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

Thursday, September 1, 2011


FEDERAL AGENTS VS UNDERWORLD INC. (12 chapter Republic serial/1949). Director: Fred C. Brannon.

Professor Clayton (James Craven) is kidnapped because he has knowledge of something called the Golden Hand of Abisthan treasure, which is coveted by a villainess named Nila (Carol Forman). Nila wants to organize the entire underworld of the country into a massive group like the F.B.I [not nearly enough is done with this great idea]. Out to stop her nefarious plans and find the professor are Inspector David Worth (Kirk Alyn of Superman fame) and Laura Keith (Rosemary La Planche from Strangler of the Swamp). While there are a couple of borrowed cliffhangers in this serial, it also boasts a suspenseful bit involving a box with a bomb in it in chapter 5; Dave nearly running Laura over with his car in chapter 8; a stone-hearted Nila shooting David in 9; a collision between planes in mid-air in 10; and a collapsing bridge in 11. Roy Barcroft, Tristram Coffin and Tom Steele are also in the cast.

Verdict: Fast-paced and generally lively. ***

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