Foster (Charles Miller (IV)', owner of the local stagecoach line in Canyon City in the 1880s, has received a Federal Franchise Commission grant and is rushing to complete a new road through...
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Foster (Charles Miller (IV)', owner of the local stagecoach line in Canyon City in the 1880s, has received a Federal Franchise Commission grant and is rushing to complete a new road through the lawless Comanche Strip with the aid of his daughter, June (Kay Aldridge), and his construction foreman "Red" Kelly (Eddie Acuff). Unbeknownst to them, their supposed friend, land-and-cattle dealer Martin Dexter (Robert Frazer), and the town lawyer, Silas Higby (Ted Adams), have plans of their own; should Foster's road see completion, homesteaders would occupy the strip and ruin Dexter's plans to buy the 500,000 acres for cattle-grazing land. Dester hires a band of renegade Indians to attack the road crew. Indian scout Jim Brady (Budd Buster)sees a supply wagon driver by "Red" and June being cased by the renegades, alerts the work-camp crew and then rides to summon Captain Duke Cameron (Allan Lane) and his U.S. Cavalry troop but, before they arrive, Foster has been killed along with many of his ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chapter 11, originally entitled "Horror of Hades", had to be changed to "Cavern of Cremation" when the Hays Office (MPPDA - Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America) refused to permit the word "hell" or its alternatives to appear in a film (or chapter) title. It was changed and received Code Seal of Approval # 9051. See more »
Red Kelly - the foreman:
Is everything loaded, Red?
That's the last of 'em, Miss June. When you're ready, we'll be headed back for the camp.
I have to wait for the stage from Pine Junction. It's bringing in some mail for Father.
Red Kelly - the foreman:
And here it comes, right on the minute! That's the Foster Stage Company for you.
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This serial is so "long-lost" that it had not been seen in its entirety in 65 years. It exists only in the Republic archives at Brigham Young University. I had the great good fortune of seeing it on the big screen in its one and only showing on May 16-17, 2008, at the Serial Squadron's SerialFest in Newtown, PA. The sound in half of four of the twelve chapters is still missing, but it was shown with music from Republic's archives and a written explanation of what was going on when the dialogue was not audible--the action was pretty self-explanatory in any event. If the legal entanglements are ever cleared up, it may someday be restored properly for all to enjoy. The theater audience cheered wildly at the end of each and every chapter, and gave it a standing ovation at the very end.
This is simply the best Western serial I have ever seen. Allan Lane is at his very best, as is former model Kay Aldridge. Sidekick Eddie Acuff pretty much comes into his own here as one of the "daredevils." These weren't daredevils in the sense that the characters were in "Daredevils of the Red Circle," but I guess the title suggests that they dared to be brave enough to fight against heavy odds. The real daredevils in this movie were the stunt men whose work in the long and frequent fights represent some of the best stunt work ever shown in serials. The team of eight stunt men was headed by veteran Tom Steele, stunt double for Allan Lane, and Babe DeFreest, who stood in for Kay Aldridge.
Director John English almost always co-directed his serials with William Witney, but Witney was away in the Navy during World War II. The word has always been that Witney directed the fights and other tough scenes while English handled the scenes that involved a lot of talk. So it was a real eye-opener to discover that there have seldom been better fights in serials than there are in this one. Either English was a better action director than anyone gave him credit for, or an awful lot of Witney rubbed off on him over the years. I can see English saying to himself, "Now how would Bill have directed this scene?" He also did a great job with the cliffhangers, although I did spot one cheat where the hero clearly goes over a cliff and the resolution shows that he actually grabbed a rope that had not been there previously.
All in all, a great serial, right up there with the very best of all time.
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