Serial Box, Vol. 1 [4 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Radar Men from the Moon [Serial]
In the second of Republic Pictures' three "Rocket Man" serials, the government assigns Commando Cody (George Wallace) to look into a series of strange atomic explosions threatening the United States' defense systems. As Cody discovers, the threat comes from the Moon, whose ruler, Retik (Roy Barcroft), is planning an invasion of Mother Earth due to a severe lack of atmosphere on his own planet. Retik works through Krog (Peter Brocco), an inter-planetary henchman who does all the financing and hiring on Earth. Unfortunately, the hooded lunar visitor fails miserably on both fronts: the preparations for the invasion are severely under funded and the hired guns, such as former prison inmate Graber (Clayton Moore), less than competent. But despite these caveats, Commando Cody and his fellow space travelers, Joan Gilbert (Aline Towne) and Ted Richards (William Bakewell), have to suffer through 12 chapters before finally destroying the threat from the planet Moon. Radar Men From the Moon was filmed between October 17, 1951, and November 6, 1951, on a budget of $172,840. Most location filming, not excluding plenty of stock footage from earlier Republic serials, was done at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, California. The serial was followed by a brief television series, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal, which retained Aline Towne as Joan Gilbert but replaced George Wallace and William Bakewell with Judd Holdren and William Schallert. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Zorro's Fighting Legion [Serial]
In 1824, Benito Juarez (Carlton Young), the president of the new Mexican Republic, worries that vitally important gold shipments from the San Mendolito Mines shall never reach Mexico City. The president's understandable fears are quelled, however, by local nobleman Don Francisco (Guy D'Ennery), who is organizing a "fighting legion" to protect the shipments and thus the safety of the six months old republic. Secretly opposing Juarez' endeavors are a group of influential capitalists, one of whom masquerades as Don del Oro, an ancient god of the local Yaqui Indian tribe. But when Don Francisco is killed by persons unknown, a visiting relative from California, handsome and affable Don Diego (Reed Hadley), assumes the disguise of Zorro to lead the legion in search of the identity behind the homicidal Don del Oro. To keep his own identity a secret, Don Diego acts the foppish dude, much to the dismay of his pretty cousin Volita (Sheila Darcy), who denounces him as a coward that could learn a thing or two from Zorro. Meanwhile, the Yaquis, acting on a command from Don del Oro, do indeed attack the gold shipment but are foiled by Zorro and the Legion. Just then an explosion set off by white henchmen Moreno (James Pierce) and Valdez (Charles King) causes an avalanche right in Zorro's path, making his sad demise almost a certainty. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The New Adventures of Tarzan [Serial]
Unhappy with the Tarzan pictures being made in Hollywood, author Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of the "Lord of the Jungle," set up his own production company, Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises. The only Tarzan opus to emerge from this short-lived enterprise was the 12-chapter serial (and simultaneously released feature-length version) The New Adventures of Tarzan, filmed on location in Guatemala with Olympics decathlon champion Herman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett) in the lead. The serpentine plots finds Tarzan (well-educated and articulate for a change) joining an archeological expedition to South America in search of a rare, jewel-encrusted Mayan idol. The villain of the piece is the mercenary Raglan, who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the ancient artifact. There's no Jane in this one, but Tarzan does have a leading lady in the shapely form of Ula Vale (Ula Holt). Very cheaply produced, with particularly bad sound quality (there is in fact an opening title apologizing for the poor sound), The New Adventures of Tarzan nonetheless has a great deal of energy, and Herman Brix/Bruce Bennett is physically quite impressive as Tarzan. Years after its original release, New Adventures of Tarzan was reissued with a newly recorded soundtrack, featuring an entirely different cast. Incidentally, though Don Castello is billed as Raglan, Castello fell ill just before shooting started and was replaced by Edgar Rice Burroughs' business partner Ashton Dearholt. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe [Serial]

Cast & Crew

  • Aline Towne
    Aline Towne - Joan Gilbert
  • Roy Barcroft
    Roy Barcroft - Retik
  • William Bakewell
    William Bakewell - Ted Richards
  • Clayton Moore
    Clayton Moore - Graber
  • Peter Brocco
    Peter Brocco - Krog

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