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Golden Age Film Library - The Serials

Use the player above to watch 'Hurricane Express', a Nat Levine 12-part Serial from 1932

Golden Age Film & Radio Informed and Shaped American Society for 45 Years

There’s no escaping the influence of Radio and Film on American sociology, ideology, and popular culture between 1915 and 1960. Indeed until the advent of popular American Television, Radio and Film touched every level of American Society. Throughout the most difficult eras of modern American History--The Stock Market Crash, The Great Depression, World War II, The Korean Conflict, and The Cold War--Golden Age Film and Radio provided far more than entertainment to the public. Both mediums provided nationalist propaganda, social commentary, popular culture, and pure escapism to the masses. These film and radio gems preserve the core beliefs, influences and cultural ideology of four generations of Americans. The diversity of media outlets, studios, distributors, broadcasters and affiliates was never greater than during this era. Indeed it was that very diversity that contributed most to the enduring effect of this era’s influence. Since the 1960’s we’ve allowed our ‘public airwaves’ to be ceded to 6 major corporations. We’ve allowed a handful of media corporations to gobble up the thousands of media outlets available between the 20s and 70s.

In the absence of dissenting, contrasting voices we’ve lost the ability to see or hear anything but what this handful of corporations wants us to see or hear. Finally, with the wealth of Golden Age Radio programs and early films now available we can literally program our own listening and viewing choices.

Well before the turn of the 20th Century, 'cliffhangers' had become a highly popular and successful cultural staple of the print establishment. 'Dime novels' with recurring characters, cartoon strips, and installment novellas in magazines had become a brilliant commercial ploy to acquire--and hold--an audience via the print industry. With the advent of the early silent pictures, it didn't take long for the early film industry to realize the value of recurring installment movies. Beginning around 1914, "The Perils of Pauline", the first popular cliffhanger series, left the returning viewer with an edge of the seat image of impending doom at the end of each serial installment. This technique, paired with both compelling melodrama and the novelty of action-based production values, provided a riveting experience for early moviegoers. "The Exploits of Elaine" (1914) continued in this vein, expanding the heroine’s adventures throughout the world.

By the 1920s, serials had attracted a more mature audience. The advent and novelty of 'talkies’
proved even more compelling for the mature audiences of the 20's and as talkies became more
popular they became the focus of mainstream studio investment, with far better scripts and talent being devoted to the full length talking features. The focus on serials waned to the point of extinction. The serials of the 30s tended to be western potboilers, capturing the interest of a younger audience. Most of these were produced by the smaller, independent film studios based in California and featured popular true life working cowboys of the day. My Dad's favorites of the era were Tom Mix, Ken Maynard, Johnny Mack Brown and Tim McCoy. Till the day he died, my Dad was able to remember the most trivial details--their horses, sidekicks, weapons of choice, and love interests--from these serials.

But it was the advent of popular radio and comic strips during the 1930s that sparked a popular resurgence of interest in serials, based primarily on the extraordinary success they were experiencing on Radio. Smaller studios like Republic, Universal, Columbia, Nat Levine, and Filmcraft based their early success and reputations on some of the finer serials produced during this era. A new group of action stars emerged as well. Tom Mix, Tom Tyler, Bob Steele, Buster Crabbe, Frank Buck, Clyde Beatty, Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, John Wayne and Gene Autry became overnight sensations during this era, even though their 'star status' in serials of the era pretty much relegated them to B-Movie status for the remainder of their careers.

The following serials are most representative of the Best of the Golden Age of Radio era. This list will by no means be complete, but as we become aware of better prints and re-releases from the era, we'll add them to our holdings. As always, if you find a serial you feel should be added, please let us know about it. We’ve acquired a growing playlist of Golden Age Serial Films in our Golden Age holdings. You’ll find over 75 complete and eminently compelling Serial Films in The Digital Deli Online’s FTP holdings. We’re adding two to four newly uncovered serials a month to our holdings. Here’s what we’ve acquired thus far:

[Partial Serials]:

1914 Perils of Pauline [20 Episodes]

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Pauline inherits a small fortune from her wealthy uncle, but with a fateful proviso: her uncle's secretary has been designated her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially gain her inheritance. Unbeknownst to her, the 'guardian' and his minions devise scheme after scheme to eliminate poor Pauline and gain the money himself.
IMDB Title: tt0004465

1915 The Hazards of Helen [119 Episodes]

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The Hazards of Helen was an adventure serial spanning 119 twelve minute episodes. The various episodes were released over two years by the Kalem Company between November 1914 and February 1917. Running approximately 24 hours in total, it's the longest serial motion picture series ever filmed. Episodes 1-48 were directed by J.P. McGowan and the remainder by James Davis. Unlike most cliffhanger serials of the era, The Hazards of Helen were actually a film series made up of mostly autonomous single-reel, 12-minute melodramas. Helen was an quick-thinking, highly inventive heroine. Most episodes were filmed on location in Glendale, CA and Tuolumne County, CA. The oft-repeated melodramatic dilemmae for "Helen" employed moving trains, a runaway boxcar, the archetypal 'heroine in distress' tied to the railroad tracks, and other imminent dangers. Helen typically leapt off roofs, tore around sharp mountain curves in speeding cars, and jumped onto moving trains from either automobiles or horses while chasing (or being chased by) the bad guys. Rarely rescued by a handsome male hero, it was the heroine Helen who inevitably found more and more resourceful exits from her 119 dire predicaments while inevitably bringing the bad guys to justice..
IMDB Title: tt0004052

1926 Officer 444 [10 Episodes]

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Our hero, 'Officer 444' battles 'The Frog' and his criminal henchmen for possession of 'Haverlyte', a powerful formula that, if it fell into the wrong hands, would give its owner enough power to control the world. Taking no chances, The Frog sends his chief henchwoman, the seductive vamp 'The Vulture', to tempt Officer 444 to stray from his sworn duty to save the world from The Frog's megalomaniacal plans.
IMDB Title: tt0017218

Adventure Pictures Serials:

1929 Tarzan The Tiger [11 Episodes]

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After Tarzan's estate is destroyed by Arabs, Jane is sold into slavery by a man posing as a friendly scientist. Tarzan develops amnesia after a blow to the head. When he recovers his memory (from yet another blow to the head) he defeats the villain, recovers the fabulous jewels of Opar, and rescues Jane.
IMDB Title: tt0020481

Columbia Serials:

1938 Secret of Treasure Island, The [15 Episodes]

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Pirates hide treasure on an island off Mexico's coast. But . . . the pirates, the map and the treasure disappear in a volcanic eruption! The treasure lies undetected for centuries. Now it's 1938 and Carter Collins, 'The Shark', takes possession of the island, turning it into a fortress, while systematically seeking it's golden secret. He commandeers an ancient mansion, installing Doctor "X", his nurse Zanya, his butler, Hawkins, and Grindley, who has his own agenda, possessing a portion of the map. The possessor of the remaining portion soon arrives. Meanwhile, The Shark has his slave diggers, 'The Mole Men', digging up the island seeking its treasure. Back in the States reporter Larry Kent is assigned to travel to the island to investigate the disappearance of another reporter, Paul Thorndyke. The sea captain who has half of the map is killed before he can tell the daughter of an old shipmate his secret, but he survives long enough to tell her that her father is on the island. The Captain expires before he can tell her his name. The girl and Larry decide to join forces and solve the golden mysteries of the island.
IMDB Title: tt0030725

1943 Batman [15 Episodes]

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Batman debuts on screen as the Caped Crusader of Gotham City (the erstwhile alter ego of millionaire playboy and philanthropist, Bruce Wayne) battling Dr. Daka, the Japanese mastermind of a wartime conspiracy/espionage/sabotage organization. Daka possesses a super-duper secret, radium-powered death ray that pulverizes walls, the archetypal 'alligator pit' to dispose of enemies, and he can even turn men into electronic zombies to do his evil bidding! Batman has no Batmobile per se, but his wheels get the job done when necessary.
IMDB Title: tt0035665

1946 Chick Carter, Detective [15 Episodes]

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This was slated to be a Nick Carter Detective serial, however the copyright owner wouldn't give permission for the character to be used. The name of Chick Carter, Nick Carter's nephew, was used instead, though it's still for all intents, Nick Carter who's the protagonist in this serial.

