|Index||3 reviews in total|
Or, "Could you take the kid to work with you today? Two of the actors in this film and one of the directors had daughters playing roles. Mary Jo Desmond(as Aggie Kirby), age 12, was the daughter of William Desmond who played Colonel Custer; Harriet Spencer(Bennet), the daughter of co-director Spencer Bennet was cast as a young townsgirl as was also Barbara Bushman, daughter of Ralph Bushman, who played Jeff Maitland (billed as Francis X. Bushman, Jr.)For those who haven't figured it out yet, "The Last Frontier, 1932" was a 12-chapter serial that was also edited into a 70-minute feature version, "The Black Ghost,1932." The feature version was for booking to theatres that did not play serials, a semi-common policy utilized by producers of early sound-era serials.
Lige Morris is trying to start a range war between settlers and Indians in order to cash in on local gold claims (how original) and does so by using respectable townsman Jeff Maitland as his henchmen. Maitland tries to smuggle rifles to the Indians, but is thwarted by appearances by the Black Ghost, masked vigilante. The Black Ghost is in reality Tom Kirby, editor of the local paper. Helping Tom/Black Ghost is Betty Halliday, daughter of a calvary colonel, and Rose Maitland, Jeff's wife who is trying to keep their marriage a secret. The serial takes all 12 chapters and is still unable to establish much in the way of story and action. The cast is willing, but all of the performances come off as uninspired and listless. The editing here has more cuts at times than the Odessa Steps sequence in Battleship Potempkin, which here is probably meant to create suspense, but just blurs the eyes of the audience. Characters such as Custer, Col. Halliday, and others are listed high in the credits, but are just in the beginning and that's it. The serial obviously was only distributed by RKO, and it may have been a lot better if they took more of a hand in this. Rating, based on serials, 2.5
This is another one of those films (serials) that I didn't expect much
from - in all honesty I was guessing I would like just a little bit of
it but mainly rather bored watching it - well I guessed wrong. I found
this one to be a barrel full of laughs.
I'm sorry but The Black Ghost (Tom Kirby played by Lon Chaney Jr) reminds me so much of Zorro - I couldn't help but to giggle. But some of the funniest stuff did not come from our hero Tom Kirby - those laughs came from some of the other cast members. Uncle Happy had me cracking a few laughs but I think I laughed the hardest when Aggie Kirby wet a towel down and slapped one of the "bad guys" with it in the face - that had me rolling.
If you don't take this serial seriously and relax, simply enjoy the crazy stuff you are watching on the screen then you might like this silly but fun western - I mean that "serialously" ;) LOL.
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