During the latter stages of the Civil War, a gang of supposed Confederates, headed by Alex Morel (Lionel Atwill), raid all gold shipments destined for Washington from Oro Grande, California...
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During the latter stages of the Civil War, a gang of supposed Confederates, headed by Alex Morel (Lionel Atwill), raid all gold shipments destined for Washington from Oro Grande, California. In the first chapter, "Murder By Accident", Captain Steve Clark (Dennis Moore), is recognized as a Union Secret Service agent by Morel's accomplice Trina Dessard (Virginia Christine), and, with his friend Idaho Jones (Joe Sawyer), is ambushed in the baggage car and sent to almost certain death when the car is un-coupled and plunges down the mountainside. Leaping to safety, in order to be around for the next 12 chapters, Idaho and Steve report to Colonel Sewell (Addison Richards) in Oro Grande, and Idaho introduces himself as a Wells Fargo detective to Cathy Haines (Wanda McKay), the Oro Grande company agent. Steve and Idaho learn that the Morel raiders are only posing as Confederates, and their headquarters are at Morel's "Golden Eagle" saloon. In a raid on the hideout, Steve's brother Jim (Gene ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Raiders of Ghost City is a decent western serial that has an interesting premise and the unusual casting of Lionel Atwill as the villain. The plot is set during the last days of the American Civil War where Union Army Captain Steve Clark (Dennis Moore) is dispatched under cover to Oro Grande California to stop a series of gold raids being perpetrated by Confederate Army Captain Clay Randolph (Regis Toomey), who was a West Point student with Clark. What no one knows, not even Randolph, is that the raiders actually work for saloon owner Alex Morel (Lionel Atwill), who is posing as a freelance spy for Randolph. In actuality Morel is a Prussian (ie German) secret agent who is secretly transporting the gold to his own country instead of to the Confederacy, his country wants to buy Alaska from Russia before anyone else knows it's on the market. This is a pretty complicated serial with lots of double crosses between Morel and Randolph and then Morel and his own men, who don't know he is a spy, plus a mystery informant hidden amongst the good guys who lets Morel know everything they do. There are also some great plot twists like the war ending after the half way point of the story and Randolph switching sides because even though he fought against the Union, he is still an American. The action is fast and furious with lots of shoot outs, fist fights and horse back chases. But the real draw is Atwill, who snaps out lines with cultured glee and contempt at every turn, a true high light is his scene where he uncouples a train car with the hero in it so that will slide back down a mountain and crash. He nonchalantly wipes grease off his hands while casually commenting to a fellow conspirator about the unfortunate accident that has just happened to their enemy. Nobody in film was ever cooler.
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