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Though Republic had the best stunt men in the business on hand, with the likes of Carey Loftin and David Sharpe and even Yakima Canutt, star Kane Richmond, who was quite an athlete, often insisted on doing his own stunts as "Spy Smasher" (this was back in the days when insurance issues were a lot more loose on movie sets). See more »
This movie earns its 3 for lousy writing, poor technical merit and continuity problems. Some people have given this movie a 10--and perhaps that is okay if you are simply scoring it for its fun factor. However, technically this is an inept movie serial from start to finish--produced by 3rd-rate writers, actors and crew. That really was true of nearly all the serials because they were meant as low-brow entertainment particularly aimed at the kids. And there's nothing wrong with that, but "high art" it ain't!! Spy Smasher earns a lower than average score compared to other serials because it is of even lower quality and has MAJOR continuity problems--even for a serial. It was common for a serial to have a "cliff hanger"--i.e., a moment at the end of the episode that looked as if the good guy dies but miraculously survives when the next episode began. BUT, in this film, it's much hokier and ridiculous. You would literally SEE the hero die in the last episode, but in the next, they re-shot the scene and showed he actually DIDN'T die (even though they clearly showed him buy the farm in the last one)! Again and again in SPY SMASHER he seems to die but in the next episode they show it from a different angle and he somehow avoided death--even if he fell 1500 feet into a river, fell into a buzz saw or whatever.
Watch this movie not for its quality but either for a good laugh or to learn what it was like to go to the movies on Saturday mornings decades ago.
By the way, a heavily edited version of this film was released in 1966 as a full-length film. Almost 2/3 of the original film was tossed but the new product did make more sense and lacked the impossible escapes that made the original laughable at times. Well worth seeing if you don't want to devote 3 1/2 hours to seeing the entire serial.
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