Buster; Directed by Robert Hill; Screenplay Oliver Drake.
Frontier Days (1934, B&W): Hired by Wells Fargo to investigate stagecoach robberies, The Pinto Kid (Bill Cody) has his sights set on Henry Jethrow and his outlaw gang. When the Kid is wrongly accused of rustling cattle and murdering a rancher, he must turn to the slain man's daughter and young son (Bill Cody, Jr.) for help in clearing his name and stopping Jethrow's crime spree.
Starring Bill Cody, Bill Cody, Jr., Wheeler Oakman; Directed by Robert Hill; Screenplay Jimmy Hawkey.