- Serial (film)
Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials or Film serials, were
short subjectsoriginally shown in theaters in conjunction with a feature film. Known as "chapter plays," they were extended motion pictures broken into a number of segments called "chapters" or "episodes." Each chapter (a typical serial usually had as many as 15 of them) would be screened at the same theater for one week. The serial would end with a " cliffhanger", as the hero and heroine would find themselves in the latest perilous situation from which there could be no escape. The audience would have to return the next week (and pay admission) to find out how the hero and heroine would escape and battle the villain once again. Serials were especially popular with children, and for many youths in the first half of the 20th century, a typical Saturday at the movies included a chapter of at least one serial, along with animated cartoons, newsreels, and two feature films.
Most serials were Westerns, since those were the least expensive to film. Besides Westerns, though, there were films covering many genres, including
crime fiction, espionage, comic bookor comic stripcharacters, science fiction, and jungle adventures. Although most serials were filmed economically, some were made at significant expense. The " Flash Gordon" serial and its sequels, for instance, were major productions in their times.
Serials were a popular form of movie entertainment dating back to Edison's "
What Happened to Mary?" of 1912. There do appear to be older serials, however, such as the 1910 Deutsche Vitaskop 5 episode "Arsene Lupin Contra Sherlock Holmes", based upon the Maurice LeBlanc novel "Arsene Lupin Contre Herlock Sholmes", and a possible but unconfirmed Raffles serial in 1911 [According to information from [http://www.silentera.com Silent Era] ] . Usually filmed with low budgets, serials were action-packed stories that usually involved a hero(or heroes) battling an evil villainand rescuing a damsel in distress. The villain would continually place the hero into inescapable deathtraps and situations, or the heroine would be placed into a deathtrap and the hero would bravely come to her rescue, usually pulling her away from certain death only instants before she met her doom. The hero and heroine would face one trap after another, battling countless thugs and lackeys, before finally defeating the villain.
Many famous clichés of action-adventure movies had their origins in the serials. The popular term
cliffhangerwas developed as a plot devicein film serials (though its origins have been traced by some historians to the Sherlock Holmesstories of Arthur Conan Doyle), and it comes from the many times that the hero or heroine would end up hanging over a cliff, usually as the villain gloated above and waited for them to plummet thousands of feet to their deaths. Other popular clichés included the heroine or hero being tied to a railroad track; being lashed to a log in a sawmill, lying on a conveyor belt and approaching a gigantic whirling sawblade; or being trapped in an abandoned mine shaft, watching as the burning fuse of a nearby bundle of dynamite sparked and sputtered its way towards the deadly explosive. The popular Indiana Jonesmovies are a well-known, romantic pastiche of the serials' clichéd plot elements and devices.
The silent era was the zenith of the movie serial and serial stars from this period were major stars such as
Pearl White, who starred in the quintessential silent serial "The Perils of Pauline" which still ranks among the best known silent films. Ruth Roland, Marin Sais, Ann Littleand Helen Holmeswere also early leading serial queens. Most of these serials put beautiful young women in jeopardy week after week. The serials starring women were the most popular during the silent period but in the sound era few serials had a female character in the major role. Years after their first release, serials gained new life at "Saturday Matinees," theatrical showings on Saturday mornings aimed directly at children. For that reason, serials are sometimes called "Saturday Matinee Serials," even though they were originally shown with feature films.
In the early days of television in the United States, movie serials were often broadcast, one chapter a day. Many are now available on VHS tapes and DVDs for collectors.
Besides the heroe or heroine, some terms are used to define villains and supporting players:
* The "saddle pal" or "
sidekick" was the helper or assistant of the heroe or heroine. That person was often a bumbling comic or a more serious, steady assistant.
* The "brains heavy" was the man (or, on occasion, woman) who issued the orders to his "henchmen". He often wears a suit, and pretends to be an upright, lawful member of the community. He ussually had little to do until the last chapter except talk, snarl, or grimace.
