A 12 episode serial starring Rex, the King of the Wild Horses and Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr. Rex is brought from the island of Sujan, where he is worshiped as a God-Horse, to the U.S. to be trained ...
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Benjamin H. Kline,
Rin Tin Tin,
A 12 episode serial starring Rex, the King of the Wild Horses and Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr. Rex is brought from the island of Sujan, where he is worshiped as a God-Horse, to the U.S. to be trained as a polo pony. He escapes, meets Rinty and with the help of Frank Bradley is returned to Sujan. The natives have been persuaded to turn against their God-Horse, however he is rescued just in time before he is burned as a sacrifice. Written by
Herman Seifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not the best of the four Rin-Tin-Tin serials. Weak and almost non existent cliff hangers just add to the tedium of watching the heroes and villains steal Rex the Wonder Horse back and forth for almost ten of the twelve chapters. Mascot's previous offering, 'The Law of the Wild' (1934) featured the same back and forth capturing of Rex. Couldn't they have come up with a different story line?
Given the title, 'The Adventures of Rex and Rinty', one might have expected it to be about the pairing of the two animal 'pals.' We do get that for the first couple of chapters, which focuses on how they meet and become friends. Rex, the God-horse of the island of Sujan, had been stolen and brought to California to be a polo horse. Rinty was a wandering homeless dog during the Great Depression searching and scrounging for food. These early scenes with Rinty are well done, as he shows off his acting chops (!) to a melancholy soundtrack. Rex escapes from the evil sportsmen, and while wandering through the woods rescues Rinty from a snap steel animal trap. Later, when they encounter a skunk, Rex chases it off and Rinty leaps into a creek to wash off the smell, as Rex laughs in a funny scene worthy of Smiley Burnette.
Unfortunately, that's about it for the 'Adventures' that Rex and Rinty have together. The rest of the serial has 'popular polo player' Kane Richmond fighting the opposing evil polo team owner Harry Woods for possession and ownership of the horse. A loyal cult member from Sujan, Pasha, shows up and tries throughout the latter part of the serial to recapture Rex to bring him back to Sujan. Only three chapters take place there, but there's no real sense of mystery or menace. For a weird cult on a mystery island the best one is the fantastic 'The Return of Chandu' (1934) with Bela Lugosi as the romantic hero!
We do get Kane Richmond here, although he's much better in his other serials, particularly the clunky 'The Lost City' (1934), and the better 'Spy Smasher' (1942) and 'Haunted Harbor' (1944). He also plays one of Ming's pilot captains (the one who decides to help Flash after his brother is returned to normal after being a Clay man) in 'Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars' (1938), which also immortalizes Wheeler Oakman, who had over 280 film and TV credits, as Tarnak. Oakman, who plays henchman 'Wheeler' here, was also a great villain in 'The Lost Jungle' (1934), 'The Phantom Empire' (1935), and 'Darkest Africa' (1936). Then we have Smiley Burnette before his 'Frog Millhouse' days in an almost subdued role, though he does a couple of physical hi-jinks. We also see Charles King, but he doesn't have enough to do, except show off his excellent horsemanship.
As for an animal pals movie, we're going to have to look elsewhere, such as to 'Koneko Monogatari' (1986), released in the U.S. as 'Milo and Otis', or the 'Homeward Bound' (1993, 1996) movies. This one, except for the first two chapters really isn't an animal pals one.
The weak and almost non existent cliff hangers seem more typical of serials from the teen years to 1930; even from Mascot we expect more. Too bad they couldn't have let this be the first all animal serial as it was in the first two chapters! As yet another serial with little more than back and forth horse and automobile chasing, it only gets a 3.
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