|Prince Valiant by Hal Foster|
This week Great Old Movies looks at films and serials that were based on famous newspaper comic strips (as opposed to characters who first appeared in comic books, such as Superman). These characters -- Prince Valiant, The Phantom, Dick Tracy, Terry Lee (of Terry and the Pirates) and Smilin' Jack -- may all have wound up in comic books later on, but they first appeared in daily and/or Sunday newspaper comic strips. To my knowledge, Prince Valiant, the Phantom and perhaps Dick Tracy are still being published today in certain newspapers.
Anyway, this week we examine two Dick Tracy serials; the cliffhanger adventures of Terry and the Pirates and Smilin' Jack Martin; Robert Wagner in the stunningly-produced Prince Valiant with James Mason as the bad guy; and the equally well-produced The Phantom of 1996 with Billy Zane in the title role.