Friday, April 12, 2013

Buster Crabbe Conquers The Serials

I've been naturally thinking more about movie serials since I started Continued Next Week! - probably more than I ever had in the past. Thanks to pal David at Xenorama, I've recently been watching THE LOST CITY. I'm debating whether I want to write about that little gem when I finish it. Point is, I've been taking time to consider the genre as a whole a lot lately.

I was recently struck by a surprising realization about serials. Republic Pictures is the studio synonymous with movie serials, and they produced 66 of them (or 67, depending on how you count) from 1936 to 1955. Meanwhile, one man is identified with serials above all others. That's Buster Crabbe, and he appeared in an amazing nine different ones. But would believe it? Crabbe never made a single serial for Republic!

Buster Crabbe's nine movie serials:

TARZAN THE FEARLESS (Principal, 1933)
FLASH GORDON (Universal, 1936)
FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS (Universal, 1938)
RED BARRY (Universal, 1938)
BUCK ROGERS (Universal, 1939)
FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE (Universal, 1940)
THE SEA HOUND (Columbia, 1947)
PIRATES OF THE HIGH SEAS (Columbia, 1950)
KING OF THE CONGO (Columbia, 1952)

It seems very counter-intuitive, but the actor most identified with serials never appeared in one for the studio most identified with the form.

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