The rocket-powered action returns, as we watch the second chapter of the 1949 Republic Pictures serial film King of the Rocket Men! When we left off in chapter 1, Jeff King (Tristram Coffin) assumed his mantle as the Rocket Man, thwarted a plan by Dr. Vulcan to steal a top-secret military missile, and punched a lot of people. Chapter 2, "Plunging Death," sees King trying to ferret out the rat in Science Associates -- the man who is Dr. Vulcan. But soon a bigger danger arises, as photographer Glenda Thomas (Mae Clarke) is ambushed by Vulcan's thugs, hoping to steal a negative she shot of Rocket Man. Thomas fights back but then flops around like a fish and loses the photo. She gives chase in her car, and soon Rocket Man is on the trail. As the episode ends, Rocket Man and Glenda plunge
And so we begin the next thrilling installment in Saturday Serials, King of the Rocket Men! Released in the summer of 1949 by Republic Pictures, the 12-part movie follows the heroic exploits of Jeff King, aka Rocket Man. King was played by Tristram Coffin. The first chapter, "Dr. Vulcan - Traitor," gets right down to business. No sooner do the opening credits stop rolling than we see unexplained explosions and scientists being killed off in most violent fashion. But other than the Rocket Man gimmick -- which makes an appearance at last in the last four minutes -- this is pretty standard action fare from the '40s. By that I mean plenty of expositional dialogue interspersed with fisticuffs and heavies wearing fedoras. But still, lots of good, vintage fun. This installment is split
I hadn't intended to take a seven-month break from my Saturday Serials posts, but that's just the way it happens sometimes. But inspiration has struck and so very soon I'll be bringing another classic movie serial your way. This one was released eight years after the Batman serial I brought you last summer. It's King of the Rocket Men, released in the summer of 1949 by Republic Pictures. It stars Tristram Coffin as Jeff King, aka Rocket Man. It also co-stars Mae Clarke as Glenda Thomas. Check out the pair from this period publicity still: So as you can see, ray guns and jet packs will be the order of the day with King of the Rocket Men. Join me here soon to get started on the action, won't you? And in the meantime, you can catch up on all the chapters of the 1943 Batman serial here.
This is it! This is the final thrilling chapter in the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman serial film. At last, all of our perseverance and dedication will be paid off, for surely Batman and Robin will triumph over the evil Japanese would-be saboteur Dr. Daka and his sinister henchmen. Right? Yes, of course. Don't be silly. But first the Caped Crusader must escape imprisonment in his wooden coffin. Looks like it'll be up to the Boy Wonder to save the day! But not before Batman can spew a little period racism... I like how Batman immediately tries to un-zombify Linda Page, without first testing the device on someone less, uh, necessary. Anyway, stay tuned to this column for another exciting vintage serial! As soon as I figure out which one to do next...
And just like that, it's Saturday again, which can mean only one thing -- it's time for another edition of Saturday Serials, currently showing the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman feature starring Lewis Wilson as the Caped Crusader. Today we look at the thirteenth chapter in our saga, "Eight Steps Down." After completely failing to rescue Linda Page in the last chapter, Batman does some legit detective work to track her down. I love the quaintness of Batman having to stop by a call box on the street to talk to the police. Ah, simpler days. We also get a lesson in etiquette, as Daka informs Linda that you should address people from Japan as "Nipponese" and not "Jap." So what does that "Eight Steps Down" mean anyway? Well I'm not sure, even after watching this. But I can say that the c...
We're so close! After this week, there are only three chapters left in the 1943 Batman serial film! Sadly, Daka's henchmen still haven't figured out that blowing up a building is a less than effective way to kill Batman and Robin. That's lucky for us I suppose, since otherwise this series would've ended weeks ago. One of the shortcomings of the serial format is fairly clear to me now. There really are only so many ways to end each segment with a cliffhanger putting the hero's life in danger. This is at least the second or third time Batman's been trapped in a burning building or wreck in this series. It does start to feel worn out at a certain point. I don't know, maybe it felt fresher 70 years ago. Related articles Saturday Serials: "A Nipponese Trap" (Batman 1943, Chapter
And just like that, we've come upon the eleventh thrilling chapter in the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman serial, starring Lewis Wilson as the Caped Crusader and Douglas Croft as Robin the Boy Wonder. Will this be the week that the Dynamic Duo finally put a stop to the evil plans of Dr. Daka? Well no, actually. But you knew that, as we still have four more chapters to go. Related articles Saturday Serials: "The Bat's Cave" (Batman, 1943)(grayflannelsuit.net) Saturday Serials: "Lured by Radium" (Batman 1943, Chapter 8)(grayflannelsuit.net) Saturday Serials: "The Phoney Doctor" (Batman 1943, Chapter 7)(grayflannelsuit.net)
With this, the tenth pulse-pounding entry in the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman serial, we're two-thirds through the saga. And once again, that kooky Daka just can't wait to get his mitts on some radium. So let's not waste a minute more, for action awaits! Related articles Saturday Serials: "The Bat's Cave" (Batman, 1943) (grayflannelsuit.net) Saturday Serials: "The Phoney Doctor" (Batman 1943, Chapter 7) (grayflannelsuit.net) Saturday Serials: "Lured by Radium" (Batman 1943, Chapter 8) (grayflannelsuit.net)
Sorry Bat-fans, I don't have a witty recap of this week's installment of the 1943 Batman serial. See, I'm actually on vacation. So let's just watch and enjoy the ninth chapter in our saga, "The Sign of the Sphinx."