Thursday, February 20, 2014

1942 Serial: Spy Smasher

One has to remember watching these, they were made a long time ago for 12 year old boys. That being said, this is a great watch. Maybe the best I have seen from the movie serials... Historical context, it is these serials that lead to TV versions of our favorite heroes...
Spy Smasher (1942) is a Republic movie serial based on the Fawcett Comics character Spy Smasher. It was the 25th of the 66 serials produced by Republic. The serial was directed by William Witney with Kane Richmond and Marguerite Chapman as the leads. This serial was Chapman's big break into a career in movies and television. Spy Smasheris a very highly regarded serial. In 1966, a television movie was made from the serial footage under the title Spy Smasher Returns.


  • Kane Richmond as Spy Smasher, his secret identity Alan Armstrong and his twin brother Jack. The twin brother was added by Republic but other characters, including Admiral Corby, his daughter Eve and the villain The Mask, are all from the original comic.[2]
  • Marguerite Chapman as Eve Corby, Admiral Corby's daughter and Jack Armstrong's fiance.
  • Sam Flint as Admiral Corby
  • Hans Schumm as The Mask. The Nazi villain of the serial "appeared just as often without the disguise as with it, the only purpose of the mask seemed to be to make him familiar to comic book fans."[2]
  • Tris Coffin as Drake, The Mask's spearhead heavy. Drake is a reporter working for the Ocean-wide Television Network. One of his espionage techniques was to leave the camera rolling after an interview inside Admiral Corby's office or a report from a crime scene. The broadcast was then picked up by the Mask in his submarine ("and presumably [by] the sets of any home viewer tuned into the proper channel").[2]

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