The 57th of Republic's 66 serials is filled with stock footage from some of that company's previous "Zorro" serials, primarily 1944's "Zorro's Black Whip", so a lot of the footage finds Ken...
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The 57th of Republic's 66 serials is filled with stock footage from some of that company's previous "Zorro" serials, primarily 1944's "Zorro's Black Whip", so a lot of the footage finds Ken Curtis wearing the same costume as Linda Stirling and (mostly) her double Babe DeFreest wore in that serial. Disney now owned the rights to the Zorro character, but Republic wasn't about to let all that footage go to waste when all they had to do was create a character called Don Daredevil. Those who express surprise at finding TV's "Festus" as the lead in a serial evidently are looking at the career of Ken Curtis from the back end rather than from the beginning aspect of his career. The serial has political boss Douglas Stratton finding that an old Spanish Land Grant made to Ricardo Moreno and later sold to Patrick Doyle to be a forgery, and he tries to cash in by having his men attempt to stake out mineral claims and homesteads on the ranches now part of the original grant. The plot is resisted ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
CHAPTER TITLES: 1. Return of the Don 2. Double Death 3. Hidden Danger 4. Retreat to Destruction 5. Cold Steel 6. Flaming Juggernaut 7. Claim Jumper 8. Perilous Combat 9. Hostage of Destiny 10.Marked For Murder 11.Captive Witness 12.Flames of Vengeance. See more »
An old Spanish land grant has been proved a forgery and all of the homesteaders on the land are now forced to move. The real grant is in the possession of Stratton, a lawyer, who plans to use this land grab scheme to accumulate wealth and power. Lee Hadley, another lawyer, plans to challenge the forgery, but where words fail, he wears the disguise of his ancestor, and fights the crooks as the masked hero, Don Daredevil, and goes against Stratton, henchmen Webber and Hagen, and whatever treachery they can throw against Hadley and the rest of the ranchers. Obviously originality wasn't stressed in this serial, as this probably was a good example of how Republic was losing its touch as the 50's and TV era rolled in. The story and script could have been tweaked somewhat to allow some interesting escapades and plot devices while still maintaining the ability to delve into the Republic stock footage vault (which they did a lot in this serial). Curtis is very boring as the lead, and the usually reliable Towne and Barcroft really come off seeming like this was another routine production under contract. There is the regular amount of Republic action, but it could have been improved. Rating, based on serials, 3.5
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