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

Thursday, September 13, 2018


William Henry and Susan Morrow
CANADIAN MOUNTIES VS. ATOMIC INVADERS (12 chapter Republic serial/1953). Director: Franklin Adreon.

Sgt. Don Roberts (William Henry) of the Canadian Mounted Police and agent Kay Conway (Susan Morrow) team up to tackle a gang of spies who are planning to launch missiles against the U.S. from a remote base in Canada. First the spies do their best to get rid of people who want to settle in the very area where they want to build the rocket launchers, then shift their efforts in attempts to kill off Sgt. Roberts. To that end there are cliffhangers that employ avalanches, warehouse fires and explosions; and Roberts is both shot off the top of a cliff, and then knocked off another cliff when a car crashes into the spot where he's standing. The fight scenes in this serial are well-choreographed and exciting, especially a battle that occurs in the back of a careening pick-up truck. William Henry [The Thin Man] is solid as the Mountie, certainly essaying a different kind of role than he did in his earlier films. Susan Morrow [Macabre] is also good as Kay, who is handy with a gun when required and seems as diligent and brave as Roberts. Arthur Space [Panther Girl of the Kongo] is terrific as the villain, a foreign agent named Marlof who disguises himself as a simple-minded trapper named Ol' Smoky Joe -- he is particularly effective in this role. Hank Patterson, Harry Lauter (who appears so briefly I never noticed him), Tom Steele, Dale Van Sickel, and -- wouldn't you know it? -- Pierre Watkin appear in smaller roles.  One lively sequence has Roberts trying to stop a pack of wild dogs let loose by the bad guys from attacking a group of reindeer that are meant to be food for the settlers (those poor reindeer can't win either way!). William Henry began acting at a very young age and amassed 230 credits.

Verdict: Another fast-paced, utterly mindless, but very entertaining and action-packed Republic serial. ***. 

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