Columbia's 33rd serial (made between "Jack Armstrong" and "The Sea Hound") was based on the character that first appeared in "Action Comics" No. 42, who was a radio singing cowboy who ...
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Ambitious but thwarted, Rae Smith meets handsome Marine Paul Saxon, (of the Saxon department store chain), as he passes through Lincoln, Nebraska, on his way home from World War II. There's... See full summary »
Based on a successful comic book that began in 1941, the Blackhawks were seven flyers who banded together during WW II to fight the Nazis. After the war, they continued to fight evil where ... See full summary »
Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in. He is also preparing a house-breaking, and his friend ... See full summary »
A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »
A girl is about to inherit a fortune, but she is missing in Africa. Only then, family charges Congo Bill, an adventurer, to find her, and bring her back to civilization. He follows a legend about some White Queen, but his path is full of difficulties, by an inhospitable jungle, and the man who will lose the fortune if the girl is found alive.
Radio host Alan Bird witnesses how an ice cream van is attacked and destroyed by an angry competitor. This leads him into the struggle between two Italian families, the Bernardis and the ... See full summary »
Columbia's 33rd serial (made between "Jack Armstrong" and "The Sea Hound") was based on the character that first appeared in "Action Comics" No. 42, who was a radio singing cowboy who doubled as a crime-fighting, motorcycle-riding crime-fighter with a pre-teen Chinese boy, Stuff, as his answer to Batman's Robin, although Stuff ran a lot or errands that Robin didn't have to do since the Dynamic Duo had Alfred the Butler (both versions) to do those. In the serial version, Stuff became a white, draft-age sidekick played by George Offerman Jr.(and we are still looking for any film made in the 30's and 40's that this actor was billed as the incorrect George Offerman rather than the correct George Offerman Jr), which fit right in with the costume changes that Columbia tagged The Vigilante character with; a snappy-brim fedora and a Montgomery Ward catalog white Gene Autry- style shirt instead of the large flat-brimmed hat and double-button blue shirt he wore in the comic books. The nose-chin... Written by
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The hero of this serial is the Golden Age Vigilante; the second Vigilante, Adrian Chase, was a lawyer who took to fighting criminals after his family was slain by gangsters, and who took his own life after his true identity was revealed on national TV. See more »
This is one of my all-time favorite serials...and I think one of the best overall. Sure, I'm a little bit jaded, as the Vigilante was my favorite golden age superhero when I was a kid (still is, actually), but it's a really good serial.
Of course, the identity of the villain will be obvious after the first episode, but that's pretty much the norm for 1940's serials (look at Captain America). But there is a lot of action and thrills throughout all 16 episodes. And Ralph Byrd is great in the title role...one of the few roles that he is believable in besides Dick Tracy (where he is the master, no matter what Warren Beatty may think). Lyle Talbot is fun, as always, as is the rest of the cast.
There's a little bit of everything in this one...and I think it deserves a place next to the originality of such classic chapter plays as The Adventures of Captain Marvel and The Masked Marvel.
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