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The Lone Defender (1930 film)

The Lone Defender is a 1930 American Mascot movie serial starring Rin Tin Tin.  This was Mascot's first all sound serial (the second to have any sound at all, after the partial sound in The King of the Kongo).

The Lone Defender (1930 film)This was Rin Tin Tin's first serial at Mascot, after being dropped by Warner Bros. when they decided animal pictures would not work with "Talkies".  He also starred in the later serial The Lightning Warrior, which would be his last appearance. Mascot made a third serial, The Adventures of Rex and Rinty, but that Rin Tin Tin was not the same dog.

The plot revolves around Rin Tin Tin as "Rinty" and a secret gold mine fought over by the criminal "The Cactus Kid" and the legitimate owners. Material from this serial was edited into a feature film version and released under the same name in 1934.


Prospector Juan Valdez is murdered by The Cactus Kid and his gang in an attempt to discover the location of his gold mine. Valdez's dog Rinty witnesses the murder and can also lead the gang to the mine, making him the villain's target throughout the serial. In addition Rinty must help Valdez's daughter Dolores legitimately find and claim the mine while being blamed for the wolf attacking local livestock.

The mysterious figure of Ramon is constantly on hand, overhearing pieces of the villain's conversations. He appears to be another bandit but his actions seem to contradict that.

It is revealed during the course of the serial that Ramon is in fact Marco Roberto, an agent of the Justice Department.


  • Rin Tin Tin as "Rinty", Juan Valdez's dog

  • Walter Miller as Marco Roberto, Justice Department Agent posing as the "Mysterious Figure", Ramon

  • June Marlowe as Dolores Valdez, Juan Valdez's daughter

  • Josef Swickard as Juan Valdez, Prospector who owns a secret gold mine

  • Buzz Barton as Buzz, Ramon's sidekick

  • Lee Shumway as Amos Harkey, the villainous cantina owner

  • Julia Bejarano as Maria, the Dueña

  • Lafe McKee as Sheriff Billings

  • Arthur Morrison as Limpy

  • Frank Lanning as Burke, Prospector and Juan Valdez's partner

  • Bob Kortman as Jenkins, one of the Cactus Kid's Henchmen

  • Victor Metzetti as Red, one of the Cactus Kid's Henchmen

  • Otto Metzetti as Red's Partner



Joe Bonomo
Kermit Maynard
Arthur Metzetti
Victor Metzetti

Chapter titles

Mystery of the Desert
The Fugitive
Jaws of Peril
Circle of Death
Surrounded by the Law
The Ghost Speaks
Brink of Destruction
The Avalanche
Fury of the Desert

Movie Facts

  • Release Date: March 5, 1930

  • Budget: $40,000 (estimated) [$538,697 in today's dollars]

  • Runtime: 217 min | (12 episodes)

More History

Hall of Fame Western Films & TV
Western Stars
TV Westerns

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