Joe Carney arranges to have The Blue Diamond stolen from his Century Club. Joe was in hock up to his eyeballs to loan shark, Nick Pollo and Nick wants the diamond for the 'vig', but . . . Joe didn't want to just hand it over to the loan shark, preferring instead to arrange to have it stolen so as to collect on the insurance. Nick has singer, Sherry Martin toss him the diamond during her big number for Saturday Night, after switching it for paste. But . . . enter Chick Carter, Detective (Lyle Talbot), who pledges to find the real diamond. But who's got the diamond now? Joe's bodyguard Mack? (who is using the diamond as bait to save his neck) Pollo's henchman Lasky? (who didn't stop at murder to get his hands on the stone) Or perhaps Ellen Dale, the new cigarette girl at the club? (who's taken more than a passing interest in the diamond). For 15 looonnnggg 15-minute chapters Chick, newspaper reporter Rusty Farrell, and photographer Spud Warner pursue every clue, analyze every false lead, yet are still never sure if they have the real or fake Blue Diamond. Talbot, bless his heart is far too old to play Chick. Having been a huge fan since the Philo Vance potboiler, 'The Dragon Murder Mystery', I'm prepared to cut Lyle Talbot some slack, given the fact that the producers had to switch him to the 'nephew' role for the production. Gets a little weary in the middle chapters, but the boffo last two chapters redeem this rare serial.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Chick Carter Takes Over
  • 2. Jump to Eternity
  • 3. Grinding Wheels
  • 4. Chick Carter Trapped
  • 5. Out of Control
  • 6. Chick Carter's Quest
  • 7. Chick Carter's Frame-Up
  • 8. Chick Carter Gives Chase
  • 9. Shadows in the Night
  • 10. Run to Earth
  • 11. Hurled into Space
  • 12. Chick Carter Faces Death
  • 13. Rendezvous with Murder
  • 14. Chick Carter Sets a Trap
  • 15. Chick Carter Wins Out

IMDB Title: tt0038410

1947 Jack Armstrong [15 Episodes]

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Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy, battles the evil Dr. Grood, who has placed a death ray aboard his spaceship orbiting Earth.
IMDB Title: tt0039505

1948 Congo Bill [15 Episodes]

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A girl is about to inherit a fortune, but . . . she is missing in Africa! Her family charges Congo Bill, the famous adventurer, to find her and return her to civilization. He pursues a legend about a 'White Queen', but his path is beset by difficulties, an inhospitable jungle, and . . . the man who will lose the fortune if the girl is found alive!
IMDB Title: tt0040243

1948 Superman [15 Episodes]

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Based on the Superman adventure feature appearing in Superman and Action Comics magazines, in daily and Sunday newspapers coast-to-coast and on the Superman radio program broadcast over the Mutual Network. Superman comes to Earth as a child and grows up to be his home's first superhero with his first major challenge being to oppose The Spider Lady.
IMDB Title: tt0040852

1949 Batman and Robin [15 Episodes]

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Based On The Well-Known Batman Comic Magazine Feature appearing in "Detective Comics" and "Batman" Magazines. Misanthropic Professor Hammil's Remote Control device, which empowers the user to take over any motorized vehicle within 50 miles (!), is stolen by 'The Wizard', a black-hooded mastermind, and his gang of thugs. Batman and Robin (who drive about in a standard convertible) must prevent The Wizard from obtaining the diamonds needed as fuel for the device, and . . . rescue magazine photographer Vicki Vale from periodic peril. Where is the Wizard's base, reached only by remote controlled submarine? Which of several suspicious characters hides beneath the Wizard's hood? Watch the next installment to find out!
IMDB Title: tt0041162

1950 Atom Man vs Superman [15 Episodes]

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Columbia's 43rd serial finally pits Lex Luthor (Lyle Talbot), secretly The Atom Man, against the city of Metropolis by threatening to destroy the entire community. Perry White (Pierre Watkin), editor of "The Daily Planet", assigns Lois Lane (Noel Neill), Jimmy Olson (Tommy Bond) and Clark Kent/Superman (Kirk Alyn)to cover the story. Luthor invents a number of deadly devices to plague the city, including a 'disintegrating machine', which can reduce people to their basic atoms and reassemble them in another place. But . . . Superman manages to thwart each scheme! Since Kryptonite can rob Superman of his powers, Luthor decides to create synthetic Kryptonite and putters about obtaining the necessary standard ingredients: plutonium, radium and the undefined 'etc.'(perhaps to keep viewers from trying this at home?) Luthor places the Kryptonite at the launching of a ship, with Superman in attendance. Superman is exposed to the Kryptonite and passes out. He's taken off in an ambulance driven by Lex Luthor's henchmen, and is now under the complete control of Luthor. Superman is placed into a device, a lever is pulled, and the Man of Steel vanishes into "The Empty Doom." But with eight chapters remaining, odds are high he will return.
IMDB Title: tt0042211

1955 Adventures of Captain Africa [15 Episodes]

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The Sam Katzman "production" of the sequel to 1943's 'The Phantom' finds the mighty jungle avenger now known as legendary 'Captain Africa' (John Hart) , a "Phantom" spin-off that side-stepped the need to pay King Features yet another fee for using the character. Captain Africa pledges to see that the legitimate Arabian caliph, Hamid (Paul Marion), is restored to his rightful throne, which a tyrannical rival has usurped. Captain Africa is joined in this quest by adventurer Ted Arnold (Rick Vallin), wild-animal trapper Nat Coleman (Bud Osborne), and his assistant Omar (Ben Welden) and, to add the requisite 'spice', the Arabian princess Rhoda (June Howard). The quest ambles on for 15 chapters as they are beset by guards of the tyrant caliph, desert outlaws, wild beasts of the jungle, and a pair of white adventurers, Boris (Lee Roberts) and Greg (Terry Frost), who apparently have their own vested interests in keeping the usurper on the throne.
IMDB Title: tt0047802

Filmcraft Serials:

1936 Ace Drummond [15 Episodes]

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This 13 chapter serial is based on the comic strip character Ace Drummond created by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. Ace is a 'G-Man of the Sky' working out of Washington D.C. He's sent to Mongolia to find out why a mysterious villain known only as 'The Dragon' is trying to prevent the newly formed International Airways from setting up an airport there. Ace meets Peggy Trainor (Jean Rogers) who is searching for her archaeologist father. He's disappeared, so together they search for answers to the puzzles.
IMDB Title: tt0027254

1939 Buck Rogers [12 Episodes]

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The original cartoon strip by Dick Calkins and Phil Nolan: based on the Buck Rogers newspaper feature owned and copyrighted by John F. Dille Co. "You followed Buck Rogers adventures in the newspapers! You heard him on the radio! Now SEE HIM for the time in the most fantastic adventures ever filmed!...Zooming from planet to planet in spark-sputtering space ships! Battling human robots! Conquering new worlds!"

