The Adventures of Smilin' Jack (1943)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, War  |  5 January 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 296 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Just before World War II, the Chinese and American governments mount a joint operation to prevent the Germans and Japanese from taking over the strategic island of Mandon.


(original screenplay) (as Morgan B. Cox) , (comic strip)
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Complete credited cast:
Fraulein Von Teufel
Edgar Barrier ...
Gen. Kai Ling
Cyril Delevanti ...
Mah Ling / Han Po
Philip Ahn ...
Wu Tan
Nigel De Brulier ...
David Hoffman ...
John (Johann) O. Blenker [Chs. 9-11]
Rico De Montez ...
Jay Novello ...
Kushimi [Chs. 1-3, 12-13]


Just before World War II, the Chinese and American governments mount a joint operation to prevent the Germans and Japanese from taking over the strategic island of Mandon.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Your Favorite Adventure-Strip Hero...THUNDRING THROUGH GREATER THRILLS...ON THE SCREEN!(original poster) See more »


Action | Adventure | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 January 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Mistérios do Himalaia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Fraulein von Teufel" translates more or less as "Devil Woman". This is alluded to in the final (13th) episode, where Kageyama's last words before dying are "Teufel. Devil." See more »


Though Mandon is supposedly located on the border between China and India, the walls of the high priest's temple are decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphics. (Universal recycled the set from the 1940 film "The Mummy's Hand.") See more »

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User Reviews

World War II propaganda
11 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All in all, I liked this for what it was: an un-subtle manipulation of theater patrons. The main enemy in this serial is Japan, and the Japanese are diminished to Japs and Nips (always said with a slight sneer), while the Chinese are simply Chinese. There's a German ubiquitous female agent who fancies herself to be in command of the Japanese, but she is just one dimensional: harsh, nasty, humorless.

The plot is a bit thin. A peace loving Chinese province bordering the Himalayas has a secret passage (the Stillwell Road?) of some sort to India, through which vital troops and supplies could be funneled to fight the Japanese. The spiritual leader of the province agrees to reveal the secret to the Chinese and British, with numerous conditions, and the Axis tries to kidnap or kill him before he can talk. There is delay upon delay for no reason but to string this out to 13 chapters.

There are the usual hairbreadth escapes after each cliffhanger episode, and some of them are pretty silly. As in all serials, the viewer is cheated, in that a bit of film is held back, film in which the hero escapes death in the nick of time. There are also the usual fistfights without a knuckle getting skinned, the usual chases, etc.

As serials go, this is fairly standard, directed toward the puerile audience that filled theaters on Saturday afternoons.

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