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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

HAUNTED HARBOR

Boo!
HAUNTED HARBOR (aka Pirate's Harbor/15 chapter Republic serial/1944). Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet; Wallace Grissell.

Captain Jim Marsden's (Kane Richmond) ship, the Dolphin, is lost at sea with a million dollars of gold bullion in its hold. If that weren't bad enough, Marsden is framed for the murder of a man he owes money to, but he escapes from jail with the help of his buddy, Tommy (Great Old Movies' favorite Marshall Reed). Sailing to another island the two men rescue Patricia Harding (Kay Aldridge) and her father, and they all become embroiled in efforts of bad guy Kane (Roy Barcroft), the real murderer, to take care of them so he can have the gold, which he's found, all to himself. Some of the action takes place in the mysterious "Haunted Harbor," which boasts a Chinese dragon-type stylized sea monster [see photo], which despite its obvious [intended] lack of life has an attractive design and is fun to watch. Memorable cliffhangers include Pat nearly punctured by an air drill; Jim tied to a huge bonfire; and others. The fisticuffs come frequently and are lively in the Republic tradition. Excellent theme music by Joseph Dubin. The actors all give at least serviceable performances. Tom Steele, Fred Cordova, Jay Silverheels (as a native) and Ken Terrell are also in the cast. Re-released as Pirate's Harbor but fun by any name.  Based on a novel by "Dayle Douglas."

Verdict:  Solid, very entertaining Republic serial. ***.

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