Buck Rogers and Buddy Wade are in the middle of a trans-polar dirigible flight when they are caught in a blizzard and crash. Thinking quickly, Buddy releases a special gas to put them into suspended animation until a rescue party can arrive. But . . . an avalanche covers the craft and the two remain in suspended animation for 500 years! When they are found, they awake to find out that the world has been taken over by the outlaw army of Killer Kane. Along with Lieutenant Wilma Deering, Buck and Buddy join the fight to overthrow Kane and with the help of Prince Tallen of Saturn and his forces, they eventually free Earth of Kane's grip!
IMDB Title: tt0032290

Mascot Serials [Nat Levine]

1932 Shadow of the Eagle [John Wayne] [12 Episodes]

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A CRASHING Adventure Serial! 'The Eagle' uses sky writing to make threats against a corporation. Nathan Gregory owns a travelling fairground and is thought to be the Eagle. Craig McCoy (John Wayne) is a pilot who goes looking for the Eagle when Gregory turns up missing.
IMDB Title: tt0023456

1932 The Hurricane Express [12 Episodes]

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A THRILLER of the ROARING RAILS In Twelve Crashing Episodes! [Crashing stuff seems to have been a popular theme at Mascot. It seems they had a lot of stock crash footage on hand at the studio]. 'The Wrecker' wrecks trains on the L & R Railroad. One of his victims is Larry Baker's (John Wayne's) father, Jim (J. Farrell MacDonald). Baker wants to find the evildoer, among a host of suspects, but it will be difficult since the diabolical Wrecker can disguise himself to look like virtually anyone.
IMDB Title: tt0023038

1933 The Three Musketeers [12 Episodes]

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A Story of the Modern Escapades of the Most Famous Adventurers in all Fiction! Lieutenant Tom Wayne (John Wayne) rescues Clancy, Renard and Schmidt in the Arabian desert and they join him in going after 'El Shaitan', (famous stuntman, Yakima Canutt) a bad guy who is never seen as he tries to wipe out the Foreign Legion.
IMDB Title: tt0024663

1933 The Whispering Shadow [12 Episodes]

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Jack Foster (Malcolm McGregor) is searching for the killer of his brother Bud (George J. Lewis.)The trail leads him to the 'House of Mystery', a waxworks, where the mysterious and somewhat sinister Professor Adam Strang (Bela Lugosi)'makes wax figures that move and speak with lifelike precision. But . . . each time a radio-equipped truck of a huge moving-and-storage company transports one of Strang's figures, its driver is attacked and killed by the henchmen of "The Whispering Shadow." Each of these holdups is preceded by the mysterious jamming of the broadcasting equipment in the radio room atop the warehouse. No man has ever seen the Whispering Shadow, but his genius for manipulating radio and television enables him to project his voice and shadow where ever he desires. He can see through doors, hear through walls and electrocute people by radio death ray. The Whispering Shadow's quest is to acquire priceless jewels secretly stored in the transport warehouse. Jack Foster's list of suspects include Professor Strang; Alexia Steinbeck (Roy D'Arcy),a mysterious Russian in charge of the radio room; Jerome (Lafe McKee), a company official who wanders in and out of the radio room at all hours of the night; and Jasper Slade (Bob Kortman), an escaped comvict and internationally-known jewel thief. Is "The Whispering Shadow" one of these men, or none of the above? Check back next week to find out!
IMDB Title: tt0024768

1934 Burn 'em Up Barnes [12 Episodes]

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Race-car driver "Burn-'em-Up" Barnes (Jack Mulhall), adopts Bobbie Riley (Frankie Darro), the kid brother of his buddy George Riley (James Bush), who was killed in a race. Barnes enters into a partnership in a bus transportation business with Marjorie Temple (Lola Lane), whose life he saved in a battle with some gangsters. John Drummond (Jason Robards--Sr. not Jr.), a scheming promoter, knows that land Marjorie has inherited sits atop valuable oil deposits and Drummond tries every method to wreck her business and force her to sell the land at a fire sale price. "Burn-'em-Up" takes mmore and more desperate chances to raise money and keep Marjorie from losing her property despite the attempts made on his life. As with many of the Mascot serials, many of the outdoor scenes depict a fascinating 'time-capsule' of the Los Angeles area of the 1930s.
IMDB Title: tt0024936

1935 Phantom Empire [12 Episodes]

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When the ancient continent of Mu sank beneath the ocean, some of its inhabitants survived in caverns 20,000 feet deep beneath the sea. The 'Singing Cowboy' Gene Autry 'stumbles' upon the civilization, now buried beneath his own Radio Ranch. The Muranians have developed technology and weaponry such as television and ray guns. Their rich supply of radium draws unscrupulous speculators from the surface. Thus, the peaceful civilization of the Muranians is corrupted by the evil greed from above, and it becomes Gene Autry's task to prevent all-out war . . . preferably without disrupting his regularly scheduled radio show.
IMDB Title: tt0026867

1935 The Adventures of Rex and Rinty [12 Episodes]

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Island of Sujan... Infested With Strange Beasts... Place of Lurking Dangers...
The 23rd and penultimate Mascot sound serial, the first two billed names above the title and the cast are those of Rex, the King of Wild Horses, and Rinty (Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr.) the 'Wonder Dog', making the cast of human players two less than shown. Chapter 1 opens on the island of Sujan, off the coast of East Africa where, shrouded by jungles, roving beasts and the Sacred Guard, is nestled a shrine to a sacred horse, the black Arabian Rex, the God-Horse of Sujan. High Priest Tanaga (Mischa Auer) innocently allows two Americans, Mitchell (Al Bridges) and Wheeler (Wheeler Oakman) see the sacred stallion and, with the aid of Martin (Charles King), they steal the mighty Arabian and transport Rex to the United States, where they sell Rex to Crawford (Harry Woods), a wealthy, greedy polo-playing rancher. Crawford vainly attempts to train Rex as a polo horse, but royal Rex isn't having any of it. Rex escapes and takes to the open road or, in this case, the open range, where he teams up with the vagabond dog, Rinty the Wonder Dog. They manage to avoid capture by Crawford and his henchmen Jones (Edmund Cobb), Anderson (George Chesebro) and McDonald (Jack Rockwell.) But . . . their activities attract the attention of a rival polo-player, Frank Bradley (Kane Richmond), who befriends the animals and transports them back to the island of Sujan (no question as to whether Rinty approves of the move). Crawford predictably follows and convinces the natives to turn against their God-Horse, corrupted as he's been by his stint in the States. Will Rex be burned as a sacrifice? Check back next week!
IMDB Title: tt0026038

Republic Serials:

1936 Undersea Kingdom [Crash Corrigan] [12 Episodes]

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WEIRD THRILLS...Battling Mechanical Men On A Lost Continent!
'Crash Corrigan', a recent graduate of Annapolis, and Diana, a gogetter of a reporter, join Professor Norton for a search for the source of an alarming series of earthquakes. Perhaps it's Atlantis? They're transported on Prof. Norton's rocket submarine searching the sea. Unbeknownst to any of them, little Billy Norton, the professor's son, has stowed away. When they find 'Atlantis' they are caught in a war between the peaceful Atlanteans--distinguised by their white capes, and the war-monging Atlanteans--distinguised by their black capes. After many harrowing moments for Crash, Diana, Prof. Norton and Billy, they escape by the skin of their teeth from a tower of Atlantis which was raised to the surface for the sole purpose of dominating or destroying the surface of Earth
IMDB Title: tt0028444

1937 Dick Tracy [15 Episodes]

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ADVENTURE - to amaze you! THRILLS - to make you cheer! ACTION - to startle you!
Based on cartoon strip by Chester Gould. A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective's brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick Tracy. The background comic art (panels) shown on most of the original posters for this serial came from the Sunday "Dick Tracy" comic page of December 6, 1936
IMDB Title: tt0028785

1937 Zorro Rides Again [12 Episodes]

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The California-Yucatan Railroad, built for the benefit of growing young Mexico, is under siege by a gang of terroristas hoping to force its sale. But . . . apparently no one can prove the connection to profiteer J.A.Marsden (Noah Beery). Don Manuel de la Vega, aged co-owner, calls in the aid of his nephew 'James' de la Vega, great-grandson of the original Zorro. Alas, James seems more interested in golf than derring-do. But . . . coincidentally just after James' arrival, Zorro rides once again! Can one black-clad man on horseback defeat a gang supplied with airplanes and machine guns? Watch next week for the answer!

