Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


THE MYSTERY SQUADRON (12 chapter Mascot serial/1933). Directors: Colbert Clark and David Howard.

Down in San Juan, New Mexico, a "mystery squadron" led by an unknown villain called the Black Ace flies over an area where a dam is being constructed and performs acts of sabotage. Fred Cromwell (Bob Steele) and his buddy "Jellybean" (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) try to get to the bottom of this mystery and uncover the identity of the Black Ace, although both of them are accused of being the culprit at one point. Other suspects include Superintendent Collins (J. Carrol Naish) and Doc Flint (Robert Fraser), both of whom offer the most notable performances in the serial [although Jack Mulhall is also good]. There is a lot of urgent exclaiming by the cast members throughout the movie, and more running around than you've ever seen, but the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter aren't very memorable. Nonetheless, the serial is entertaining and does manage to work up some suspense over the identity of ... the Black Ace!

Verdict: Not one of the best but still fun. ***.


Fredrik said...

I agree completely with your assessment of this nice old serial. If you want to learn how to play The Mystery Squadron Drinking Game, hop over to my blog, where I just wrote a review of the serial.

William said...

Great blog you've got and a fine write up on "Mystery Squadron."

As for the Mystery Squadron drinking game I can't wait to invite some friends over and try it, but I'll have to wait until I want to see "Mystery Squadron" again and who knows when that will be? So maybe I'll try a variation of the game with a different serial!

Thanks, Bill