* The "action heavy" is the assistant or second-in-command to the brains heavy who usually wore workmanlike duds, did the physical labor, and often had more brawn than brains. He went from one chapter to the next trying desperately to kill the hero with fists, knives, guns, bombs or whatever else happened to be handy at the time.
* The "oldtimer" was the man that (a) owned the ranch, (b) the father of the hero (or heroine) and often had a short film lifespan, as well (3) those that wore a badge of a sheriff, marshall or ranger.
* The "middle-aged" and "older" performers who were judges, lawyers, storeowners, wardens, owner of the local newspaper, attorney, judge, scientist, executive or professor.
Famous American serials of the silent era include "The Perils of Pauline" and "
The Exploits of Elaine" made by Pathé Frèresand starring Pearl White. Another popular serial emerged that year, the 119 episode " The Hazards of Helen" made by Kalem Studiosand starring Helen Holmesfor the first forty-eight episodes then Helen Gibsonfor the remainder. Other major studios of the silent era produced them, such as Vitagraphand Essanay Studios, as did Warner Bros., Fox, and Universal. Several independent companies (for example, Mascot Pictures) made Western serials. Four silent Tarzanserials were also made. Europe had its own serials, notably the French "Judex" and " Les Vampires", and the German "Homonculus".
The arrival of sound technology made it costlier to produce serials, so that they were no longer as profitable on a flat rental basis. Further, the
Great Depressionmade it impossible for many of the smaller companies which had turned out serials to upgrade to sound, and they therefore went out of business. Only one serial specialty company, Mascot Pictureswas in fact able to make the transition from silent to sound filmmaking: Universal Picturesalso kept its serial unit alive through the transition.
In the early 1930s a handful of independent companies tried their hand at making serials, but managed only two or three, including the once-prolific Weiss Brothers. The Weisses bought a little time when
Columbia Picturesdecided to take a try at serials, and contracted with them (as Adventure Serials Inc.) to make three chapterplays. They were successful enough that Columbia then established its own serial unit and the Weisses essentially disappeared from the serial scene. This was in 1937, and Columbia was probably inspired by the previous year's serial blockbuster success at Universal, "Flash Gordon", the first serial ever to play at a major theater on Broadway; and by the success of that same year of the newly-created Republic Pictures, which dedicated itself to a program of serials and westerns, eschewing major productions in their favor. The creation of Republic involved the absorption of Mascot Pictures, so that by 1937, serial production was now in the hands of three companies only - Universal, Columbia and Republic, with Republic quickly becoming the acknowledged leader in quality serial product. Each company turned out four to five serials per year, of 12 to 15 episodes each, a pace which they all kept up until the end of World War IIwhen, in 1946, Universal dropped its serial unit along with its B-picture unit and renamed its production department Universal-International Pictures. Republic and Columbia continued unchallenged, with about four serials per year each, Republic fixing theirs at 12 chapters each while Columbia fixed at fifteen.
By the mid-1950s, however, episode
televisionseries and the sale of older serials to TV syndicators by all the current and past major sound serial producers, together with the loss of audience attendance at Saturday matinees in general, made serial-making a losing proposition.
There have been several post-1950s attempts at reviving or recalling cliffhanger serials, by both fans and professional studios, and serials were often spoofed in cartoons of the 1960s.
An early attempt at a low-budget Western serial, filmed in color, was entitled "The Silver Avenger." One or two chapters exist of this effort on 16mm film but it is not known whether the serial was ever completed.
Cinema fan and author Don Glut filmed a number of serial-related backyard movies in the 1960s notable for the occasional appearance of an actual Hollywood prop or costume. These included "The Adventures of the Spirit," "Spy Smasher vs. the Purple Monster," and "Captain America Battles the Red Skull," and "Rocketman Flies Again," the latter two featuring actor wearing the original Republic Pictures Captain America costume and Rocketman helmet.