The name of star John Carroll doesn't even show up in the original. However, John Carroll puts in a sound performance with co-stars Nigel de Brulier, Robert Kortman, Jack Ingram, Roger Williams, Edmund Cobb, Mona Rico, Tom London, Harry Strang and Jerry Frank. Carroll is best, Duncan Renaldo is amusing, and Yakima Cannutt's stunt work is--as always--top-notch.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Death from the Sky
  • 2. The Fatal Minute
  • 3. Juggernaut
  • 4. Unmasked
  • 5. Sky Pirates
  • 6. The Fatal Shot
  • 7. Burning Embers
  • 8. Plunge of Peril
  • 9. Tunnel of Terror
  • 10. Trapped
  • 11. Right of Way
  • 12. Retribution

IMDB Title: tt0029818

1939 Dick Tracy's G-Men [15 Episodes]

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A mad doctor named Zanoff uses a drug to bring himself back from the dead after his execution in prison. Dick Tracy sets out to capture Zanoff before he reassemble his criminal gang .
IMDB Title: tt0031230

1939 The Lone Ranger Rides Again [15 Episodes]

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THE GREATEST HERO OF SCREEN AND RADIO Rides to dangerous glory in an ALL-NEW series of spectacular and breath-taking adventures!
Based on The Radio Serial, "THE LONE RANGER" by Fran Striker, homesteaders are moving into the valley settled many years ago by rancher Craig Dolan. He wants to keep them out by legal means but his nephew Bart brings in outlaws to drive them out. Enter The Lone Ranger to help the homesteaders battle Bart's men, overcoming traps, ambushes, burning buildings and myriad other diabolical frontier obstacles in his attempt to bring peace to the valley.
IMDB Title: tt0031586

1939 Zorro's Fighting Legion [12 Episodes]

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Whips crack! Swords flash! Bullets fly! Donde los Yikes! Zorro's back!
The legendary masked swordsman, Zorro dodges a variety of early California deathtraps, including exploding barns, runaway elevators and avalanches, in his effort to thwart the insidious plan of armored bad guy Don Del Oro to rule Mexico. It'a 1824 and Don Del Oro, a man completely hidden in a suit of armor, plans to become emperor of Mexico. Don Diego {Zorro} arrives on the scene and takes up the fight. He organizes the Legionnaires to fight Del Oro's henchmen and the Yaqui Indians. An excellent performance by Reedf Hadley as Zorro. He's quick, smart, used both whip and foil well, and his voice was the best of any Zorro, before, or since.
IMDB Title: tt0032164

1940 Adventures of Red Ryder [12 Episodes]

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Mesquite banker Calvin Drake (Harry Worth) plans to profit from the Santa Fe Railroad's acquisition of a seroes of rights-of-way by usurping control of the land in the territory. As a consequence of the ensuing war of intimidation against the target ranchers, Ira Withers (Edward Cassidy) is killed and Red Ryder (Don Barry as Don "Red" Barry) and his father, Colonel Tom Ryder (William Farnum), form an organization to drive the gunmen and outlaws out of the territory. But . . . Colonel Ryder is killed by 'One-Eye' Chapin (Bob Kortman) and Red vows vengeance. Sheriff Dade (Carleton Young) is in league with the Drake faction, including Ace Hanlon (Noah Beery). Meanwhile . . . The 'Duchess' (Maude Pierce Allen), Red's aunt, is about to lose her ranch. Red learns of a plan to dynamite a dam providing the water supply, and saves Beth Andrews (Vivian Austin billed as Vivian Coe), daughter of the former sheriff, Luke Andrews (Lloyd Ingraham) another fallen victim of Drake's men.
IMDB Title: tt0032184

1940 Mysterious Doctor Satan [15 Episodes]

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A mad scientist named Dr. Satan plots to steal key pieces of technolgy to enable him to build a prototype robot, from which to create an an army of robots to conquer America. The only one standing in his way is Bob Wayne, who fights Satan in the guise of the enigmatic 'Copperhead'. When this serial was being written, it was intended to be a series that utilized Superman as the main hero. The owners of Superman decided they didn't want to let the studio use the character. Rather than scrap the project altogether, the writers replaced Superman with a character of their own creation, 'The Copperhead'.
IMDB Title: tt0032832

1941 Adventures of Captain Marvel [12 Episodes]

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On a scientific expedition to Siam young Billy Batson is given the ability to change himself into the super-powered 'Captain Marvel' by the wizard, Shazam, who tells him his powers will last only as long as the Golden Scorpion idol is threatened. Upon finding the idol, scientists realize it could be the most powerful weapon in the world and remove the lenses that energize it, distributing them among themselves so that no one individual among them could employ the powerful device by himself. Meanwhile . . . back in the US, Billy Batson, as Captain Marvel, wages a battle against an evil, hooded figure, the Scorpion, who hopes to accumulate all five lenses himself, thereby gaining control of the super-powerful weapon.

  • Superman was originally considered for this project, however, when National Periodical Publications--today's DC Comics--turned Republic down, the producers made the offer to Fawcett Comics for their top character and the offer was accepted.
  • This was the first depiction of a comic book super hero on film.
  • The effect of Captain Marvel flying was achieved by filming an over-sized dummy that was slid along a fine wire
  • Captain Marvel's costume, which is red in comic books, was actually blue/gray in order to photograph better in black and white

IMDB Title: tt0033317

1941 Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc [15 Episodes]

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This time Dick Tracy goes up against a villain known as The Ghost, who can turn himself invisible! The scene where Tracy uses the infrared light bulb to reveal the presence of the Ghost was accomplished by simply printing the film in negative form. The Dick Tracy Serial franchise saved their best for last. Far better production values, pacing, and continuity from chapter to chapter make this outing clearly the best of the Dick Tracy serials.
IMDB Title: tt0033535

1942 Perils of Nyoka (USA Nyoka and The Tigermen) [15 Episodes]

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Professor Campbell's expedition into the hills of Libya obtains a papyrus which might reveal the hiding place of the Golden Tablets of Hippocrates, containing lost medical secrets. Also in the region is intrepid Nyoka Gordon, still seeking her father, lost on a previous expedition. She alone can translate the papyrus, which directs our heroes through deadly perils (including the Tunnel of Bubbling Death) into the land of the Tuaregs. Opposing them are Vultura, 'Queen of the Desert', and her Arab ally Cassib, both greedy for the treasure.
IMDB Title: tt0035181

1942 Spy Smasher [12 Episodes]

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In post production when United States entered World War II, this anti-subversive potboiler's protagonist is Alan Armstrong, a.k.a. The Spy Smasher, who battles a Nazi villain known only as 'The Mask', the head of a gang of saboteurs determined to spread destruction across America. The Mask, the villain of this serial, was the longest-running foe of Spy Smasher. Ironically, by the time this serial was released, the Mask was already 'dead' - he'd been strangled to death by Spy Smasher after he'd exposed Alan Armstrong to his The Mask's "brain-o-graph" machine and ordering Spy Smasher to "Kill!"

Episode Titles:

  • 1. America . . . Beware!
  • 2. Human Target
  • 3. Iron Coffin
  • 4. Stratosphere Invaiders
  • 5. Descending Doom
  • 6. The Invisible Witness
  • 7. Secret Weapon
  • 8. Sea Raiders
  • 9. Highway Racketeers
  • 10.2700 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • 11.Hero's Death
  • 12.V...

IMDB Title: tt0035372

1943 Masked Marvel [12 Episodes]

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A superhero called The Masked Marvel battles Japanese saboteurs intent on systematically blowing up America, chapter by chapter. There were actually two characters that appeared in the comics of the day that bore the name The Masked Marvel, however, this character was entirely a Republic Studio creation. The premise is that one of the four lead heroes are supposed to be the Masked Marvel, but as a practical matter is was actually legendary stuntman Tom Steele who played the character, with his voice post-dubbed by announcer Gayne Whitman.

An apocryphal tale of the era, states that Republic Pictures was in negotiations with famed cartoonist Will Eisner to obtain the rights to serial-play project featuring Eisner's famous 'The Spirit' character. As the story goes, the deal fizzled. The studio instead recycled the screenplay that was to be 'The Spirit", as the basis for 'The Masked Marvel'.

