Note, February 20, 2018: I’m close to a month into my fourth law school semester now, so obviously no updates for a while. Just a bit of tangentially serial-related DVD news; Kino is putting out one of William Witney’s best Roy Rogers features for Republic, Trigger Jr., on Blu-ray DVD in April. I recommend giving it a look, both as a way of encouraging Kino to release more Republic product and as an excellent B-western in its own right (and one with several serial folks in front of the camera and behind it–in addition to director Witney, it features work by Grant Withers, Gordon Jones, I. Stanford Jolley, George Cleveland, and Dave Sharpe).

117 thoughts on “Home

  1. Curiously Jerry, do you want us to try to list your Halloween mask challenge or just do it on our own? If I type in the ones I think I know, I might ruin it for others coming after me.

    • Good point; I should have thought of that when I posted it. I think it’d be OK if you posted your answers here, since the comments on this thread are so far down from the home page that people won’t be able to refer to both it and the image.

  2. Okay Jerry–first row, The Scorpian, The Black Ace, The Ghost, Atom Man
    Second row–don’t know who two and four are. One is The Masked Marvel, and three The Green Hornet
    Third Row–again don’t know who two and four are. One is The Phantom Rider and three The Crimson Ghost.
    Fourth Row–The Skull, The Copperhead, The Octopus, Pegleg.

    So I think I know 12 out of the 16. Was I right?
    Be interested when other posters tell me who the others are, and anyone I misidentified.

  3. The missing ones were, in the first row, the Black Falcon from FLYING G-MEN,
    second row, The Gargoyle from THE SPIDER RETURNS and The Phantom Ruler from THE INVISIBLE MONSTER,
    Third row The Lame One AKA The Spider from DICK TRACY and THE IRON CLAW. (For you fans of the old Get Smart TV show, there was a Japanese villain with a claw like hand and would pronounce it ‘Craw. “Not Craw, CRAW!”

  4. Okay. The Black Falcon? Despite seeing the serial, I blew that one, but no hero should look that villainous. The only one from a serial I have not seen is The Gargoyle. Just a shaky memory.

  5. Interestingly enough, someone else decided that the Black Falcon’s outfit would look good on a villain; “Prince Bacarratti” (Bela Kovacs), a recurring villain on the early sci-fi TV show Space Patrol, regularly wore the Falcon’s old jacket (dug up somewhere in one of the back rooms of Western Costume).

  6. Hi Jerry!
    I’m enjoying the new bios that you’ve been adding for the last couple of months. I find it both entertaining and enlightening to read about an actor’s own history and follow the evolution (or de-evolution, as the case may be) in roles and characteristics that cross through actors’ work over their serial history. Also, I get to see new examples of your writing (“and general blackguardism”).
    I hope you don’t run out of actors too soon.

    • Thanks, Mike; never fear, it’ll be a long time before I run out of actors to cover. Right now, I’m planning Bill Elliott, Cecilia Parker, Leonard Penn, Rick Vallin, George Lynn, and Pierre Watkin as the next batch of additions.

  7. Old Serial Fan, if you haven’t seen THE SPIDER RETURNS with the Gargoyle as the villain, you should check it out. It is by far Horne’s most insane serial, with the infamous party scene from chapter six. BTW, Jerry you haven’t done any silent serials, but if you want something that goes way beyond anything Horne dreamt up, you have to check out OFFICER 444 (1926) with Ben Wilson and Neva Gerber. Don’t even think of attempting to make any sense of it, it is just totally off the wall. You would have a real ball reviewing it.

  8. Hi — and thanks for the Frances Robinson bio! I started reading it without recognizing her name, but when I came to the Red Barry reference, I certainly recognized her as “Mississippi” and want to second your comment that she turned in a “memorably lively performance”. In my opinion, she had more complexity and depth in that role than other serial heroines I’ve seen, including some who had a larger role. If only Buster Crabbe had Mississippi on the rocket ship in place of Dale Arden …

    I check the website at the beginning of the week to see who will show up, and I’m never disappointed as you recap their pre-serial, serial, and post-serial life. Most of the time, I haven’t seen their serial work in sequence, so this is really helpful.

    I hope you don’t run out of actors for a while!!


  9. Jerry, any chance of having a running list on the top of the actors you do bios of? If I don’t check in for a bit, I might lose track of some people. I still dare you to review OFFICER 444. Thanks, Jerry.

    • That’s not a bad idea, Pa; I’ll try to figure out some way of keeping multiple weeks’ worth of updates listed on the home page. As for Officer 444, I just don’t have enough experience of silent films at present to do an intelligent review of that one, or of other serials from the pre-Indians Are Coming era.

  10. Jerry, if you ever screen OFFICER 444, you will realize you can’t write an intelligent review. Think James Horne stoned. Extremely stoned.

    • Good to see you post again, Old Serial Fan. I believe the answer is Stuart Hamblen, the villain from King of the Forest Rangers. He ran for president on the Prohibition Party ticket in, I think, 1950.

  11. That’s right. I was surprised when looking at the 1952 election results to see his name, and wondered if anyone else knew he ran for president. He finished fourth, not that bad I guess.

  12. Jerry, congratulations on being accepted to law school, I hope you do well. Remember in one Marx Brothers movie Groucho was a lawyer.
    “You are awful shy to be a lawyer.”

    “That’s because i’m a shyster lawyer.”

  13. Jerry, congratulations on being accepted to law school, I wish you well.
    Remember in one Marx Brothers film, Groucho is a lawyer.
    “You are awfully shy to be a lawyer.”
    “That is because i’m a shyster lawyer.”

  14. Congratulations on entering law school. I am a longtime fan of your reviews and your comments on the Serial Squadron board and In the Balcony.

  15. Thank you all very much for the good wishes, gentlemen. I miss writing for the site already, but I have to say I’m finding law school very interesting indeed–challenging, but rewarding. I hope to get a few site additions done during the holiday breaks this winter (I have a week at Thanksgiving and three weeks at Christmas), but I can’t guarantee it.

  16. Jerry, don’t forget that the silent serial, THE MYSTERIOUS PILOT is now available. It is missing the first reel of chapter nine, but I have seen film grabs, and it looks like it is from a beautiful print, a 35MM print from Louis Weiss’s own vault.

      • Whoops, yes, I meant THE MYSTERIOUS AIRMAN. How is law school going? Remember, Jerry, it is 99% of all lawyers that give the rest of the lawyers a bad name. LOL

      • If you keep talking like that about the legal profession, Pa, you won’t be able to retain anyone to represent you and your reprehensible family the next time you’re busted by the G-Men (if any Starks survive long enough to get to trial, that is; Dick Tracy rarely seems to take prisoners). LOL

  17. I only discovered this site last night as I’m getting interested in serials. It’s well-designed and very interesting. Glad there’s so much to read here!

  18. Hi Jerry and Greetings from Canada.
    I know you’re busy in your legal work (did you know that 2/3 of all the lawyers in the world are in the United States). Nuff said on that. I enjoy your blog tremendously. It’s really well done and I suppose a great diversion for you from your legal work. Cheers and please keep it going.

    • Jerry, remember, it is 99% of all lawyers that give the rest of the lawyers bad name. LOL Doe this mean you won’t represent us the next time me and my sons get arrested?

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