The best-known fan-made chapter play is the four-chapter, silent 16mm amateur effort made to resemble Republic and Columbia serials of the 1940s "Captain Celluloid Vs. The Film Pirates," completed in 1966. The plot involved a masked named The Master Duper, one of three members of a Film Commission who attempts to acquire the only known prints of various lost nitrate films, and the heroic Captain Celluloid, who wears a costume reminiscent of that of the Black Commando in Columbia Pictures' serial "The Secret Code," is determined to uncover him. Roles in the serial are played by, among others, film historians and serial fans Alan Barbour and William K. Everson.
In the 1970s, serial fan Blackie Seymour allegedly shot a complete 12 chapter serial called "The Return of the Copperhead." Mr. Seymour's only child, who operated the camera at the tender age of 8, attests that as of 2008 the serial was indeed filmed but the raw footage remains in cans, unedited . . . "perhaps someday" to be assembled.
In 2001, "King of the Park Rangers," a 12-chapter sound serial was released by the modern-day serial fan-led group Cliffhanger Productions on VHS video tape in black and white. It concerned the adventures of a Park Ranger named Patricia King and an FBI Agent who track down a trio of killers out to find buried treasure in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. A second amateur 10-chapter serial, "The Dangers of Deborah," in which a female reporter and a criminologist fight to uncover the identity a mysterious villain named The Terror, was released by the group in 2008.
Studio/commercial efforts, cartoons, and spoofery:
Serialized children's stories such as "The Adventures of Spin & Marty" were presented on TV in the 1950s by Walt Disney. Other Disney programs shown in segments such as "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" often had a cliffhanger-serial-like feel.
In England, in the 1950s and 60s, low-budget 6-chapter serials such as "Dusty Bates" and "Masters of Venus" were released theatrically, but these were not particularly well-regarded or remembered.
Of course, perhaps the greatest number of serialized television programs to feature any single character were those made featuring Doctor Who, the BBC character introduced in 1963. Doctor who serials would run anywhere from 3 to 12 episodes and were shown in weekly segments as had been the original theatrical cliffhangers. "Doctor Who" was syndicated in the US as early as 1974 but did not gain a following in America until the mid-1980s when episodes featuring Tom Baker reached its shores.
The 1960s cartoon show "Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" included two serial-style episodes per program which ended with cliffhangers and spoofed the cliffhanger serial form. The Hanna-Barbera "Adventures of Penelope Pitstop" was a takeoff on the silent serials "The Perils of Pauline" and "The Iron Claw" which featured Paul Lynde as the voice of the villain.
"Danger Island," a multi-part story in under-10-minute episodes, was shown on the Saturday morning Banana Splits program in the late 1960s. Episodes were short, full of wild action and usually ended on a cliffhanger. This serial is notable for having been directed by Richard Donner and featuring the first African-American action hero in a chapter play. The violence present in most of the episodes, though much of it was deliberately comical and would not be considered shocking today, also raised concerns at a time when violence in children's TV was at issue.
On February 27, 1979,
NBCbroadcast the first episode of an hour-long weekly television series "Cliffhangers!", which had three segments, each with a different serial: a horror story ("The Curse of Dracula", starring Michael Nouri), a science fiction/western ("The Secret Empire," (inspired by 1935's "The Phantom Empire") starring Geoffrey Scott as Marshal Jim Donner and Mark Lenardas Emperor Thorval) and a mystery ("Stop Susan Williams!", starring Susan Anton, Ray Walstonas Bob Richards and Albert Paulsenas the villain Anthony Korf). Unfortunately, though final episodes were shot, the series was cancelled and the last program aired on May 1, 1979 before all of the serials could conclude; only "The Curse of Dracula" was resolved.
In 2006, Dark Horse Indie films through Image Entertainment released a 6 chapter serial parody called "Monarch of the Moon," detailing the adventures of a hero named the Yellow Jacket, who could control Yellow Jackets with his voice, battled "Japbots" and traveled to the moon. The end credits promised a second serial, "Commie Commandos From Mars." Dark Horse attempted to promote the release as a just found never before released serial made in 1946 but suppressed by the US Government. Most fans weren't fooled, however.
