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Spy Smasher (1942)

Passed | | Action, Adventure | 4 April 1942 (USA)
Alan Armstrong, aka Spy Smasher, battles a Nazi villain known as The Mask, who heads a gang of saboteurs determined to spread destruction across America.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Adm. Corby
...
The Mask
...
Drake
...
Capt. Pierre Durand [Chs. 1-4]
Hans von Morhart ...
Capt. Gerhardt [Chs. 1, 8, 12] (as Hans Von Morhart)
Georges Renavent ...
Gov. LeComte [Ch. 3]
Rudolph Anders ...
Dungeon Col. Von Kohr [Ch. 1] (as Robert O. Davis)
Henry Zynda ...
Ritter Lazar [Ch. 1]
...
Lawlor
...
Crane
...
Henchman Hayes
Crane Whitley ...
Hauser
...
Henchman Steve
Edit

Storyline

Alan Armstrong, aka Spy Smasher, battles a Nazi villain known as The Mask, who heads a gang of saboteurs determined to spread destruction across America.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'DEATH TO SPIES IN AMERICA" (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spysmasher  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$156,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 chapters)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan G. Barbour in his book 'Cliffhanger' states that " . . .The Mask [villain character in Spy Smasher (1942)] was the first in a long line of stereotypes which pictured hard-faced Nazis as propagandist tyrants." See more »

Goofs

Chapter nine: You saw Jack puncture a hole in the "Armored Car". I don't believe it can be done, not with 1940s technology anyway. See more »

Quotes

[Spy Smasher enters the counterfeiters' lair]
Spy Smasher: Got change for a five?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are depicted as ...-, Morse code for V (victory), and the searchlights form a "V". See more »


Soundtracks

Main Title
based on Symphony No. 5 in C minor (Opus 67)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, but 7 episodes too long
10 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

The Spy Smasher serial follows a quite rigid formula. Each installment ends in a cliffhanger, the next one starts with how Spy Smasher gets out of the pickle he was in. He chases his enemies to a new location, fights them there, and stops their plan. Then he learns of a new plot, goes to where the bad guys are, and lands in a pickle (which is the next cliffhanger).

Having such a formula is not in itself a bad thing, as you can do lots of variation within it. But it is difficult to keep the excitement for 12 installments, when all of them are so similar. Spy smasher does not manage this, and could easily have been shortened to five episodes, and be all the better for it.

At its best, Spy Smasher has some great stunts and fights, fun twists and enjoyable cliff hangers. At its worst, the fights and twists feels like they are obligatory rather than meant to serve a purpose. The fight scenes are all quite similar, in that it revolves around men throwing themselves at each other, falling over furniture and more often than not running up or down a staircase. The locations differ, leading to an opportunity for different stunts each place.

This is probably common in serials like these, but in almost all of the cliffhangers, they cheat. Meaning that what they show in the end of one episode does not match how the next episode begins. Some of them are quite fun despite this. The last cliffhanger (chapter 11) does not cheat like this, but is instead one of the highlights of the whole serial.

If you are curious about the old serials, this is a good place to start, as it is mostly very fun. It is just too bad that they had to make so many installments, as it weakens the over all experience.


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