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

Thursday, August 14, 2014


PIRATE TREASURE (12 chapter Universal serial/1934). Director: Ray Taylor.

Achieving the world's record for a solo flight, Dick Moreland (Richard Talmadge) decides to use the prize money to organize a voyage to search for his pirate ancestor's gold. Unfortunately, others get wind of his notion and try to snatch away the charts that he needs to reach the island in the south seas where the treasure is. Dick has a girlfriend, Dorothy (Lucille Lund), who takes the journey with him along with her father, and there is a nasty female who works with the bad guys named Marge (Beulah Hutton). Pirate Treasure is primitive but occasionally lively, such as a fight on top of a speeding train, a boat that smashes into a buoy, some gators in a lagoon, and an especially suspenseful sequence involving a falling crate in chapter seven. The fisticuffs are far below the Republic level -- everyone just flails their arms like children smacking each other and there is no nifty choreography. The island is full of angry natives. Talmadge's voice is kind of comical, like a German comedian, and hardly heroic-sounding.

Verdict: One of the serials you can probably miss. **.

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