In recent years there has been a small resurgence of a sort in serial production. Many films created using
machinima, the art of using pre-existing consumer-level three-dimensional rendering engines to create computer-generated imagery, have been distributed in serial format. According to Hugh Hancock of Machinima.com, three to five minutes is an optimal length for videos downloaded over the Internet. As a result, a serial composed of multiple short videos can be an effective way of telling a longer story in this medium. "", a comedy series by Rooster Teeth Productionswith a continuous, single plot spanning 100 episodes, popularized this distribution method. [Hancock, Hugh (November 23, 2004). [http://www.machinima.com/article.php?article=425 Editorial - Serialise This!] . Machinima.com. Retrieved 15 March 2006.] Many "Red vs. Blue" episodes end with cliffhangers, and Rooster Teeth Productions has acknowledged that the series is similar to older film serials in this regard. [Rooster Teeth Productions (2004). Audio commentary. In Red vs. Blue Season Two [DVD] . Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions] Another notable machinima production, Edgeworks Entertainment's " The Codex", is a self-contained film, but was nonetheless released as a serial in 20 episodes between February and August 2005.
The classic sound serial, particularly in its Republic format, has a first episode of about 30 minutes (approximately three
reelsin length) and begins with reports of a masked, secret, or unsuspected villain menacing an unspecific part of America. This episode traditionally has the most detailed credits at the beginning, often with pictures of the actors with their names and that of the character they play. Often there follows a montage of scenes lifted from the cliffhangers of previous serials to depict the ways in which the master criminal was a serial killer with a motive. In the first episode, various suspects or "candidates" who may, in secret, be this villain are presented, and the viewer often hears the voice but does not see the face of this mastermind commanding his "lead villain," similar to a sergeant, whom the viewer will see in just about every episode.
In the succeeding weeks (usually 11 to 14) thereafter, an episode nearer 20 minutes (approximately two
reels) in length was presented, in which the "lead villain" and lesser thugs commit crimes in various places, fight the hero, and trap someone to make the ending a cliffhanger. Many of the episodes have clues, dialogue, and events leading the viewer to think that any of the candidates were the mastermind. As serials were made by writing the whole script first and then slicing it into portions filmed at various sites, often the same location would be used several times in the serial, often given different signage, or none at all, just being referred to differently. There would often be a female love interest of the male hero, or a female hero herself, but as the audience was mainly children, there was no hugging and kissing.
In 1938 Republic introduced the "economy episode" (or "recap chapter") in which the characters summarize or reminisce about their adventures, so as to introduce showing those scenes again (in the manner of a
clip showin modern television). This type of episode usually had a cheap, mechanical cliffhanger, like a time bomb rather than being unconscious in a runaway vehicle.
The beginning of each chapter would bring the story up to date by repeating the last few minutes of the previous chapter, and then revealing how the main character escaped. Often the reprised scene would add an element not seen in the previous close, but unless it contradicted something shown previously, audiences accepted the explanation. On rare occasions the filmmakers would depend on the audience not remembering details of the previous week's chapter, using alternate outcomes that did not exactly match the previous episode's cliffhanger.
The last episode was sometimes a bit longer than most, for its tasks were to unmask the head villain (who usually was someone completely unsuspected), wrap up the loose ends, and end with a triumphal proclamation, followed by a joke — and sometimes a kiss (provided that the story supplied a heroine to receive it).
The major studios had their own retinues of actors and writers, their own prop departments, existing sets, stock footage, and music libraries. The early independent studios had none of these, except for being able to rent the sets of independent producers of western features.
The firms saved money by reusing the same cliffhangers, stunt and special effect sequences over the years. Mines or tunnels flooded often, even in "Flash Gordon", and the same model cars and trains went off the same cliffs and bridges. Republic had a
Packardlimousine and a Ford Woodiestation wagon used in serial after serial so they could match the shots with the stock footage from the model or previous stunt driving. Three different serials had them chasing the Art Decosound truck, required for location shooting, for various reasons. Male fistfighters all wore hats so that the change from actor to stunt double would not be caught so easily. A rubber liner on the hatband of the stuntman's fedora would make a seal on the stuntman's head, so the hat would stay on during fight scenes.
