Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the... See full summary »
It is the near future as seen from the perspective of the early 1950s. Earth is in radio contact with civilizations on planets in our solar system, as well as planets in other, distant ... See full summary »
Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the same reactions that served him well in Laurel and Hardy films would work well in action serials where he has all hands, heroes and villains alike, doing some kind of over-the top "take", no matter the situation. This loose adaptation of an Edgar Wallace story finds Michael Bellamy (Kenne Duncan in his Kenneth Duncan period) inheriting Garr Castle, but his brother, Abel Bellamy (James Craven, as usual making Oil-Can Harry look smooth), has him imprisoned unjustly and moves into the castle himself. When Michael's wife, Elaine Bellamy (Dorothy Fay), fails to return after visiting Abel, her sister Valerie Howett (Iris Meredith), accompanied by their father, Parker Howett (Forrest Taylor) and private detective Spike Holland (Victor Jory, who even when playing the lead hero gets a villain's name), rent ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This is one of the better serials. There's a castle with secret doors & passageways everywhere, lots of fist fights, lots of bow & arrow work, bombs, shooting, poison gas, an underground hideaway for automobiles, & spirited acting in an action packed plot. On the down side is redundancy (a trademark of all serials), absurdity (by himself, the hero defeats 6-8 baddies at once in fist fights, even when the baddies have guns!). But overall, a neat serial with a good & satisfying ending. It's also weird watching Victor Jory play the hero, after seeing him play the bad guy in many Hopalong Cassidy movies; he's somewhat more convincing as a bad guy than as a good guy. Iris Meredith is beautiful, if nothing else, as the female lead. I rate it 8/10 for a serial.
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