The Lone Defender
Cast & Crew
Rin Tin Tin
Blind Juan Valdez assures his daughter Dolores that he and his friend, Burke, will be safe while traveling to their unclaimed gold mine, whose secret location he has marked on a map he keeps in his pocket watch. Unknown to Juan, however, greedy Amos Harkey, the local cantina owner, is aware of his plans and is sending his men to ambush him. While a terrified Burke watches, Juan is killed in the desert during a ferocious sand storm, but the brave fighting of "Rinty," Juan's devoted dog, prevents the outlaws from obtaining Juan's watch. Later at Harkey's cantina, Rinty recognizes the killer outlaw and attacks him. When the outlaw starts to get the better of Rinty, Ramon, a mysterious stranger dressed like a Mexican bandit, intercedes on his behalf. While Sheriff Billings worries about apprehending the Cactus Kid, a stagecoach robber whose "wanted posters" are being systematically cut up by a man dressed like a bandit, Harkey orders his men to capture Rinty because he believes the dog can lead him to the gold mine. Aided by Ramon and Buzz, a young cowboy, Rinty escapes from Harkey. When Rinty is later found lying next to a dead colt, however, he is accused of its killing and is sentenced to be destroyed by the sheriff, who is unaware that the colt was actually killed by a wolf. Once again, however, Ramon comes to Rinty's rescue, and the two of them flee from town together. Dolores, meanwhile, is harassed by Harkey's men, who lurk around her ranch house and try to steal her father's watch, using trap doors and secret tunnels to facilitate their actions. After a series of near disasters, including a fire in a powderhouse in which Dolores is nearly killed, Harkey forces Burke, whose memory and sanity were damaged in the sand storm, to take him to the mine. At the same time, Rinty leads Ramon to the mine, while Dolores and Buzz follow close behind. As they all reach the mine, another sand storm blows in, and Harkey and Buzz find themselves in a race to the recorder's office. Harkey apparently arrives at the claim office first and signs his name to the mine. Soon after, officers of the border patrol arrive in town and announce that a photograph of the real Cactus Kid is coming in on the next stagecoach. Confident that the Cactus Kid will hold up the stage for the photograph, the patrol lies in wait for him. As expected, the Cactus Kid tries to rob the stage but, although wounded by the patrol, eludes capture. At the same time, Rinty is seen fighting with the killer wolf by passing ranch hands and is cleared of all guilt. The border patrol follows the bandit into town, where Ramon eventually tracks him and reveals him to be Harkey in disguise. After Rinty attacks Juan's killer again, Burke's memory is jogged, and he is able to identify the criminal. Finally, Ramon confesses to Dolores that he is Ramon Roberto, a Justice Department agent, and that Buzz is his faithful assistant. Ramon then tells Dolores that Buzz actually won the race to the recorder's office and gives her the page from the recorder's book that Harkey had ripped out in order to sign his name. Safe at last, Dolores and Rinty express their gratitude to their hard-working friend, Ramon.
Rin Tin Tin
The Lone Defender was first seen in 1930 as a twelve chapter serial. In 1934, a feature version of the serial was released. No reviews or precise release date information have been found for the feature. The above credits and plot summary were taken from a print of the serial and a dialogue script for the feature, which was submitted to the New York State Censor Board on June 6, 1934. Paul N. Robins, who is credited on the serial as presenter but is not credited on the feature dialogue script, appears on screen at the start of each episode of the serial. Although the onscreen credits of the serial included the word "copyrighted," no copyright entry was found for this title. Modern sources add Bob Irwin (Deputy sheriff), Arthur Metzeth (Dutch) and Billy McGowan (Henchman) to the cast of the serial.