Exposition of what led up to the previous episode's cliffhanger was usually displayed on placards with a photograph of one of the characters on it. In 1939, Universal brought the first "scrolling text" exposition to the serial, which
George Lucasused in "" in 1977. As this would have required subcontracting the optical effects, Republic saved money by not using it.
tylistic differences between the studios
Universal had been making serials since the 1910s, and continued to service its loyal neighborhood-theater customers with four serials annually. The studio made news in 1929 by hiring
Tim McCoyto star in its first all-talking serial, "The Indians Are Coming!" Epic footage from this western serial turned up again and again in later serials and features. In 1936 Universal scored a coup by licensing the popular comic-strip character Flash Gordonfor the screen; the serial was a smash hit, and was even booked into first-run theaters that usually didn't bother with chapter plays. Universal followed it up with more pop-culture icons: The Green Hornetand Ace Drummondfrom radio, and Smilin' Jackand Buck Rogersfrom newspapers. Universal was more story-conscious than the other studios, and cast its serials with "name" actors recognizable from feature films: Lon Chaney, Jr., Bela Lugosi, Dick Foran, The Dead End Kids, Kent Taylor, Robert Armstrong, Irene Hervey, and Johnny Mack Brown, among many others. In the 1940s Universal's serials employed urban and wartime themes, incorporating newsreel footage of actual disasters. The 1942 serial " Gang Busters" is perhaps the best of Universal's wartime serials; Universal often cannibalized it for future cliffhangers. The studio's reliance on stock footage for the big action scenes was certainly economical, but it often hurt the overall quality of the films. When the studio reorganized as Universal-International, it shut down most of the production units, including the serial crew. Universal's last serial was "Mysterious Mr. M" (1946).
Republic was the successor to
Mascot Pictures, a serial specialist. Writers and directors were already geared to staging exciting films, and Republic improved on Mascot, adding music to underscore the action, and staging more elaborate stunts. Republic was one of Hollywood's smaller studios, but its serials have been hailed as some of the best, especially those directed by John Englishand William Witney. In addition to solid screenwritingthat many critics thought was quite accomplished, the firm also introduced choreographed fistfights, which often included the stuntmen throwing things in desperation at one another in every fight to heighten the action. Republic serials are noted for outstanding special effects, such as large-scale explosions and demolitions, and the more fantastic visuals like Captain Marvel flying. Most of the trick scenes were engineered by Howard and Theodore Lydecker. Republic was able to get the rights to the newspaper comic character Dick Tracy, the radio character The Lone Ranger, and the comic book characters Captain America, Captain Marvel, and Spy Smasher. Republic's serial scripts were written by a team of up to seven writers. By 1950 Republic had amassed an impressive backlog of action highlights, which were cleverly re-edited into later serials to save money. Most of the studio's serials of the 1950s were written by only one man, Ronald Davidson-- Davidson had produced many serials, so he knew where all the old scenes were! Republic's last serial was " King of the Carnival" (1955), a reworking of 1939's " Daredevils of the Red Circle" using some of its footage.
