I've got 20 Republic Serial films in my personal video collection and the stories or chapters are almost all the same.
I just can't believe all the fist fights that take place in each chapter. Both the bad guys and good guys get the tar kicked out of them in each fight scene. I just don't know how they can take such punishment and keep coming back for more.
Another interesting fact about these fight scenes is that both the hero's and bad guy's hats never fall off. I know if I got dragged around and "beaten" the way they seem to be, my hat would be off within the first few seconds of the skirmish.
One thing I like about these serials from the 40's and 50's is the old cars and "primitive" electronic equipment that looked as though it came over on the ark.
Without all the advantages of modern day special effects, the producers and directors had to really rely on good acting and good characterization.
Some of the bad guys I recognized from the westerns that were prevalent at the time. For instance, Dick Curtis, the main thug, and Terry Frost, who had a bit part in Chapter one of this serial, were seen in many of the westerns and it was difficult for me to associate them with modern situations and equipment, ie: cars, radios, etc.
One other thing I noticed and that is that the heroes seem to get the worst of the punishment throughout the serial and then in the last half of the final chapter, they finally bring the culprits to justice.
Anyways, it was a successful format for Republic, and any time I see a serial movie that looks interesting, I will definitely add it to my collection.
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