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Mandrake, the Magician (1939)

Approved | | Action, Adventure | 6 May 1939 (USA)
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 »

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rex Downing ...
Tommy Houston
...
Dr. Andre Bennett
...
Professor Houston
...
James Webster
...
Frank Raymond
Dick Curtis ...
Dorgan - Thug (Chs. 6-8)
...
Dirk, lead thug
Stanley Brown ...
Green, thug [Chs. 1, 2, 4]
Beatrice Curtis ...
Rest Home Nurse [Chs. 3,10]
...
Henchman
...
George Regan, hypnotist [Chs. 3-5]
...
Gray, gas station thug [Chs. 8-9]
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Storyline

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 world's foremost exponent of mind over matter, although most of us who read the strip over the years were never really certain whether Mandrake was really a magician, or just had even more ability to cloud men's minds than the Shadow. The serial does allow Mandrake to discard his tie and tails when he isn't performing professionally, but out of his top hat and cloak, he is mainly a fist-slugging detective in this serial. Mandrake and Luthor are working the cruise lines and meet Professor Hudson who has developed a radium energy machine, which is much coveted by "The Wasp", who sends his hordes of henchmen in waves to steal the invention, and they blow up a radio station, a power plant and a dam pdq just to show they mean business. Mandrake, after 11 chapters, finally catches up to "The Wasp" in ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BLACK MAGIC Conjures Up A Holocaust Of Thrills!

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mandrake el mago  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The airplane in which Mandrake takes off from the airport in chapter 6 is Civil Aviation registration #NC15044, a Fairchild 24C-8D, The Fairchild Model 24 is a four-seat, single-engine monoplane light transport aircraft designed by the Fairchild Aviation Corporation in the 1930s. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yellow Submarine (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No Sleight of Hand Here

While not made with an over-powering budget by any standards and populated with the dime-store variety of plot devices, mediocre special effects, and bearable, workmanlike performers, the Columbia serial Mandrake the Magician has many fun, entertaining moments and is quite thrilling at times. Isn't that what a serial is suppose to be? Warren Hull plays the dapper Mandrake in top hat and tails and seemingly an expert in every field and every form of fisticuffs. With him is his faithful Lothar, a servant who like Mandrake can fight at will and ease under any circumstances. Of course when Lothar fights - the actor playing him Al Kikume is easily seen not to be fighting as the stunt double looks nothing like him. That is just one of a host of problems with the serial in terms of direction, production, and cinematic achievement. Routinely actors are poorly doubled. Fight scenes are nothing more in some instances than actors playing patty-cake with their fists. The identity of the serial villain - the Wasp - is clearly evident in the final three or four chapters. The leading lady - Doris Weston - is as bland as cottage cheese. When would the parade of henchmen end? And some of the storyline about "a machine invented by Professor Houston to benefit mankind"(you remember those catch phrases once you have heard it 12 different times at the beginning of each chapter)was utterly ridiculous with all that nonsense about shutting off/destroying public works so as to let the Wasp take over the world and the platinite(don't ask) needed to fuel it. But despite all these things, Mandrake the Magician is a lot of fun to watch, and I must confess that for at least the first 9 chapters I had to find out who the Wasp was as three of Mandrake's circle were framed so as to suggest each one. Each episode left with some great calamity, and this serial is definitely worth a peek.


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