The Vigilante, a masked government agent, is assigned to investigate the case of the "100 Tears of Blood", a cursed string of rare blood red pearls sought by a gang led by the unknown X-1 that may have been smuggled into the country.
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.
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 »
Though Republic had the best stunt men in the business on hand, with the likes of Carey Loftin and David Sharpe and even Yakima Canutt, star Kane Richmond, who was quite an athlete, often insisted on doing his own stunts as "Spy Smasher" (this was back in the days when insurance issues were a lot more loose on movie sets). (This was pressbook publicity flack...Kane Richmond performed no stunts in this serial.) See more »
Chapter nine: You saw Jack puncture a hole in the "Armored Car". I don't believe it can be done, not with 1940s technology anyway. See more »
[while on patrol, Jack and Spy Smasher spot a suspicious boat]
That's the third buoy they've picked up.
It's high time we got better acquainted!
See more »
Opening credits are depicted as ...-, Morse code for V (victory), and the searchlights form a "V". See more »
The score for Spy Smasher, a variation on Beethoven's fifth symphony, is a fabulous reminder of the era in which this classic serial was made.
While Spy Smasher is certainly one of the top 5 adventure serials ever made at Republic, it also is a rousing WW2 propaganda film. Check out the title sequence -- three dots and a dash appear on the screen, coinciding with the first four notes of Beethoven's fifth. Three dots and a dash are Morse code for the letter "V," made famous by Churchill's hand sign as a determination to defeat the Nazis and their cronies. Twin searchlights in the title sequence freeze into another V. The coded messages abound in Spy Smasher--even on Spy Smasher's belt buckle.
The action here is top notch, the cast capable, the stunt work great (as always at Republic) and the special effects likewise. If you like Republic serials (Zorro's Fighting Legion, Adventures of Captain Marvel, etc.) you MUST take a look at this one. It is one of the very best. Kane Richmond later went on to play the Shadow in a couple of films, one of which featured a killer who pulled his victims to their deaths off of balconies using a bullwhip, a stunt which was first seen in Spy Smasher. One thing I love about this chapterplay is the acknowledgment that we would not win the war without suffering losses. Great pacing, great action, great serial!
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