Columbia's 7th serial (between Flying G-Men and Overland With Kit Carson)was based on the King Features newspaper comic strip created by Lee Falk and Phil Davis, Mandrake the Magician, the ... See full summary »
Chapters: 1. The Spider Strikes, 2. The Bridge of Terror, 3. The Fur Pirates, 4. Death Rides the Sky, 5. Brother Against Brother, 6. Dangerous Waters, 7. The Ghost Town Mystery, 8. Battle in the Clouds, 9. The Stratosphere Adventure, 10. The Gold Ship, 11. Harbor Pursuit, 12. The Trail of the Spider, 13. Fire Trap, 14. The Devil in White, 15. Brothers United. See more »
That was a pretty good tackle you made there, son.
Aw, gee, that was nothing. But, say, you sure can use a gun! You're Dick Tracy, aren't you?
I'm just an orphan. Some day I'm gonna be a G-Man, too!
Well, now's a good time to start. Come along.
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"Oscar & Elmer" are given final cast credits in the opening sequence. See more »
Republic Pictures were clearly hitting their stride in superior (and super) serial production with this quite sensational 15 chapter crime-terrorism drama made in 1936, released in early 1937. For any faults: too long as 12 chapters would do; the tedious antics of the infantile Smiley Burnette, there is a dozen truly astonishing and eerie/creepy moments that easily compensate. The first episode is so weird, and on a huge screen in a giant old theater full of screaming kids (or even adults) has several hair raising scenes where master evildoer The Lame One has maximum effect. The first chapter ending sees The fabulous Lydecker Brothers in full big budget special effects mode on a thrill set piece aboard the Golden Gate Bridge. The opening two chapters also features an astonishing triangular flying wing plane (looks like a cross between a stealth bomber and a flying sandwich) which for its day is a genuine masterpiece of inventive and graphic/realistically clever sci fi imagination. The recent film SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW owes a huge debt of imagination to this one flying apparatus alone. Republic clearly intended this serial to play to adults and it is not a G rated serial at all...given the menace, action and violence. It has three great villains one of whom is Gordon Tracy (Dick's brainwashed bro) who, after getting the treatment, sports a very fetching Bride Of Frankenstein hair stripe along with a mean scar. Another hideout menace is Moloch, a cat patting hunchback akin to a lost Uncle of Peter Lorre. Incredible action stunt sequences abound and very inventive use of miniatures and special effects..the chapter endings of 9 and 10 especially with a huge blazing Zeppelin and then a sheet of hull metal swinging from a repaired ship are very well thought out. Often the resolves cheat with Dick just getting up and running off, or rolling out of the way, but given the very high standard of the rest of all parts of this huge and complex production it was a major step forward for Republic at the time proving their willingness to make a serial for all ages that employed excellent craftsmen...especially the incredible Lydecker Brothers they inherited in their merger with Mascot Pictures. Remove them and the serial industry would have been all chases and fights. No wonder this serial was so successful it offered a big marker for two more Dick Tracy epics in 38 and 39. Excellent! Beware of dud dvds though, the one I saw was awful and bleached, in good quality this 15 chapter pre-noir horror serial must be a knockout.
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