A Martian spacecraft crash-lands near the observatory of Cyrus Layton, designer of Earth's first spaceship. The survivor, forerunner of an invasion, can assume the form of any earthman. ... See full summary »
Based on a successful comic book that began in 1941, the Blackhawks were seven flyers who banded together during WW II to fight the Nazis. After the war, they continued to fight evil where ... See full summary »
Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon) and his daughter Diana (Jeanne Bates)search Africa for the Lost City of Zoloz, reputed to be the source of a large hidden treasure. Also searching is a ... See full summary »
Outlaw Jesse James and his friend, on the run from Missouri, ride into a town where a gang is trying to drive area ranchers off their land because there's oil underneath it. They take ... See full summary »
Fred C. Brannon,
Strategic targets on Earth are being destroyed by an unknown weapon. Government security head Henderson suspects it's an "atomic ray" originating from the moon! He assigns Commando Cody, ... See full summary »
Columbia Pictures 18th serial (between "Captain Midnight" and "The Secret Code"). The trading post of Sitkawan, Canada is stunned one morning to learn that the previously peaceful Indians ... See full summary »
James W. Horne
Cliffhangers, Serials, Chapterplays-whatever the name this one's Tops!!
The Movie Serial, at least since the advent of sound, has always been considered a sort of poor relative of the feature, if not an out and out bastard cousin. They were always sort of viewed with the cartoons as being strictly made for the Matinée, the juvenile trade. As a result, there really is no "CITIZEN KANE" of Serials. SPY SMASHER comes close.
To be sure,it is a product of Republic Pictures' "thrill factory"*, and has plenty of stock footage of explosions, fires, floods and other assorted calamities through out.All of these are skillfully woven into the final product. It still has a bright, vital out of doors look;as well as convincing indoor sets. It also has an excellent cast which is headed by energetic,athletic Kane Richmond. Next to Buster Crabbe, Mr. Richmond is probably the best leading man in the Sound Serials. He was also prolific,having been in several other serials.
We have over 100 Serials in VHS or DVD formats in our household.This one is a top notch film,period. See it, but don't expect any 'Camp Humor". It's just not there.**
NOTE* Republic adapted it from the popular comic book feature appearing in WHIZ COMICS. It was property of Fawcett Publications, whose CAPTAIN MARVEL was previously brought to the screen by Republc, in 1941.
NOTE **See also SPY SMASHER RETURNS (1966), the edited-down feature version made for Television.
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