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The Black Widow (1947)

The Daily Clarion hires detective story writer Steve Colt to investigate the deaths of a group of scientists working on an atomic rocket development project. Behind the killings is fortune ... See full summary »


Spencer Gordon Bennet (as Spencer Bennet), Fred C. Brannon


Franklin Adreon (original screenplay), Basil Dickey (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Edwards ... Steve Colt
Virginia Lee ... Joyce Winters (as Virginia Lindley)
Carol Forman ... Sombra, The Black Widow
Anthony Warde ... Nick Ward
Ramsay Ames ... Ruth Dayton
I. Stanford Jolley ... Dr. Z.V. Jaffa
Brother Theodore ... Hitomu (as Theodore Gottlieb)
Virginia Carroll ... Dr. Ann Curry [Chs. 6-7]
Gene Roth ... John M. Walker - Newspaper Editor (as Gene Stutenroth)
Sam Flint ... Prof. Henry Weston
Tom Steele ... Bard [Ch. 1] / Jack [Ch. 8] / Blair [Ch. 12]
Dale Van Sickel ... Bill [Ch. 4] / Hodges [Ch. 7] / Smith [Ch. 10] / Bass [Ch. 12-13]
LeRoy Mason ... Dr. Godfrey [Ch. 5]
Forrest Taylor ... Bradley (Gang Lawyer) [Ch. 10]
Ernie Adams ... Blinky


The Daily Clarion hires detective story writer Steve Colt to investigate the deaths of a group of scientists working on an atomic rocket development project. Behind the killings is fortune teller Sombra, a spy from an Asian country intent on world domination, who is determined to pilfer the atomic rocket by luring workers from the project to her parlor and killing them with black widow spider venom when they refuse to cooperate. Written by Richard Scheib <roogulator@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ATOMIC ENERGY SECRETS STOLEN! (original poster) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 November 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aranha Mortal See more »


Box Office


$168,995 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
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Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In Chapter 9 Rube Goldberg is mentioned. See more »


Dr. Currie was murdered, what happened to Ruth Dayton? See more »


Joyce Winters: The police just aren't getting anywhere. What's The Clarion doing about it?
John M. Walker - Newspaper Editor: I've engaged Steven Colt. If anybody can solve a mystery, he can.
Joyce Winters: Steve Colt? The mystery writer?
John M. Walker - Newspaper Editor: Exactly! Steve Colt is not only a well-known writer of mystery stories, but is also a student of criminology. His fiction detective, Rodman Crane, is one of the most able...
Joyce Winters: Phooey! Steve Colt and Rodman Crane know 'whodunit' before the story even starts.
See more »


Edited into Sombra, the Spider Woman (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Seemingly forgotten serial is better than it should be thanks to neat gadgets and a go for it attitude
3 July 2008 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

Someone is killing off industrialists with a poison that is similar to the poison of a black widow. The person behind it is the evil Sombra, a woman who is using her fortune telling business as a front for blackmail and espionage. The Clarion Newspaper assigns one of its reporters to follow a well known mystery writer,Steve Colt, that they have hired to solve the crimes. Almost instantly the intrepid pair unknowingly stumbles upon the villainess and her band and 12 chapters of action follow as the bad guys try to stay away from the good guys. Mostly unknown serial is an enjoyable romp thanks to Republic caring enough not to completely do things by the book. Instead of the usual tricks and traps that Republic's serial makers would lapse into in the name of saving a few pennies you have things like the chair of death where a spider like device comes out of the back to stink you to death, or cars that change color with the flip of a dial. It's the equivalent to a really good B-movie that you stumble upon late at night that is completely gripping even though its something you've never heard of.(Regrettably this serial is also as forgettable in the same way its good but it doesn't linger in the brain as anything other than a vague memory- a "yea I saw that" until you put it on again and you realize how good it was). Recommended.

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