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The Black Widow (1947)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  1 November 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 318 users  
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The Daily Clarion hires detective story writer Steve Colt to investigate the deaths of a group of scientists working on an atomic rocket development project. Behind the killings is fortune ... See full summary »


(as Spencer Bennet) ,


(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Edwards ...
Virginia Lee ...
Joyce Winters (as Virginia Lindley)
Carol Forman ...
Sombra, The Black Widow
Nick Ward
Ramsay Ames ...
Ruth Dayton
Dr. Z.V. Jaffa
Brother Theodore ...
Hitomu (as Theodore Gottlieb)
Virginia Carroll ...
Dr. Ann Curry [Chs. 6-7]
Gene Roth ...
John M. Walker - Newspaper Editor (as Gene Stutenroth)
Sam Flint ...
Prof. Henry Weston
Tom Steele ...
Bard [Ch. 1] / Jack [Ch. 8] / Blair [Ch. 12]
Dale Van Sickel ...
Bill [Ch. 4] / Hodges [Ch. 7] / Smith [Ch. 10] / Bass [Ch. 12-13]
LeRoy Mason ...
Dr. Godfrey [Ch. 5]
Bradley (Gang Lawyer) [Ch. 10]
Ernie Adams ...


The Daily Clarion hires detective story writer Steve Colt to investigate the deaths of a group of scientists working on an atomic rocket development project. Behind the killings is fortune teller Sombra, a spy from an Asian country intent on world domination, who is determined to pilfer the atomic rocket by luring workers from the project to her parlor and killing them with black widow spider venom when they refuse to cooperate. Written by Richard Scheib <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ATOMIC ENERGY SECRETS STOLEN! (original poster) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aranha Mortal  »

Box Office


$168,995 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chapter Titles: 1. Deadly Prophecy 2. The Stolen Formula 3. Hidden Death 4. Peril in the Sky 5. The Spider's Lair 6. Glass Guillotine 7. Wheels of Death 8. False Information 9. The Spider's Venom 10.The Stolen Corpse 11.Death Dials a Number 12.The Talking Mirror 13.A Life for a Life See more »


Steve Colt: When Ward destroyed the fingerprints and got away with Dr. Currie's handbag, he left us with no further clue to the Black Widow Gang. All we know is that the leader is definitely a foreigner, probably an Asiatic, certainly a woman.
Prof. Henry Weston: And an ingenuous woman - as deadly as the name implies.
See more »


Featured in Firesign Theatre Presents 'Hot Shorts' (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Seemingly forgotten serial is better than it should be thanks to neat gadgets and a go for it attitude
3 July 2008 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Someone is killing off industrialists with a poison that is similar to the poison of a black widow. The person behind it is the evil Sombra, a woman who is using her fortune telling business as a front for blackmail and espionage. The Clarion Newspaper assigns one of its reporters to follow a well known mystery writer,Steve Colt, that they have hired to solve the crimes. Almost instantly the intrepid pair unknowingly stumbles upon the villainess and her band and 12 chapters of action follow as the bad guys try to stay away from the good guys. Mostly unknown serial is an enjoyable romp thanks to Republic caring enough not to completely do things by the book. Instead of the usual tricks and traps that Republic's serial makers would lapse into in the name of saving a few pennies you have things like the chair of death where a spider like device comes out of the back to stink you to death, or cars that change color with the flip of a dial. It's the equivalent to a really good B-movie that you stumble upon late at night that is completely gripping even though its something you've never heard of.(Regrettably this serial is also as forgettable in the same way its good but it doesn't linger in the brain as anything other than a vague memory- a "yea I saw that" until you put it on again and you realize how good it was). Recommended.

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