Episode Titles:

  • 1 The Masked Crusader
  • 2 Death Takes the Helm
  • 3 Dive to Doom
  • 4 Suspense at Midnight
  • 5 Murder Meter
  • 6 Exit to Eternity
  • 7 Doorway to Destruction
  • 8 Destined to Die
  • 9 Danger Express
  • 10 Suicide Sacrifice
  • 11 The Fatal Mistake
  • 12 The Man Behind the Mask

IMDB Title: tt0036146

1943 Secret Service in Darkest Africa [15 Episodes]

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Nazi raiders steal a lost Arab treasure!
In yet another 'G-Men' serial, American Secret Service Agent Rex Bennett (Rod Cameron) is assigned to defeat the plans of the Nazis to form an alliance in Africa with 'the Arabs' (must have been Ethiopia?). His aides are Janet Blake (Joan Marsh), a United Nations Agent posing as a reporter, and Pierre LaSalle (Duncan Renaldo later to be 'The Cisco Kid"), a Free-French officer. Seems simple enough, I know, but . . . complications arise when a trusted Arab chieftain (Lionel Royce) turns out to be none other than Baron von Rommier, a ruthless Nazi officer. You may have noticed that un-specified 'Arabs' come in for an inordinate amount of intrigue and duplicity throughout the era of the Golden Age of Serials. Given the mystery, ignorance, and lack of knowledge or awareness of Southwest Asia at the time, one wonders what the particular fascination was. Reissued in 1954, the recorded documents often referred to it as "Manhunt in the African Jungle". The eventual on-screen title finally read "Manhunt in the African Jungles" vs. 'Jungle'.
IMDB Title: tt0036337

1944 Captain America [15 Episodes]

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Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain, The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations alone.

In Captain America's original back-story, a young man named Steve Rogers--too weak and puny to fight in World War II--is injected with a super-soldier serum developing an enhanced physique in the process and leading quite understandably to the acoption of his alter eg0, Captain America. Supposedly, Steve Rogers is actually the second hero (but the firstAmerican), to possess such an enhanced physique. Apparently the original such superhero being Ilya Muromets, the Russian history/lore equivalent to King Arthur. This elaborate back-story was rejected outright by Republic as it would have required costly retakes to establish the back-story. Thus, in the resulting serial, Captain America's real name is Grant Gardner, the city's district attorney, and his foe is The Scarab, a.k.a. Karl Maaldor, played by Lionel Atwill . According to legend, this 'altered' back-story is why Marvel Comics suppressed the serial for several years. Fantasy illustrator Larry Ivy believes instead, that the story for this production may have initially developed as a follow-up to the successful serial Mysterious Doctor Satan (above), and its hero, The Copperhead. According to Ivy, a desire to bring Captain America to the screen quickly by using a script already on hand inevitably resulted in a minimal resemblance to the Marvel Comics character.

Thus, though the hero in this serial isn't the same Captain America as in the comics, it is, nonethless a hero called Captain America who wears an 'enhanced physique' costume similar to the one in Marvel Comics. That's about where the similarity ends. We know Steve Rogers, and Grant Gardner is no Steve Rogers. Heck, he doesn't even have a special shield, preferring a gun for protection, instead!

Dick Purcell's somewhat pudgy physique notwithstanding ("enhanced" more by beer than special serum perhaps?), he still makes a fine 40's serial hero who's pretty quick on the trigger. In this regard, Purcell's Captain America is bit more lethal than his comic book counterpart and, as noted above, he's both 'packin' and he's got no reservations about pulling off a few rounds to consign his enemies to perdition. This Captain America is an N.R.A. poster boy. He dispatches no less than four different villains in the first 15 minute chapter alone! This Captain America's 'gal pal' Gail Richards is also a pistol-packin' mama. She's both cute as a bug, and her trigger finger's as itchy as Captain America's! The 'vibrator' chapter alone, is worth watching all 15 chapters.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. The Purple Death
  • 2. Mechanical Executioner
  • 3. Scarlet Shroud
  • 4. Preview of Murder
  • 5. Blade of Wrath
  • 6. Vault of Vengeance
  • 7. Wholesale Destruction
  • 8. Cremation in the Clouds
  • 9. Triple Tragedy
  • 10. The Avenging Corpse
  • 11. The Dead Man Returns
  • 12. Horror on the Highway
  • 13. Skyscraper Plunge
  • 14. The Scarab Strikes
  • 15. The Toll of Doom.

IMDB Title: tt0036697

1944 Tiger Woman [reissued as 'Perils of the Darkest Jungle'] [12 Episodes]

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BARBARIC THRILLS! Primitive pulse-pounding excitement! Savage combat with native warriors! Hair-raising encounters with man-eating beasts!
Greedy oil speculators, led by the evil 'Morgan', attempt to force Tiger Woman and her band of warriors from their jungle home so as to lay claim to its potentially vast oil reserves. Allen Saunders (Allen Lane) of 'Inter-Ocean Oil' wants to develop the oil, as well--but in a good way, and fights alongside Tiger Woman to stop the bad oil developers. Does any of this sound more like current history than movie history?

It's been said of Linda Stirling, "The Tiger Woman", that this was by far her best serial. Ignoring the fact that 'Tiger Woman' is always dressed in leopard skin, vs. tiger skin, the cinematography and acting performances in this serial are indeed a cut above for the genre. The plot revolves around an un-specified jungle location, suggestive of The Amazon. However in this instance of Amazonian rain-forest plunder, the prize is oil, not lumber. Inter-Ocean Oil Company wants to exploit it in a good way, but a nefarious rival organization wants to exploit it in a bad way. But . . . as it happens, the caucasian long-lost daughter of a millionaire, one who was lost very young , quite plausibly becomes 'Queen' of the local tribe. The bad oil exploiters plan to find evidence that the girl the natives call 'Tiger Woman' is indeed the missing daughter, Rita Arnold , and replace her with a fake double who'll cede them the tribe's oil reserves. But not so fast . . . first they have to sabotage their opponents--the good oil exploiters, before they can usurp the real Rita Arnold's inheritance, and thus commandeer the tribe's oil reserves with their proxy.

But there's another tse-tse fly in the ointment. The Tiger Woman (who 'fell from the skies' to become the caucasian leader of the local tribe--and goddess to all others) opposes their attempts. Meanwhile, all Inter-Ocean has going for it is Allen Saunders (Allen 'Rock' Lane), their 'ace' engineer and troubleshooter--and his milquetoast sidekick, José.

Linda Stirling is both breathtaking and agile. 'Rock' Lane is handsome, clever and can even act (his later voice credits include that of "Mr. Ed" the talking horse of TV fame). The Queen is a bit 'overdressed', in leopard but on her, it's attractive--as opposed to 'Betty Page tacky'. Indeed, they even managed to cobble in an exotic dance under the guise of a torture rite directed at 'poor' Allen Saunders. Dramatic escapes aplenty brand this serial as a classic cliff-hanger. Duncan Renaldo ( the 1950's TV Cisco Kid) is Allen Saunder's congenial sidekick, José Delgado (or 'delicate Joe' literally translated, in ample evidence during the 'cave' scenes). George J. Lewis is the archetypal villain. In a throwback to 'The Hazards of Helen' Linda Stirling's character is 'allowed' to both fight successfully and be thoroughly menaced and molested, while in most serials of the era, women folk stood around biting their daintily gloved knuckles at any sign of menace.

IMDB Title: tt0037378

1945 The Purple Monster Strikes [15 Episodes]

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Invasion of America from 50,000,000 miles away! Daring! Thrilling! Wierd! Wonderful!!
A Martian spacecraft crash-lands near the observatory of Cyrus Layton, designer of Earth's first spaceship. The lone survivor, forerunner of an invasion, can assume the form of any earthman. Calling himself the "Purple Monster," the Martian invader sets about gaining control of Layton's rocket project. But . . . he didn't count on Craig Foster, former Secret Service man who, episode by episode thwarts the Martian monster's attempts to acquire the rocket components. Will SSA Craig ever suspect that his closest associate is really the monster? Watch next week, to find out!

Episode Titles:

  • 1. The Man in the Meteor
  • 2. The Time Trap
  • 3.Flaming Avalanche
  • 4.The Lethal Pit
  • 5. Death on the Beam
  • 6. The Demon Killer
  • 7. The Evil Eye
  • 8. Descending Doom
  • 9. The Living Dead
  • 10.House of Horror
  • 11.Menace From Mars
  • 12.Perilous Plunge
  • 13.Fiery Shroud
  • 14.The Fatal Trail
  • 15.Take-Off To Destruction.

