The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen is a 1937 American film directed by Ray Taylor. It was Singing Cowboy Tex Ritter's eighth film for Grand National Pictures.
In a small frontier mining town, a gang of outlaws in black hoods is running roughshod over locals, presiding over a reign of terror. Tex (Tex Ritter) and Stubby (Horace Murphy) take up the dying wish of Tom (Lafe McKee), a kindly rancher killed by the gang, to capture the marauders. Knowing that the survival of the local mine and the heart of Tom's sweet niece (Iris Meredith) are on the line, Tex and Stubby go undercover in the gang, hoping to bring them down from the inside.
The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen contains examples of:
- Almost Dead Guy: Tom Wilson is shot and Left for Dead by the Hooded raiders, but he clings to life long enough to gasp a dying message to Tex.
- Black Cloak: The Hooded Riders wear black robes and hoods that make them resemble The Klan.
- Chairman of the Brawl: During the fight in the saloon, Blackie smashes a chair over Tex's head. Tex shrugs it off as if it is nothing.
- Cool Horse: Tex's horse White Flash gets second billing behind Tex Ritter, and ahead of the rest of the humans in the cast.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Tex uses the hood and robe taken from a dead Rider to infiltrate a meeting of the Hooded Riders.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: The deputy at the jail gets distracted by Stubby's pointless story and fails to notice White Flash yanking the bars out of the cell window.
- It's Probably Nothing: Tex trails Blackie to the meeting place of the Riders. At one point, Blackie thinks he is being followed, but then dismisses it, saying "It's probably just a coyote".
- The Klan: The Hooded Riders are a gang seeking to take control of the valley through fear and intimidation. They wear black robes with white crosses, and black pointed hoods.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Tex Ritter battles a band of malevolent outlaws who wear hoods that give them more than a passing resemblance to The Klan.
- The Man Behind the Man: While Norton is the apparent leader of the Hooded Riders, he makes references to a 'big boss' who is really issuing the orders.
- Nephewism: Nancy is Tom's niece. There is no reason why she could not have been his daughter, which would have made more sense and not altered the plot one iota.
- The Sheriff: The sheriff of Redeye is an honest man, but easily duped by the bad guys and prone to jumping to the wrong conclusion.
- Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Tex suffers no consequences for breaking out of jail to prove his innocence. Of course, as he just rounded up all of the gang that has been terrorizing the entire county, it probably behooves The Sheriff to cut him some slack.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The big boss of the Riders guns down Norton once the Riders' power has been broken and he has no further use for him.