9 user 6 critic

Mandrake, the Magician (1939)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 6 May 1939 (USA)
Mandrake and his assistant Lothar are working the cruise lines and make the acquaintance of Professor Houston who has developed a radium energy machine, which is much coveted by a masked Crime Lord known as "The Wasp".


Joseph F. Poland (screenplay), Basil Dickey (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Hull ... Mandrake the Magician
Doris Weston ... Betty Houston
Al Kikume ... Lothar
Rex Downing ... Tommy Houston
Edward Earle ... Dr. Andre Bennett
Forbes Murray ... Professor Houston
Kenneth MacDonald ... James Webster
Don Beddoe ... Frank Raymond
Dick Curtis ... Dorgan - Henchman (Chs. 6-8)
John Tyrrell ... Dirk - Henchman
Stanley Brown ... Green-Henchman [Chs. 1, 2, 4]
Beatrice Curtis Beatrice Curtis ... Rest Home Nurse [Chs. 3,10]
Robert Sterling ... Henchman
Sam Ash ... George Regan -Hypnotist [Chs. 3-5]
Lester Dorr ... Gray - Gas Station Henchman [Chs. 8-9]


Mandrake and his assistant Lothar are working the cruise lines and make the acquaintance of Professor Houston who has developed a radium energy machine, which is much coveted by a masked Crime Lord known as "The Wasp".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BLACK MAGIC Conjures Up A Holocaust Of Thrills!


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mandrake el mago See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The airplane in which Mandrake takes off from the airport in chapter 6 is Civil Aviation registration #NC15044, a Fairchild 24C-8D, The Fairchild Model 24 is a four-seat, single-engine monoplane light transport aircraft designed by the Fairchild Aviation Corporation in the 1930s. See more »


At the end of Episode #6, when Mandrake's plane is shot down, there's an image of the tail with its nomenclature NC 16039, appearing on the screen in reverse. See more »


Referenced in The Witches (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

No Sleight of Hand Here
31 May 2008 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

While not made with an over-powering budget by any standards and populated with the dime-store variety of plot devices, mediocre special effects, and bearable, workmanlike performers, the Columbia serial Mandrake the Magician has many fun, entertaining moments and is quite thrilling at times. Isn't that what a serial is suppose to be? Warren Hull plays the dapper Mandrake in top hat and tails and seemingly an expert in every field and every form of fisticuffs. With him is his faithful Lothar, a servant who like Mandrake can fight at will and ease under any circumstances. Of course when Lothar fights - the actor playing him Al Kikume is easily seen not to be fighting as the stunt double looks nothing like him. That is just one of a host of problems with the serial in terms of direction, production, and cinematic achievement. Routinely actors are poorly doubled. Fight scenes are nothing more in some instances than actors playing patty-cake with their fists. The identity of the serial villain - the Wasp - is clearly evident in the final three or four chapters. The leading lady - Doris Weston - is as bland as cottage cheese. When would the parade of henchmen end? And some of the storyline about "a machine invented by Professor Houston to benefit mankind"(you remember those catch phrases once you have heard it 12 different times at the beginning of each chapter)was utterly ridiculous with all that nonsense about shutting off/destroying public works so as to let the Wasp take over the world and the platinite(don't ask) needed to fuel it. But despite all these things, Mandrake the Magician is a lot of fun to watch, and I must confess that for at least the first 9 chapters I had to find out who the Wasp was as three of Mandrake's circle were framed so as to suggest each one. Each episode left with some great calamity, and this serial is definitely worth a peek.

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