The Spider Returns (1941)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  9 May 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 217 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

The evil and masked "Gargoyle" is sabotaging all of America's industrial plants. It is up to the Spider to save the country.



(story) (as Morgan B. Cox) , (story) (as Lawrence E. Taylor) , 5 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Richard Wentworth / The Spider / Blinky McQuade
Nita Van Sloan
Jackson, Wentworth's Aide
Joseph W. Girard ...
Police Commissioner Kirk (as Joe Girard)
Ram Singh, Wentworth's Hindu Chauffeur (as Kenneth Duncan)
Corbet Morris ...
Charles Miller ...
Mr. Van Sloan
Henchman Trigger
Harry Harvey ...


Columbia's 14th serial (between "White Eagle" and "The Iron Claw") and the second serial based upon the character in the pulp magazine from Popular Publications "The Spider Magazine." Some sources, evidently based on their knowledge that L. Ron Hubbard and Norvell Page wrote stories for that magazine, have incorrectly credited them as being writers of this serial. The only serial that L. Ron Hubbard wrote was 1938's "The Secret of Treasure Island" filmed by Columbia, and the only connection Page has is that he wrote stories about the character in the magazine. Chapter One, "The Stolen Plans", has a gang of saboteurs, led by The Gargoyle, a mysterious and powerful agent for an unnamed country, playing havoc with National Defense projects. Socialite Richard Wentworth (Warren Hull), alias the Spider, returns to continue his crusade against the underworld. Wentworth calls a meeting of the nation's biggest business men, but the Gargoyle's men disrupt it with a tear-gas bomb. Chasing after ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The thrill-roaring Chapter Play (original chapter 2 card) See more »






Release Date:

9 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Volta da Aranha  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chapter Titles: 1. The Stolen Plans (PCA #7048) 2. The Fatal Time-Bomb ((PCA #7049) 3. The Secret Meeting (PCA #7050) 4. The Smoke Dream (PCA #7051) 5. The Gargoyle's Trail (PCA #7052) 6. The X-Ray Eye (PCA #7053) 7. The Radio Boomerang (PCA #7054) 8. The Mysterious Message (PCA #7055) 9. The Cup of Doom (PCA #7056) 10.The X-Ray Belt (PCA #7057) 11.Lips Sealed by Murder (PCA #7058) 12.A Money Bomb (PRCA #7059) 13.Almost a Confession (PCA #7059) 14.Suspicious Telegram (PCA #7060) 15.The Payoff (PCA #7060) See more »


Referenced in Earth vs. the Spider (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

It's a send-up
15 April 2009 | by (California, but not where the cool folks live) – See all my reviews

The Spider Returns was directed by old Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy director James Horne, who used it to send up the serial genre. It's the villains who come in for the most ridicule.

The henchmen are inept, sometimes spectacularly so. At one point they are wear paper party hats and blow noisemakers, girls on their laps, and the Gargoyle enters and has a tantrum: "These wild parties must cease!" he says -- well, emotes would be a better word.

Horne made another humorous serial, Terry and the Pirates, in which it's the hero who gets the razz. The Green Archer also has comedy elements, with the head villain having fit after fit as his henchmen botch every assignment. Hey, somebody had to point out these genre flaws, and Horne was just the guy to do it. These serials are a good change of pace for fans of the form, and, since Horne started his career doing serials, he was up to doing the action sequences effectively as well.

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