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About capnmephisto2

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  1. A bit of additional information about Frances Gifford is that she was the sister of football player/celebrity Frank Gifford. At least a couple of films in which she appeared have been broadcast within the past year or so on TCM - "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" and "She Went to the Races." Probably the best film she appeared in was "The Glass Key" featuring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. Too bad she only appeared in one serial - she was a natural for the heroine role. She was probably the best actress of the Republic gals, with the possible exception of Linda Stirling. According to le
  2. Ken: Did you notice that the doctor running the sanitarium, Dr. Shelton, was played by that venerable serial villain John Davidson. He appeared in at least twelve sound serials, including seven Republics. Davidson was kind of an oddity in that he usually appeared as an assistant to the chief villain but was not an ordinary brains heavy or a hench man. The only serial I remember him appearing in as the boss was "Perils of Pauline," a 1934 Universal production in which Davidson, as Dr. Bashon, chased Pauline, her father and friends around the world. His best role in a Republic se
  3. Ken Walk: To enlighten the posters unfamiliar with serials, perhaps you should discuss the types of cliffhanger endings most often used. The worst type was the "cheat." There, the events leading to the cliffhanger are changed to eliminate the danger, hence the "cheat." For example, a chapter ends with the rope the hero is hanging to breaking and the hero falls. The cheat occurs in the next episode when the rope doesn't break and the hero climbs to safety. The best resolutions were the "follow-ups" which occurred when the solution follows up the cliffhanger. For example, if we s
  4. Regarding Moviejoe's question about good first serials to watch, in addition to KenWalk's suggestions, another classic Republic would be the 1942 "The Perils of Nyoka." It is one of the best paced serials and it features excellent cliffhangers. The cast is top notch (at least for a serial), including Clayton Moore. The first and last chapters are really spectacular. Many serial fans have been first exposed to the genre with "Flash Gordon" or one of the sequels. These have generally good pacing and excellent characters supported by an actual plot to go along with the action. Anothe
  5. I'm surprised nobody mentioned the gorgeous Jean Rogers in the earlier discussion about serial heroines. She appeared in several very good Universal serials in the 1930s -- particularly as Dale Arden in Flash Gordon and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars. She also appeared in Ace Drummond and The Adventures of Frank Merriwell and I think one other. Although her roles were probably less physically demanding than what faced the women in the 1940s serials, she certainly deserves a look. Also, her costume in Flash Gordon was almost pre-Code. I suppose what she wore was passed by the Hays Offi
  6. Laurel and Hardy rarely failed to deliver. Besides those already mentioned, other L&H films you should try to watch next month include "The Music Box," "Sons of the Desert," and "Beau Hunks." I believe "The Music Box" was the only L&H film to win an Academy Award.
  7. In the DVD version of "Jungle Girl" is the footage where Nyoka is tied up and the is gorilla coming toward her still obviously from a different print than the rest of the serial? When "Jungle Girl" was first made available on VHS about 8 years ago, most of the print was from a British source, so the print included the British censor seal. Although the print was generally excellent, a few scenes, most notably the one with the gorilla coming toward the bound Nyoka were missing (possibly deemed too violent by the British censors). The missing footage had to be supplied from the few other rem
  8. Good topic Kenwalk. I agree, it's time for TCM to run a serial and that a Republic from the 1938-43 era would probably be the most fun. Other strong contenders would be the Flash Gordon serials from Universal. In my opinion the Universal serials were generally superior to their competitors until Republic hit its stride in about 1938 or 1939. A possible exception to Universal's superiority in the mid-30s might be the one Kenwalk discussed today, "Darkest Africa." It's one of my favorites because the hero, Clyde Beatty, was a real life adventurer. He really did jump into cages wi
  9. Moira: Yes, at least a few modern films have employed that technique. I can remember a few comedies that have showed the actors and identified them by name, usually at the end of the film. Generally, the film makers used footage from the film rather than a photograph when identifying the actors. The films I remember with this type of credits are "1941", "Caddyshack", "Airplane!", and possibly the Police Squad films. Oddly, the three that I remember were all late '70s/early '80s films.
  10. For the extra hour, TCM broadcast the MGM 20th anniversary film, recalling many great MGM films of the studio's first two decades, hosted by Lewis Stone. I didn't catch the film's actual title. Then, TCM showed the 100 years of cinema short, again with brief excerpts from many famous films from 1894 to 1994. I think they also showed a couple of upcoming previews. I set my VCR to record "Possessed", scheduled for a 1:00 a.m. Central broadcast, so I ended up with the hour of highlights along with the scheduled film.
  11. Now that Judex has finished its run, what did everyone think of it? Generally, I liked it, although it may have been a little plodding at times. It was sure a prototype of the serial genre. I liked all the things you'd expect in a good serial: the aliases, the disguises, the secret rooms, the chases, the mistaken identities, the dumb henchmen, the futuristic devices, the mysterious avenger, the apparent demise of the villain, and comedy relief that was actually kind of funny and not dead weight around the hero's neck. Judex also had a fair amount of the silliness that seemed to creep
  12. I agree that watching Judex over three weeks is better than a marathon broadcast. Afterall, it is a serial and that is how it was intended to be watched. Does anyone know whether this French serial was originally distributed a chapter at a time like American serials?
  13. Well, I'm certainly not one to try to sway Republic serial fans from their favorites. Republic is the serial studio I am most familiar with, but I have developed an interest in some of the work by other studios as well. Republic brings you fast and furious action, good special effects, and interesting cliffhangers. Although less a concern of most serial fans, Republic serials generally had pedestrian and predictable plots, especially in the later years. The vintage Universal serials (pre-1940 or so) seem to be better written and more dependent on plot and character development.
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