|Index||2 reviews in total|
The Galloping Ghost is actually a very good serial...though a tad on the
hackneyed side in terms of plot and plot twists.
Real-life football player Red Grange makes a good if one-minded hero...he has basically one expression and one tone of voice throughout all 12 chapters of the serial.
The cinematography is excellent...no stock footage of any note is used and the stunts are well orchestrated. Well, the first chapter cliffhanger ending with Red falling out of a plane is a bit on the outlandish side...and there are an inordinate number of fist fights...and his acrobatics in practically every chapter make you think Red Grange was a gymnast instead of a footballer...but other than that, this is a pretty decent serial. It lacks the spit and polish of the Republic serials of the genre's heyday, but for using a sports figure as the star, this serial comes off a lot better than most serials of the early 1930's.
There are a couple of things about this serial that I really liked.
One, the old vehicles and planes. Two, the street scenes of Los Angeles
and a couple of scenes from football games in a bygone era.
The story is silly, never in the least convincing. The action is way, way over the top; Grange et al. flail clumsily at each other in every chapter, sometimes several times. And all sorts of horrible things happen to Grange, without him having a smudge on his suit, a scratch on his face, or even a sore knuckle from fighting. The dialog is so stiff that I winced several times. And worst of all is the acting, if it can be called that. Grange was a great football player, by all accounts, for the University of Illinois and in the NFL, but he couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. He and Babe Ruth, another poor actor in movies, should have stuck with sport.
The segues between episodes are narrated, rather than written as in most other serials. And are these segues bad! They begin each chapter after the first. Each episode ends with a villainous laugh by a man who is described as a "cripple." That was actually rather good.
This doesn't leave us with much--except the old cars, planes, trolleys, and the long ago street scenes.
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