IMDB Title: tt0038007

1946 The Crimson Ghost [12 Episodes]

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A criminal mastermind known as The Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the 'Cyclotrode', which can short-circuit all electrical current on the planet. Bud Geary wore the robes of the Crimson Ghost, but the voice that came out of the stationary skeletal mouth was that of I. Stanford Jolley, who's billed fourth in the cast. Yet another actor dubbed Jolley's character's response on the radio. Finally, a fourth actor played the Crimson Ghost's alter ego. In the prophetic words of The Crimson Ghost, himself, "We've been tricked by cleverness!"
IMDB Title: tt0038435

1947 Black Widow [13 Episodes]

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Lightning-quick reporter attempts to overcome thieves...risking his life at the hands of the deadly Black Widow!
In chapter 1. of The Black Widow, the title character, Sombra (Carol Forman),
dispatches recalcitrant would-be spy Michael Burns (Keith Richards) by having him injected with poison extracted from her namesake spider. In the guise of a psychic, Sombra is the daughter of megalomaniac Hitomu (Theodore Gottlieb).  Their target: a new atomic rocket engine developed by Dr. Henry Weston (Sam Flint). Meanwhile . . . , at the Daily Clarion, Metro editor Walker (Gene Stutenroth, a.k.a. Gene Roth) assigns famed detective/novelist Steve Colt (Bruce Edward) and cub reporter Joyce Winters (Virginia Lindley) to the case. They quickly become suspicious of Sombra's fortune-telling establishment. The Black Widow, who is in constant contact with her father via a "teleportation" device, manages to break into Dr. Weston's office by masquerading as his secretary Ruth Dayton (Ramsay Ames). En route with the secret formula, Sombra and henchman Nick Ward (Anthony Warde) are surprised by Colt, who gives chase. To shake their pursuer, Sombra and Nick contact an accomplice (Ted Mapes) over the radio and they force Colt's automobile off the highway and into an exploding gas station.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Deadly Prophecy
  • 2. The Stolen Formula
  • 3. Hidden Death
  • 4. Peril in the Sky
  • 5. The Spider's Lair
  • 6. Glass Guillotine
  • 7. Wheels of Death
  • 8. False Information
  • 9. The Spider's Venom
  • 10.The Stolen Corpse
  • 11.Death Dials a Number
  • 12.The Talking Mirror
  • 13. A Life for a Life

IMDB Title: tt0039193

1948 Adventures of Frank and Jesse James
1948 Dangers of the Canadian Mounted [12 Episodes]

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Hit The Trail! With the men who take more chances...have more hair-breadth escapes...And are never out of danger but always get their man!
Crooks discover a Genghis Khan treasure ship on the Canada-Alaska border but the treasure is hidden somewhere on land . . .

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Legend of Genghis Khan
  • 2. Key to the Legend
  • 3. Ghost Town
  • 4. Terror in the Sky
  • 5. Pursuit
  • 6. Stolen Cargo
  • 7. The Fatal Shot
  • 8. Fatal Testimony
  • 9. The Prisoner Spy
  • 10.The Secret Meeting
  • 11.Secret of the Altar
  • 12.Liquid Jewels

IMDB Title: tt0040268

1949 Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. [12 Episodes]

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The female leader of an international crime ring steals a valuable artifact that can give her the power to control men's minds (which on the face of it, seems wildly superfluous, doesn't it?). Federal agents are dispatched to get it back and stop her evil plans. Kirk "Superman" Alyn is the action lead, Rosemary LaPlanche is the heroine,and the James Dale is Inspector Worth's sidekick. Roy Barcroft is superb as the villain, and Carol Forman is menacing as Nila, the female head of Underworld Inc. This plot, yet another which involves Arab treasure, has some interesting twists, but as always, the 'Arabs' are unspecified as to their origin. But this point, one is left to conclude that Republic had an inordinate amount of Arab props, clothing, and accoutrements in their inventory.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. The Golden Hands
  • 2. Criminal's Lair
  • 3. Death in Disguise
  • 4. Fatal Evidence
  • 5. The Trapped Conspirator
  • 6. Wheels of Disaster
  • 7. The Hidden Key
  • 8. The Enemy's Mouthpiece
  • 9. The Stolen Hand
  • 10.Unmasked
  • 11.Tombs of the Ancients
  • 12.The Curse of Kurigal

IMDB Title: tt0041352

1949 King of the Rocketmen [12 Episodes]

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Watch "Rocket Man" sweep from the clouds to battle America's enemies!
Professor Millard (James Craven) pretends to be dead and helps Jeff King (Tristram Coffin) ferret out Dr. Vulcan, the evil traitor at the science academy, Science Associates. Donning his Rocket Man costume, Jeff King rockets from one hair-raising rescue to the next, in order to keep the newly invented Decimator out of the clutches of Dr. Vulcan and his evil minions. It seems that a
group of atomic researchers--Science Associates--is being systematically 'decimated' by remote control via The Decimator device.

Not to be too literal here, but the term 'decimate' refers to the ancient Roman practice of selecting a target enemy by lot, then killing every tenth man of the target group. Therefore, 'The Decimator', having been scientifically invented and developed would seem to be wildly inaccurate and random in its application. Nonetheless, the decimation survivors suspect that the responsible villain, "Dr. Vulcan," is one of their own--just not the tenth of their own. Understandably, Dr. Vulcan is bent on acquiring a monopoly of Science Associates' technological wonders. Jeff King is assigned to safeguard the group's secrets. As professors go, he's pretty handy with the fisticuffs, abetted by his secret advantage of an experimental rocket suit that enables him to fly! But . . . Dr. Vulcan has deadly devices also. Can the Rocket Man expose Vulcan without revealing his own identity?

This was another of Republic's titles to use a play-on-words for "King of..." "King" was actually the name of the main character. As in other Republic serials, Republic's top stuntmen, Dale Van Sickel, Tom Steele and David Sharpe, not only did stunts for other actors, they were given multiple roles throughout the serial. Since the audience saw only one episode per week they weren't expected to remember the faces of each henchman or extra. Another technical point: Jeff King's atomic powered rocket suit was so advanced that it required only three operational controls: on/off, up/down and slow/fast.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Dr. Vulcan. Traitor
  • 2. Plunging Death
  • 3. Dangerous Evidence
  • 4. High Peril
  • 5. Fatal Dive
  • 6. Mystery of The Rocket Man
  • 7. Molten Menace
  • 8. Suicide Flight
  • 9. Ten Seconds To Live
  • 10. The Deadly Foe
  • 11. Secret of Dr. Vulcan
  • 12. Wave of Disaster

IMDB Title: tt0041547

1950 Flying Disc Man from Mars [12 Episodes]

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Armed with sinister weapons from another planet a Martian warlord and a madman scientist plot to conquer the world!
A strange craft spying on industrialist Dr. Bryant's plant is brought down by Bryant's new 'atomic ray'. Dr. Bryant meets one survivor... Mota from the planet Mars! Not exactly benevolent, Mota enlists the aid of Dr. Bryant (a former Nazi) in a scheme to subject Earth to the control of a supreme dictator--for its own good, naturally. Using advanced atomic weapons, their attempts to steal uranium alert Kent Fowler of Fowler Air Patrol, who sets out single-handedly to foil the villains. Fisticuffs, blowin' stuff up, and wrecks in every episode.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Menace From Mars
  • 2. The Volcano's Secret
  • 3. Death Rides The Stratosphere
  • 4. Execution By Fire
  • 5. The Living Projectile
  • 6. Perilous Mission
  • 7. Descending Doom
  • 8. Suicide Sacrifice
  • 9. The Funeral Pyre
  • 10. Weapons of Hate
  • 11. Disaster On The Highway
  • 12. Volcanic Vengence

IMDB Title: tt0043546

1951 Government Agents vs the Phantom Legion
1952 Radar Men from the Moon
1952 Zombies of The Stratosphere
1952 Zombies of the Stratosphere [Colorized]