Columbia made several serials using its own staff and facilities (1938-39, and 1943-45), but usually subcontracted its serial production to outside producers: the Weiss Brothers (1937-38), Larry Darmour (1939-42), and
Sam Katzman(1945-56). Columbia built many serials around name-brand heroes. From newspaper comics, they got Terry and the Pirates, Mandrake the Magician, The Phantom. and Brenda Starr, Reporter; from the comic books, Blackhawk, Congo Bill, a time traveler named Brick Bradford, and Batmanand Superman; from radio, Jack Armstrong, Hop Harrigan, and The Shadow; from the British novelist, Edgar Wallace, the first archer superhero: The Green Archer; and even from television: Captain Video. Columbia's early serials were very well received by audiences -- exhibitors voted " The Spider's Web" the number-one serial of the year. Former silent-serial director James W. Horneco-directed " The Spider's Web", and his work secured him a permanent position in Columbia's serial unit. Horne had been a comedy specialist in the 1930s, often working with Laurel and Hardy, and most of his Columbia serials are played tongue-in-cheek, with exaggerated villainy and improbable heroics (the hero will take on six men in a fistfight and "win"). After Horne's death in 1942, the studio's serial output was somewhat more sober, but still aimed primarily at the juvenile audience. " Batman" (1943) was quite popular, and " Superman" (1948) was phenomenally successful. Spencer Gordon Bennet, another silent-serial veteran, directed most of the later Columbia serials. His western-themed efforts were suitably accomplished, but Columbia cut corners in every respect until the quality of the serials suffered. Columbia also substituted animation for more expensive special effects. By the 1950s Columbia serials were low-budget affairs, consisting mostly of action scenes and cliffhanger endings from older productions, and even employing the same actors for new scenes tying the old footage together. Columbia outlasted the other serial producers, its last cliffhanger being " Blazing the Overland Trail", (1956), a threadbare melange of western footage from "three" older serials.
Many serials are now available on
DVD. Several, however, have only been issued on VHSand some are not available at all (either because they have been lost or due to lack of interest). A gray market for DVDs also exists through websites and internet auctions. These vary between good and poor quality, depending on their sources dependability.
Several serials are now in the public domain. These can often be downloaded legally over the internet or purchased as cheap DVDs. The list of public domain serials include:
Burn 'Em Up Barnes"
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe"
The Great Alaskan Mystery"
*"The Lost City"
The New Adventures of Tarzan"
The Phantom Empire"
Radar Men from the Moon"
Tarzan the Tiger"
Zorro's Black Whip"
Zorro's Fighting Legion"
elected film serials
elected serials of the Silent Era
What Happened to Mary?" (1912)
The Adventures of Kathlyn" (1913)
Fantomas" (1913) - ( Cinema of France)
* "The Perils of Pauline" (1914)
The Hazards of Helen" (1917)
The Exploits of Elaine" (1914)
Les Vampires" (1915) - ( Cinema of France)
The Ventures of Marguerite" (1915)
Les Mystères de New York" (1916)
Le Masque aux Dents Blanches" (1917)
* "Judex" (1917)
Casey of the Coast Guard" (1926)
Queen of the Northwoods" (1929) (Last serial from Pathé)
Tarzan the Tiger" (1929) (partial sound)
erials of the Golden Age of Serials [ [http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue04/infocus/introduction4.htm Images] - Golden Age of the Serial, retrieved 10th July 2007]
* "Ace Drummond" (1936)
* "Custer's Last Stand" (1936)
Darkest Africa" (1936)
* "Flash Gordon" (1936)
Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island" (1936)
Shadow of Chinatown" (1936)
* "The Adventures of Frank Merriwell" (1936)
The Clutching Hand" (1936)
The Black Coin" (1936)
* "The Phantom Rider" (1936)
