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

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


THE GREAT MOVIE SERIALS: Their Sound and Fury. Jim Harmon and Donald F. Glut. Doubleday; 1972.

An entertaining look at the great and not-so-great cliffhanger serials, with chapters on the imperiled girls such as Pauline and Nyoka; Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and other space heroes; western heroes such as the Lone Ranger; the aviator heroes; detectives such as Dick Tracy; classic villains; and superheroes like Captain Marvel, Superman and Batman. There are also photographs and interviews with several serial stars, and a foreword by actor Kirk Alyn (Superman and Blackhawk, among others). Harmon and Glut not only tell the stories of many of the most memorable serials, but also go behind the scenes, telling how certain stunts were done, and which serials borrowed footage from previous chapterplays and movies, and which were merely re-releases under another name. The authors' enthusiasm for these great old serials informs every page and makes you wish that more of them were available. [Luckily thanks to the video and DVD revolution many of these serials can be seen in their entirety, which was not true at the time of this book's publication.]
Verdict: Great!


Dr.John said...

I found your blog this morning just after I finished my blog on my childhood love of serials. Now I have to get the book.

William said...

Thanks for your comment and for the link on your blog, which I much enjoyed! (Dr. John has write ups on serials, children's book series etc. at Dr. John's Fortress

"The Great Movie Serials" is out of print, I believe, but you may be able to find a copy of it at ebay or elsewhere on the net. I have also found a great many of those great old serials for sale on ebay. Serials and Such is an ebay store that sells excellent DVDs of many classic cliffhangers!

Best, William