Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

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Republic Pictures produced many quality movie serials in the 1930s and 1940s.  One of their finer offerings was Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), a twelve chapter serial based on the popular comic book super hero.  Captain Marvel is known as Shazam today.  Billy Batson, played by Frank Coghlan, Jr., accompanies the Malcolm Expedition to Siam.  While searching an ancient temple,

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The Phantom (1931)

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     On November 1, 1931, Weiss Brothers Artclass Pictures released The Phantom (1931), a low-budget thriller.  The film opens with a death row inmates escape from the prison on the day of his execution.  After he jumps from the prison wall to the top of the train, a plane with a rope ladder picks up the prisoner.  While the

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The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935)

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     The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935) is an adaption of one of the Ellery Queen novels.  Two cousins, Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee, who wrote a number of detective novels under the pseudonym of the title character.  In this film, Ellery Queen is taking a vacation to California with his friend Judge Macklin.      Of course, they are

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Counter-Espionage (1942)

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     Columbia Pictures’ Lone Wolf series, starring Warren Williams as Michael Lanyard, is one of my favorite “B” film series.  Williams played the debonair jewel thief, who somehow always ends up helping the police solve a series of crimes.  Counter-Espionage (1942) begins with Lanyard stealing top secret plans from Sir Stafford Hart’s safe.      Scotland Yard’s Inspector Stephens

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Behind the Mask (1946)

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     Monogram Pictures released Behind the Mask (1946), the second of three films based on the popular Shadow radio program, on May 25, 1946.  “B” Film leading actor Kane Richmond returns as Lamont Cranston, the alter ego of the mysterious Shadow.      The film begins by following the activities a blackmailing newspaper reporter Jeff Mann, played by James Cardwell.  After

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Mr. Moto’s Gamble (1938)

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Peter Lorre reprises his role as Mr. Kentaro Moto, Interpol Agent, in Mr. Moto’s Gamble (1938).  James Tinling directed this film and Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1937).  Tinling’s participation caused Lorre to portray Mr. Moto more like Inspector Chan with a little jujitsu thrown in. In this film, Mr. Moto teaches a criminal investigation class to several budding investigators including Lee

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On The Spot (1940)

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     On June 11, 1940, Monogram Pictures released the latest film in the Frankie Darro-Mantan Moreland buddy films, On The Spot (1940).  Darro and Moreland made a number of comedic buddy films during the early 1940s for Monogram Pictures.      While the films were definitely in the “B” category, the team made entertaining films.  It was also unique

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Black Friday (1940)

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     On April 12, 1940, Universal Pictures released Black Friday (1940), a thriller starring Boris Karloff.  Bela Lugosi shares top billing with Karloff but has a minor role in comparison to Karloff.  The true stars of the film are Karloff and Stanley Ridges.      Karloff plays Dr. Ernest Sovac, a brain surgeon driving his friend Professor George Kingsley

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