The Vigilantes Are Coming" (1936)
Undersea Kingdom" (1936)
* "Blake of Scotland Yard" (1937)
* "Dick Tracy" (1937)
* "Jungle Jim" (1937)
Jungle Menace" (1937)
* "Radio Patrol" (1937)
S.O.S. Coast Guard" (1937)
* "Secret Agent X-9" (1937)
The Mysterious Pilot" (1937)
The Painted Stallion" (1937)
* "Tim Tyler's Luck" (1937)
Wild West Days" (1937)
Zorro Rides Again" (1937)
Dick Tracy Returns" (1938)
Flaming Frontiers" (1938)
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" (1938)
Hawk of the Wilderness" (1938)
* " Red Barry" (1938)
The Fighting Devil Dogs" (1938)
The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (1938)
* "The Lone Ranger" (1938)
The Secret of Treasure Island" (1938)
The Spider's Web" (1938)
* "Buck Rogers" (1939)
Daredevils of the Red Circle" (1939)
Dick Tracy's G-Men" (1939)
Flying G-Men" (1939)
* "Mandrake the Magician" (1939)
Overland with Kit Carson" (1939)
Scouts to the Rescue" (1939)
The Lone Ranger Rides Again" (1939)
* "The Oregon Trail" (1939)
The Phantom Creeps" (1939)
Zorro's Fighting Legion" (1939)
Adventures of Red Ryder" (1940)
* "Deadwood Dick" (1940)
Drums of Fu Manchu" (1940)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" (1940)
* "Junior G-Men" (1940)
* "King of the Royal Mounted" (1940)
Mysterious Doctor Satan" (1940)
* "Terry and the Pirates" (1940)
* "The Green Archer" (1940)
* "The Green Hornet" (1940)
The Green Hornet Strikes Again" (1940)
* "The Shadow" (1940)
* "Winners of the West" (1940)
Adventures of Captain Marvel" (1941)
Dick Tracy vs Crime Inc" (1941)
Holt of the Secret Service" (1941)
Jungle Girl" (1941)
King of the Texas Rangers" (1941)
Riders of Death Valley" (1941)
Sea Raiders" (1941)
Sky Raiders" (1941)
The Iron Claw" (1941)
The Spider Returns" (1941)
* "White Eagle" (1941)
Captain Midnight" (1942)
Don Winslow of the Navy" (1942)
Gang Busters" (1942)
Junior G-Men of the Air" (1942)
King of the Mounties" (1942)
Overland Mail" (1942)
Perils of Nyoka" (1942)
Perils of the Royal Mounted" (1942)
* "Spy Smasher" (1942)
* "The Secret Code" (1942)
The Valley of Vanishing Men" (1942)
Adventures of the Flying Cadets" (1943)
* "Batman" (1943)
Daredevils of the West" (1943)
Don Winslow of the Coast Guard" (1943)
G-Men vs The Black Dragon" (1943)
Secret Service in Darkest Africa" (1943)
* "The Adventures of Smilin' Jack" (1943)
The Masked Marvel" (1943)
* "The Phantom" (1943)
* "Black Arrow" (1944)
Captain America" (1944)
Haunted Harbor" (1944)
Raiders of Ghost City" (1944)
The Desert Hawk" (1944)
The Great Alaskan Mystery" (1944)
Mystery of the River Boat" (1944)
* "The Tiger Woman" (1944)
Zorro's Black Whip" (1944)
Brenda Starr, Reporter" (1945)
Federal Operator 99" (1945)
* "Jungle Queen" (1945)
Jungle Raiders" (1945)
Manhunt of Mystery Island" (1945)
* "Secret Agent X-9" (1945)
* "The Master Key" (1945)
The Monster and the Ape" (1945)
The Purple Monster Strikes" (1945)
The Royal Mounted Rides Again" (1945)
Who's Guilty?" (1945)
Other notable serials
The King of the Kongo" (1929) - First serial with sound (a Mascot production)
The Mysterious Mr. M" (1946) - Last serial from Universal
King of the Carnival" (1955) - Last serial from Republic
Blazing the Overland Trail" (1956) - Last ever serial (a Columbia production)
Pulp magazines, a contemporary, and similar, form of serialised fiction
* Robert K. Klepper, "Silent Films, 1877-1996, A Critical Guide to 646 Movies", McFarland & Company, ISBN 0786421649
* Lahue, Kalton C. "Bound and Gagged: The Story of the Silent Serials." New York: Castle Books 1968.
* Lahue, Kalton C. "Continued Next Week : A History of the Moving Picture Serial." Norman. University of Oklahoma Press. 1969
* [http://www.serialexperience.com/ The Serial Experience]
* [http://www.serialsquadron.com/ Serial Squadron]
* [http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/indexes/serials.html Silent Era] , Index of Silent Era Serials
* [http://www.inthebalcony.com/ In The Balcony]
* [http://www.archiveclassicmovies.com/ Archive Classic Movies]
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