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

Thursday, December 1, 2011


DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE (12 chapter Republic serial/1939). Directors: John English; William Witney.

Harry Crowell (the great Charles Middleton) escapes from prison and is out to get diabolical revenge against Horace Granville (Miles Mander), whom he blames for his imprisonment. Crowell actually manages to disguise himself as Granville, hide the real Granville in a dungeon, and take his place in his own mansion -- with no one suspecting! The "daredevils." who are actually circus performers, get involved in the hunt for Crowell after the little brother of one of them is killed in one of the disasters Crowell engineers. Then there's the "Red Circle," a mysterious cloaked figure who leaves notes for the three daredevils  -- played by Charles Quigley (The Crimson Ghost, The Iron Claw), Bruce Bennett (Herman Brix) and David Sharpe. Carole Landis [A Scandal in Paris] is Granville's daughter, Blanche, and we mustn't forget the dog, Tuffie, a beautiful collie. There are several notable cliffhangers, including a flooded tunnel in chapter one.

Verdict: Fast-paced serial action. ***.


Anonymous said...

A really good early serial from Republic. Love that cliffhanger from the first chapter with the oil rig pounding on an underwater tunnel and the water gushing from the ceiling and then through the tunnel after Charles Quigley who's trying to get away on a motorcycle!

William said...

Right! The flooded tunnel is a great sequence, and this one is a lot of fun.