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

Thursday, October 6, 2011


DAUGHTER OF DON Q (12 chapter Republic serial/1946). Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet and Fred C. Brannon.

The pretty sports celebrity Delores Quantero (Lorna Gray playing as Adrian Booth), one of many descendants of Don Quantero, is unaware that an old Spanish land grant actually leaves millions of dollars of real estate to his heirs. One of them, Carlos Manning (LeRoy Mason), is aware of this, and with the aid of his main henchman Donovan (Roy Barcroft), sets out to murder the other heirs. Cliff Roberts (Kirk Alyn) is an intrepid  reporter who aids Delores and tries to find out why someone is killing off all of her relatives. This is a nifty idea for a serial, and Daughter of Don Q makes the most of it. Although comparatively colorless, the villains in this are especially evil  -- at one point they are going to make it look like a perfectly innocent man committed embezzlement and then suicide. The serial also has a sense of humor. When one nasty gunsel falls out of a window to his death, it turns out that he made a living by proposing to wealthy women and absconding with their fortunes before the wedding. "I wonder if any of the ladies he left at the church will attend his funeral," someone quips. There are many good cliffhangers; one of the best has Delores hanging onto a shower curtain after she's knocked out of a window as it begins to slip off the rod notch by notch ... The feisty Delores, who gives as good as she gets, gets hit on the head so often it's a wonder she even knows who she is by the end of the serial! Although there is nothing elaborate or especially unique about Daughter, it's still terrifically entertaining. Lorna Gray played the villainess in Perils of Nyoka and Barcroft was the bad guy in Manhunt of Mystery Island, another superlative Republic serial.

Verdict: Maybe not a classic but fast-paced and action-packed from start to finish. ***1/2.  

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