The Adventures of Smilin' Jack, Vol. 1 [DVD]

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Adventures of Smilin' Jack: A Watery Grave
As the water from the underground is pushing the spikes upwards toward the trapped Smilin' Jack (Tom Brown), Axis spy Fraulein Von Teufel (Rose Hobart) is demanding the answer to the whereabouts of Mandon leader Mah Ling (Cyril Delevanti), the only one who knows the whereabouts of a hidden road leading from China to India. Luckily, Tommy (Edgar Barrier) and Captain Wing (Keye Luke) arrive just in the nick of time. Von Teufel makes her escape, only to reappear in her disguise of foreign correspondent at the press conference where Mah Ling is supposed to divulge the location of the secret passage. Armed with a poisoned dart to be fired from her ballpoint pen, the Fraulein is disappointed when Mah Ling demands a guarantee from the British High Commission in Hong Kong that the whereabouts of the road to India will only be used to further the allied war efforts. While Smilin' Jack is escorting Mah Ling to Hong Kong for the important counter signature, Fraulein Von Teufel plots to have the Mandon dignitary kidnapped before he can divulge his secret. Working with Hardigan (Stanley Blystone), a Hong Kong outfitter, Fraulein Von Teufel's plan succeeds and Mah Ling is soon on his way to a Japanese submarine entombed in a wooden box. Trapped in another box is Smilin' Jack, who discovered a clue leading him straight to Hardigan's on Water Street. This second box, however, is soon bobbing up and down in the Hong Kong harbor, the trapped Jack in grave danger of "A Watery Grave." ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Adventures of Smilin' Jack: The High Road to Doom
In the opener of the 13-chapter Universal serial, Smilin' Jack (Tom Brown), an American aviator in the service of China, and Janet (Marjorie Lord) learn from Ran Lal (James Khan) that Janet's brother, Tommy, has found a secret passage to India in the faraway province of Mandon. Only two other men know the secret according to the Hindi, who unfortunately is shot by a Japanese spy before he can divulge their names. Captured by Jack and his Chinese friend, Captain Wing (Keye Luke), the murderous Japanese commits hara-kiri, but not before Jack learns that he is a member of the Black Samurai, the feared Axis spy ring headed by Fraulein Von Teufel (Rose Hobart), who, unbeknownst to Jack, is masquerading as an American newspaper woman. Granted permission by General Kai Ling (Sidney Toler) to fly to Mandon in search of Tommy, Jack and Janet are surprised by yet another Japanese spy, who torches their plane somewhere near their destination. Janet successfully bails out but Jack's parachute refuses to open and he plunges toward earth. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Adventures of Smilin' Jack: Escape By Clipper
Rescued by the Hong Kong police from his water grave inside the wooden box, Smilin' Jack (Tom Brown) learns that all the members of the Black Dragon spy organization have been rounded up -- except the leader, Nazi operative Fraulein Von Teufel (Rose Hobart) and three other Germans. In her usual disguise of foreign correspondent Gertrude Muller, Fraulein Von Teufel is once again present at the press conference where Mah Ling (Cyril Delevanti) is presumed to divulge the secret passage from China to India. The exasperating governor of Mandon once again delays the disclosure by requesting that the Americans cosign along with the Chinese and the British High Commission, lest the passage will remain open after the war. The signing of the final document is therefore moved to Honolulu and all the interested parties leave Hong Kong on a clipper bound for Hawaii -- including the undercover Fraulein Von Teufel and her three German operatives (Paul Bryar, Norma Drury, and Grace Cunard), who are planning to overtake the aircraft. The plot fails, however, and Jack is soon questioning Sanson (Alex Havier), Fraulein Von Teufel's one Asian cohort, who is promptly killed by one of the Fraulein's poisoned darts. Just then, the clipper is fired at from a Japanese submarine and crashes into the ocean. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Adventures of Smilin' Jack: The Rising Sun Strikes
Escaping from their burning plane in the first chapter of Universal's wartime serial Adventures of Smilin' Jack, Jack (Tom Brown) and girlfriend Janet (Marjorie Lord) discover to their horror that Jack's parachute refuses to open. Just as he is about to slam into earth, Jack finally manages to pull the string and both land safely. Aided by local farmers, the two are shown the way to the city of Mandon, where Janet's brother, Tommy (Edgar Barrier), has learned of a secret passage from China to India. Axis agent Fraulein Von Teufel (Rose Hobart) has ordered one of her henchmen, Yoshudo (Jack Gardner), to track Jack, who is in the employ of Chinese general Kai Ling (Sidney Toler). Having arrived before our heroes, Yoshudo is about to persuade Mandon leader Mah Ling (Cyril Delevanti) to draw a map to the secret passage when Jack and Janet arrive on the scene. All are arrested, but Jack manages to escape and sabotage the Japanese airplane. Discovered by the enemy, Jack, Janet, and Tommy seek sanctuary with Mandon high priest Lo San (Nigel de Brulier), but are followed by Yoshudo, who shoots Jack at point-blank range. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Adventures of Smilin' Jack: Attacked by Bombers
Although he appeared to have been shot by Japanese agent Yoshudo (Jack Gardner) in chapter two of Universal's Adventures of Smilin' Jack, our hero (Tom Brown) was only faking and quickly gets the upper hand. En route to Chungking with Janet (Marjorie Lord and Mah Ling (Cyril Delevanti), the governor of Mandon, Smilin' Jack's radio communication is intercepted by Axis agent Fraulein Von Teufel (Rose Hobart) and her Japanese cohort Kageyama (Turhan Bey). Although the latter is at first dubious, the fraulein uses her powers to order a Japanese bombing raid on Chungking. Believing that he is communicating with the Chinese, Smilin' Jack is rerouted to Fuchang, where Japanese soldiers kidnap Mah Ling and Tommy (Edgar Barrier), Janet's brother. Having remained in the airplane, Janet (Marjorie Lord) and Smilin' Jack avoid capture and are able to track the hijackers' vehicle from the air. Leaving the plane behind to follow in a Chinese truck, the pursuers are surprised by an enemy bombing attack, and their vehicle careens out of control. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Adventures of Smilin' Jack: Chapter 04
Although Smilin' Jack (Tom Brown) and his Chinese friends appeared to have crashed their vehicle in chapter three of the Universal serial Adventures of Smilin' Jack, chapter four reveals that all emerged unscathed from the Japanese bombing attack. His Nippon kidnappers arrested, Mah Ling (Cyril Delevanti) is brought before General Kai Ling (Sidney Toler). Although Mah Ling is generally willing to help his country against the Japanese enemy by revealing the secret passage from China to India, the estimable governor of Mandon wishes to think the matter over for the sake of his peaceful constituents and the general gracefully allows him a bodyguard. Fearing that Axis spy Fraulein Von Teufel (Rose Hobart) will attempt to assassinate the governor, Jack sends a fake radio message stating that Mah Ling has already revealed his secret. In retaliation, the fraulein has a henchman, Hito (Rico de Montez) bring Jack to her quarters, where she threatens him with torture. As Tommy (Edgar Barrier) and Captain Wing (Keye Luke) desperately search for their friend, Jack is being lowered into a pit filled with dangerous looking spikes. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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