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Ewald André Dupont,
The 'Dead End' Kids,
The Sea Raiders, a band of foreign agents, led by Carl Tonjes and Elliott Carlton, blow up a freighter on which Billy Adams and Toby Nelson are stowaways, seeking to avoid Brack Warren, a harbor patrol officer assigned to guard a new type of torpedo boat built by Billy's brother, Tom Adams. Intended targets or not, getting blown up does not set well with Billy and Toby and, together with their gang coupled with the members of the Little Tough Guys, they find the Sea Raiders' island hideout, investigate the seacoast underground arsenal of these saboteurs, get blasted from the air, dragged to their doom, become victims of the storm, entombed in a tunnel and even periled by a panther before they don the uniforms of some captured Sea Raiders and board a yacht that serves as headquarters for the Raiders. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Foreign "Sea Raiders" are bombing US freighters, a fact stumbled upon by "The Dead End Kids and The Little Tough Guys" in the second of their three "Universal" serials. They eventually help track down dastardly Reed Hadley (as Carl Tonjes) and the culprits. The billing implies two groups, but they are one. The studio probably did not call the group by their "Warner Bros." name due to potential legal problems, and then apparently discovered they could. Not affectionately called "wharf rats" herein, the waterfront gang consists of: Billy Halop (as Billy Adams), Huntz Hall (as Toby Nelson), Gabriel Dell (as Bilge), Bernard Punsly (as Butch), Hall E. "Hally" Chester (as Swab) and Joe Recht (as Lug)...
This was the last appearance of Mr. Chester in any of the related films (he had also been appearing as one of the "East Side Kids"). Chester gets a lot of screen time during the second half. The first episodes of this serial are sloppy and confusing, but things pick up by Chapter 8, when Mr. Halop rescues Chester from a runaway whale. The Chapter 10 highlight has Halop in his boxer shorts, fending off a hungry octopus, then wrestling with a black panther. Huntz Hall (who learns to swim herein) and Chester help Halop out. At times, it appears as if the studio was inter-cutting any available footage into the adventure. With more focus in scripting, this might have been the best of the three "Dead End" serials.
**** Sea Raiders (1941) Ford Beebe, John Rawlins ~ Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Hall E. Chester, Gabriel Dell
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