Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the... See full summary »
"The Mystery of the Riverboat" while ending each chapter with a cliffhanger is more episodic in nature than the usual Universal serial and somewhat similar to Universal's 1934 "Tailspin ... See full summary »
Lewis D. Collins,
Hammond, owner of the town's stagecoach line and a leading citizen, is opposed to Idaho becoming a state, and kills Randolph Meredith, owner of the town's newspaper, for endorsing it. ... See full summary »
Spencer Gordon Bennet,
George J. Lewis,
Greedy oil speculators, led by Morgan, are trying to force Tiger Woman and her band of warriors from their jungle home. Allen Saunders of Inter-Ocean Oil wants to develop the oil, too, but fights with Tiger Woman to stop the bad guys.
Spencer Gordon Bennet,
A new radioactive element is found that is a defense against the atomic bomb. Warmongers go to Pendrang as archaeologist but searching in secret for the element. The United Peace Foundation... See full summary »
Chapter Titles: 1. Shipwrecked Among Icebergs 2. Thundering Doom 3. Battle in the Clouds 4. Masked Muredr 5. The Bridge of Disaster 6. Shattering Doom 7. Crashing Timbers 9. Hurtling Through Space 10. Tricked by a Booby Trap 11. The Tunnel of Terror 12. Electrocuted 13. The Moomerang See more »
Opening title is composed of snowflakes. See more »
Doc from Gunsmoke makes a very beat-up action hero
The Great Alaskan Mystery isn't the greatest of serials, but it is certainly far from the worst. The animated title card at the beginning is a nice touch by Universal, which did the same for The Mystery of the Riverboat.
Milburn Stone has to be the most beat-up, bruised, drowned, shot and has been in the most near-death truck plunges of any action hero in any serial. The story notes that to begin with his character is a wounded soldier returning home. Martin Kosleck makes a great scientist/bad guy, though he does not quite yet have the evil glee that he threw into those roles in later years (such as in The Flesh Eaters). Edgar Kennedy is almost unrecognizable, but provides some nice comic touches. The rest of the cast is pretty unremarkable, except for Anthony Warde, who delivers his usual solid performance as the main henchman.
There are a lot of nice visuals in this serial, though many are obviously stock footage. There are also a number of really bad cliffhangers...the kind in which you know there is no bloody way the hero is going to survive. That doesn't necessarily detract from the chapterplay as a whole, since by the time the worst one happens (involving a falling mine elevator and a crate of dynamite) you already know that Milburn Stone's character can really take the punishment.
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