Hank Davis, foreman on a huge dam project, enlists the aid of his two flyer friends when a sinister figure known as The Black Ace leads his Mystery Squadron of masked pilots in an attempt to destroy the dam.
Chapter 1, "The Black Ace" opens with dam-project foreman Hank Davis hiring two stunt flyers he once flew with, Fred Cromell and Bill "Jellybean" Cook, to protect the dam from the air raids by a group known as the Mystery Squadron, under the leadership of the mysterious Black Ace. Each attack is preceded by the arrival of a miniature airplane carrying a warning that the Mystery Squadron is about to attack. This makes the workers somewhat disturbed and distressed to the point that they mistake Fred and Bill for members of the criminal air armada. The workers form a vigilante lynch mob from which Fred and Bill must escape and continue their 12-chapter search to unmask The Black Ace. Those in a hurry can flash-forward to the ending of chapters 4-6-8 and 12, as they are all "cheater chapters" comprised primarily of various players recapping, via flashback footage, what has transpired in preceding chapters.Mascot and Republic led the serial world in the use of cheater chapters, but they ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
It is possible that the man portraying the Black Ace in full costume is not Jack Mulhall but actually a stuntman. See more »
Good guys Bill and Davis are apparently clubbed unconscious by an unseen hand while exploring the Mystery Squadron's secret cave. Initially Davis lies to the right of Bill, but later he's seen laying on the left. See more »
When I was a lad my parents wouldn't let us have a TV. Some neighbours did. We watched many American B films. The only one that made an impression (enough to recall now) was "The Mystery Squadron". This would have been 1951, I think. I didn't realise that it dated from as long ago as 1933. The fact that the BBC should run it shows that it had become a cult movie. That summer we moved home. My friends warned that I should not be able to see a repeat running of the film scheduled for the autumn. Watching it in 2011 at first I thought I was going to be disappointed.However the "willing suspension of disbelief" began to perform its magic. The quality of the actual film is poor but the camera work is good and the direction (particularly of the action sequences) taut. Most important for this purpose there are some entertaining studio in-jokes. For example the two male leads regularly show an improbable athleticism. They were of course supposed to be stunt pilots. Onseveral occasions though their parts are taken by stunt men...............
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