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

Thursday, October 13, 2011



DON DAREDEVIL RIDES AGAIN (12 chapter Republic serial/1951). Director: Fred C. Brannon.

In the old southwest, a man named Stratton (Roy Barcroft) is using phony documents to try to grab up all the land in the county. Opposing him is Patricia (Aline Towne) and her lawyer cousin, Lee (Ken Curtis), who is importuned to dress up as an ancestor who wore a mask and outfit and called himself Don Daredevil. So now Don Daredevil is back, riding out against the bad guys and keeping out of the hands of the sheriff thanks to his dual identity. DD's headquarters is in a cavern behind a waterfall. There are a few clever if unspectacular cliffhangers in this -- the hero finds himself nearly impaled on more than one occasion --  as well as a few that have been borrowed from the earlier Zorro's Black Whip. Old Buck is played by the familiar Hank Patterson while Tom Steele shows up as the usual bad guy. There's a terrific fistfight in a saloon in chapter nine. Curtis, probably most famous nowadays for Killer Shrews, makes an unusual but effective masked hero in this. Towne has very little to do. Barcroft is competent as the villain but just as colorless as ever.

Verdict: Minor serial with its share of fun moments. **1/2.

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