Flying students Danny Collins, Jinx Roberts, Scrapper McKay and Zombie Parker are suspected of a series of murders perpetrated by a Nazi agent known as the Black Hangman. The latter is an engineer, Arthur Galt, who has disposed of several people who accompanied him on an expedition which located lost helium deposits in Africa. Galt has also imprisoned the remaining members of the expedition, Professor Mason and his daughter Andre. Galt plans to sell the helium to Germany through a Gestapo ring headed by Kurt von Heiger. The four cadets, thinking Galt is their friend, fly with him to Africa as they hope to track down Von Heiger, thinking he is the Black Hangman, and clear their own names of the murder charges. They are pursued to Africa by U.S. Army Intelligence officer Captain Ralph Carson. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chapter Titles: 1. The Black Hangman Strikes; 2. Menaced by Murderers; 3. Into the Flames; 4. The Door to Death; 5. Crashed in a Carter; 6. Rendezvous with Doom; 7. Gestapo Execution; 8. Masters of Treachery; 9. Wings of Destruction; 10. Caught in the Caves of An-Kar-Ban; 11. Hostages for Treason; 12. The Black Hangman Strikes Again; 13. The Toll of Treason. See more »
Wartime Serial from Universal, ADVENTURES OF THE FLYING CADETS (1943) was clearly aimed solely at the youth market. The plot is particularly predictable, most of it given away in Chapter One! Even a six (6) year old back then would have figured out that THE BLACK HANGMAN or 'Schwarze Henker' was Arthur Galt, Robert Armstrong with a bad German accent. This was pointed out by Kurt Von Heiger/Corby played by perennial bad-man Eduardo Ciannelli. The objective of our hero's is prevent those NAZI's from obtaining the precious HELIUM from a mine in Africa. This is accomplished in 13, somewhat thrilling chapters.
Each chapter though gets you moving with the jaunty song 'Here Comes The Air Cadets'. Air Cadets being a better rhythm for the lyrics then 'Flying Cadets'. There is no prologue recap between chapters, just a repeat, then on to the next adventure. Though not in the League with the FLASH GORDON franchise or BUCK ROGERS it is still a enjoyable ride. The young leads all former 'Child Stars' on the minor league level perform as expected. They are backed up by quality character actors. Most who would be appearing in 'A' or 'B' efforts at the major studios. Though half seemed to get killed off in the first chapter.
Our copy from ALPHA VIDEO came via the local flee market for $02.00. Which we feel was a good deal and what it is worth. There copy seems to come from a combination of transfers from film and video, but you can hear it and see it clearly. Remember 'digitally remastered' does not mean 'digitally restored'. Universal during the War years invested less and less in its Serial output and there would be only ten (10) more before it was discontinued. There efforts at this time were no way equal to those of REPUBLIC, but were way ahead of COLUMBIA. Now those were really bad!
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