Super Serials [Sam Katzman]:

1935 The Lost City [12 Episodes]

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High-Voltage Action! Electrifying Thrills! Thunderbolt Drama!
After a series of electrical storms disrupts Earth, electrical engineer Bruce Gordon develops a machine to trace the cause of the disasters. He discovers that the source is in central Africa (naturally . . .) and, backed by the nations of the world, Gordon sets out on an expedition. Bruce learns that the disturbances emanate from an area called "Magnetic Mountain". But . . . unbeknownst to our hero and sideckick Jerry, Magnetic Mountain also contains a super-advanced secret city ruled by the tyrannical scientific wizard, "Zolok", who's unleashed an electrical fury threatening civilization. All part of his nefarious plan to conquer the world. Zolok is not without resources: he controls a brilliant inventor, 'Manyus', Manyus' comely daughter Natcha and an army of giant African slaves, who follow the dictates of the strongman, Appolyn, and Gorza, a dwarf. Compounding matters, are the opportunists Reynolds and Colton, who have their own plans for Manyus, thereby gaining control of Zolok's army, and a double-crossing yet another fellow explorer named Butterfield (Gabby Hayes). Can Bruce Gordon evade Zolok's "destroying rays" and stop Zolok's megalomaniacal dreams of world conquest? Watch next week for the answer!

It seems that in racing to complete 'The Lost City' before Mascot finished its own 'Phantom Empire' (1935), producer Sherman Krellberg used three separate production units (much as 2nd units of today put together many of the action sequences and special effects), thereby trimming production time from the scheduled 35 days to only 21 days.

Some of the electric contraptions created by Ken Strickfaden were retasked from Universal's Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Indeed, two different feature versions of this serial were theatrically released as well: IMDB's 'The Lost City (1935/II)' and 'The Lost City (1935/III)'. One of the feature versions was condensed from the entire serial, the other was condensed from just chapters 1-4 with some closure and continuity scenes tacked on. A few years later, yet another feature version of this serial was released theatrically, as 'City of Lost Men' (1940).

Episode Titles:

  • 1. Living Dead Men
  • 2. Tunnel of Death
  • 3. Dagger Rock
  • 4. Doomed!
  • 5. Tiger Prey
  • 6. Human Beasts
  • 7. Spider Man
  • 8. Human Targets
  • 9. Jungle Vengeance
  • 10.The Lion Pit
  • 11.The Death Ray
  • 12.The Mad Scientist

IMDB Title: tt0026652

1937 Blake of Scotland Yard [15 Episodes]

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Sir James Blake battles Dr. Marshall (Lloyd Hughes), in the guise of "The Scorpion" over possession of yet another 'death ray' machine. One of the more 'cerebral' of the serial genre, there are few fisticuffs, no train wrecks, and no cars, horses, trucks, or cows going over a cliff. That's not to say that the bad guys don't come armed, but for whatever reason, they're disinclined to employ them until far later in the chapters. During filming of an action scene, a bullet ricocheted and struck director Robert F. Hill in the head. The injury he suffered caused him to prematurely retire from active directing three years later.

Episode Titles:

  • 1. The Mystery of the Blooming Gardenias
  • 2. Death in the Laboratory
  • 3. Cleared Mysteries
  • 4. Mystery of the Silver Fox
  • 5. Death in the River
  • 6. The Criminal Shadow
  • 7. Face To Face
  • 8. The Fatal Trap
  • 9. Parisian Rooftops
  • 10.Battle Royal
  • 11.The Burning Fuse
  • 12.The Roofs of Limehouse
  • 13.The Sting of the Scorpion
  • 14.The Scorpion Unmasked
  • 15.The Trap is Sprung

IMDB Title: tt0028637

Universal Serials:

1931 Battling with Buffalo Bill [12 Episodes]

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This is Universal's 10th serial of the sound era. Gold is discovered in a small western town, and local gambler Jim Rodney (Francis Ford) plots to seize possession of the rich claim by systematically murdering the townspeople or frightning them away with Indians. To stir up the Indians, Rodney and his henchmen murder an Indian squaw and steal the Indians' horses. Under attack by the enraged Indians, the town is temporarily saved by "Buffalo Bill" Cody (Tom Tyler) who arrives with a U.S.Cavalry troop and drives off the Indians. Rodney, undeterred, pursues his goal by having himself elected town marshal, by defeating Cody's friend, Dave Archer in a rigged election. Buffalo Bill spends the remaining 10 episodes bringing Rodney to justice while fending off continued attacks by the righteously indignant Indians. Yakima Canutt, in addition to playing a leading role, stunting and supervising stunts, did some uncredited 2nd unit work beyond his role as Scout Jack Brady.
IMDB Title: tt0021643

1935 Call of the Savage
1936 Adventures of Frank Merriwell, The
1936 Jungle Jim
1940 Flash Gordon - Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe
1940 The Green Hornet
1941 The Green Hornet Strikes Again
1943 Adventures of Smilin' Jack, The
1943 Adventures of the Flying Cadets

1943 Don Winslow of The Coast Guard [13 Episodes]

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This is the 'sequel' to 1942's "Don Winslow of the Navy." A Coast Guard officer is assigned to protect the coastline from spies, saboteurs and enemy agents.
IMDB Title: tt0035819

1944 Mystery of the Riverboat
1945 Great Alaskan Mystery

Weiss Serials:

1936 Thunderbolt - The Clutching Hand

The Perils of Pauline (1914)
The Hazards of Helen (1914)
The Exploits of Elaine (1914)
Lucille Love: The Girl of Mystery (1914)
The Man Who Disappeared (1914)
The Active Life of Dolly of the Dailies (1914)
The Fates and Flora Fourflush (1914)
The Romance of Elaine (1915)
Stingaree (1915)
The Black Box (1915)
The Girl and the Game (1915)
The Apartment House Mystery (1915)
The Secret of the Submarine (1915)
Georgia Pearce (1915)
The Red Circle (1915)
Neal of the Navy (1915)
The New Exploits of Elaine (1915)
The Lass of the Lumberlands (1916)
The Yellow Menace (1916)
The Purple Mask (1916)
The Crimson Stain Mystery (1916)
The Mysteries of Myra (1916)
Beatrice Fairfax (1916)
Pearl of the Army (1916)
Peg o' the Ring (1916)
Perils of Our Girl Reporters (1916)
The Shielding Shadow (1916)
The Seven Pearls (1917)
The Railroad Raiders (1917)
The Lost Express (1917)
Jimmie Dale Alias the Gray Seal (1917)
The Voice on the Wire (1917)
The Fighting Trail (1917)
The Gray Ghost (1917)
The Red Ace (1917)
The Brass Bullet (1918)
The Master Mystery (1919)
Terror of the Range (1919)
The Tiger's Trail (1919)
The Trail of the Octopus (1919)
Lightning Bryce (1919)
The Lightning Raider (1919)
The Masked Rider (1919)
The Carter Case (1919)
The Midnight Man (1919)
The Hawk's Trail (1919)
The Black Secret (1919)
The Lurking Peril (1919)
The Great Radium Mystery (1919)

Son of Tarzan (1920)
The Mystery of 13 (1920)
The Amazing Quest of Mr. Ernest Bliss (1920)
The Moon Riders (1920)
The Silent Avenger (1920)
The Evil Eye (1920)
Daredevil Jack (1920)
Thunderbolt Jack (1920)
The Tiger Band (1920)
The Great London Mystery (1920)
The Whirlwind (1920)
Trailed by Three (1920)
Fantomas (1920)
The Fatal Sign (1920)
The Invisible Hand (1920)
The Invisible Ray (1920)
The Flaming Disc (1920)
The Branded Four (1920)
Bride 13 (1920)
The Lost City (1920)
The Adventures of Tarzan (1921)
Hurricane Hutch (1921)
Miracles of the Jungle (1921)
The Sky Ranger (1921)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1921)
The Mysterious Pearl (1921)
The Diamond Queen (1921)
The Avenging Arrow (1921)
The White Horseman (1921)
The Blue Fox (1921)
Breaking Through (1921)
Fighting Fate (1921)
Burn 'Em Up Barnes (1921)
A Dangerous Adventure (1922)
Go Get 'Em Hutch (1922)
In the Days of Buffalo Bill (1922)
Nan of the North (1922)
The Jungle Goddess (1922)
The Radio King (1922)
The Purple Riders (1922)
Captain Kidd (1922)
Speed (1922)
Perils of the Yukon (1922)
The Timber Queen (1922)
The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1922)
White Eagle (1922)
The Eagle's Talons (1923)
The Eleventh Hour (1923)
Fighting Blood (1923)
The Fighting Skipper (1923)
The Santa Fe Trail (1923)
The Steel Trail (1923)
Plunder (1923)
Smashing Barriers (1923)
Tragödie der Liebe (1923)
The Fortieth Door (1924)
Galloping Hoofs (1924)
The Fast Express (1924)
Fight and Win (1924)
Leatherstocking (1924)
Battling Brewster (1924)
The Riddle Rider (1924)
Riders of the Plains (1924)
Wild West (1925)
The Fighting Ranger (1925)
The Flame Fighter (1925)
The Green Archer (1925)
Secret Service Saunders (1925)
Miss Mend (1926)
The Scarlet Streak (1926)
Scotty of the Scouts (1926)
The Bar-C Mystery (1926)
Strings of Steel (1926)
Vanishing Millions (1926)
Casey of the Coast Guard (1926)
The Radio Detective (1926)
The Winking Idol (1926)
The Fighting Marine (1926)
Fighting with Buffalo Bill (1926)
Lightning Hutch (1926)
Fighting Hearts (1926)
The Mansion of Mystery (1927)
On Guard (1927)
The Masked Menace (1927)
Blake of Scotland Yard (1927)
The Crimson Flash (1927)
The Fire Fighters (1927)
King of the Jungle (1927)
The Man Without a Face (1928)
Mark of the Frog (1928)
The Terrible People (1928)
Eagle of the Night (1928)
The Mysterious Airman (1928)
The Mystery Rider (1928)
Pirates of the Pines (1928)
Police Reporter (1928)
Tarzan the Mighty (1928)
The Tiger's Shadow (1928)
The House of Terror (1928)
The Chinatown Mystery (1928)
The Fatal Warning (1929)
Pirates of Panama (1929)
The Fire Detective (1929)
The King of the Kongo (1929)
The Diamond Master (1929)
Queen of the Northwoods (1929)
The Black Book (1929)
The Ace of Scotland Yard (1929)

Terry of the 'Times' (1930)
The Jade Box (1930)
The Galloping Ghost (1931)
The Vanishing Legion (1931)
The Lightning Warrior (1931)
The Phantom of the West (1931)
King of the Wild (1931)
Sign of the Wolf (1931)
Battling with Buffalo Bill (1931)
Danger Island (1931)
The Last of the Mohicans (1932)
The Shadow of the Eagle (1932)
Heroes of the West (1932)
The Jungle Mystery (1932)
The Airmail Mystery (1932)
Phantom of the Air (1933/I)
The Three Musketeers (1933/I)
Gordon of Ghost City (1933)
Fighting with Kit Carson (1933)
The Mystery Squadron (1933)
Tarzan the Fearless (1933)
The Whispering Shadow (1933)
Clancy of the Mounted (1933)
Burn 'Em Up Barnes (1934/I)
The Return of Chandu (1934/I)
The Lost Jungle (1934/I)
Tailspin Tommy (1934)
The Vanishing Shadow (1934)
The Perils of Pauline (1934)
Pirate Treasure (1934)
The Red Rider (1934)
The Lost City (1935/I)
The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935/I)
Queen of the Jungle (1935/I)
Tailspin Tommy in The Great Air Mystery (1935)
The Fighting Marines (1935)
The Phantom Empire (1935)
The Adventures of Rex and Rinty (1935)
Flash Gordon (1936/I)
The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand (1936/I)
Shadow of Chinatown (1936/I)
The Phantom Rider (1936)
The Adventures of Frank Merriwell (1936)
Ace Drummond (1936)
Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island (1936)
Undersea Kingdom (1936)
Dick Tracy (1937/I)
Blake of Scotland Yard (1937/I)
Secret Agent X-9 (1937)
Tim Tyler's Luck (1937)
Zorro Rides Again (1937)
Jungle Jim (1937)
Radio Patrol (1937)
The Spider's Web (1938)
Dick Tracy Returns (1938)
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)
The Lone Ranger (1938)
Hawk of the Wilderness (1938)
The Fighting Devil Dogs (1938)
The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1938)
The Secret of Treasure Island (1938)
Dick Tracy's G-Men (1939)
The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939)
Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)
Buck Rogers (1939)
Daredevils of the Red Circle (1939)
Mandrake the Magician (1939)
The Oregon Trail (1939)
Flying G-Men (1939)

Deadwood Dick (1940)
Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)
The Green Hornet (1940)
King of the Royal Mounted (1940)
The Shadow (1940)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
Adventures of Red Ryder (1940)
The Green Archer (1940)
Junior G-Men (1940)
Terry and the Pirates (1940)
The Spider (1940)
White Eagle (1941/I)
The Spider Returns (1941)
The Green Hornet Strikes Again! (1941)
Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc. (1941)
Jungle Girl (1941)
Holt of the Secret Service (1941)
Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)
Riders of Death Valley (1941)
Sky Raiders (1941)
King of the Texas Rangers (1941)
Perils of Nyoka (1942)
The Secret Code (1942)
Spy Smasher (1942)
Captain Midnight (1942)
Gang Busters (1942)
Junior G-Men of the Air (1942)
Perils of the Royal Mounted (1942)
King of the Mounties (1942)
Don Winslow of the Navy (1942)
The Phantom (1943)
The Masked Marvel (1943)
Adventures of Smilin' Jack (1943)
Adventures of the Flying Cadets (1943)
The Batman (1943)
Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (1943)
G-men vs. the Black Dragon (1943)
Daredevils of the West (1943)
The Desert Hawk (1944)
The Tiger Woman (1944)
Captain America (1944)
Zorro's Black Whip (1944)
Black Arrow (1944)
Federal Operator 99 (1945)
Jungle Queen (1945)
The Royal Mounted Rides Again (1945)
Brenda Starr, Reporter (1945)
Secret Agent X-9 (1945)
The Purple Monster Strikes (1945)
The Crimson Ghost (1946)
The Phantom Rider (1946)
King of the Forest Rangers (1946)
Hop Harrigan (1946)
The Mysterious Mr. M (1946)
Chick Carter, Detective (1946)
Son of Zorro (1947)
The Black Widow (1947)
Jack Armstrong (1947)
Brick Bradford (1947)
Congo Bill (1948)
G-Men Never Forget (1948)
Superman (1948)
Dangers of the Canadian Mounted (1948)
Tex Granger, Midnight Rider of the Plains (1948)
King of the Rocket Men (1949)
Batman and Robin (1949)
Ghost of Zorro (1949)
Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. (1949)

Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)
Radar Patrol vs. Spy King (1950)
Flying Disc Man from Mars (1950)
The Invisible Monster (1950)
Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere (1951)
Mysterious Island (1951)
Government Agents vs Phantom Legion (1951)
Blackhawk: Fearless Champion of Freedom (1952)
Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952)
Radar Men from the Moon (1952)
Son of Geronimo: Apache Avenger (1952)
The Lost Planet (1953)
Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders (1953)
Trader Tom of the China Seas (1954)
Panther Girl of the Kongo (1955)
Adventures of Captain Africa, Mighty Jungle Avenger! (1955)
Blazing the Overland Trail (1956)
Quatermass and the Pit (1958
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Click to play Philip Morris Playhouse , 'Murder Needs An Artist', from May 6, 1949

Philip Morris Playhouse , 'Murder Needs An Artist', from May 6, 1949'

Here's our current inventory of Golden Age Serial Films

Need More? Try the link below to learn more about Serial Films from The Golden AgeNeed More? Try the link below to learn more about Serial Films from The Golden Age