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The Shadow of the Eagle

USA 1932
produced by
Nat Levine for Mascot
directed by Ford L. Beebe
starring John Wayne, Dorothy Gulliver, Edward Hearn, Richard Tucker, Lloyd Whitlock, Walter Miller, Edmund Burns, Pat O'Malley, Kenneth Harlan, Little Billy Rhodes, Ivan Linow, James Bradbury jr, Ernie Adams, Roy D'Arcy, Bud Osborne, Yakima Canutt, Billy West, Monte Montague
written by Ford L. Beebe, Colbert Clark, Wyndham Gittens, musical director: Lee Zahler

serial

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The board of directors (Richard Tucker, Lloyd Whitlock, Walter Miller, Edmund Burns, Pat O'Malley, Kenneth Harlan) are threatened (and sometimes murdered) by a mysterious villain who calls himself the Eagle, who writes threatening messages into the sky via airplanes, and who every now and again bumps one of the directors off. The directors immediately suspect carnival owner Gregory (Edward Hearn) to be the Eagle, their air force buddy in World War I who was then known as the Eagle and who accuses them of having stolen an invention from him. And when it's found out that the allegedly wheelchair-bound Gregory isn't paralyzed at all, the directors are almost sure - and furthermore they accuse Craig (John Wayne), Gregory's closest ally, to be in league with the Eagle, and before long they even pin a murder on him.

But even as a wanted man, Craig does everything in his power to clear his boss's name, helped by Gregory's daughter Jean (Dorothy Gulliver), Kelly the carnival barker (Ernie Adams), the midget (Little Billy Rhodes), the strongman (Ivan Linow) and the ventriloquist (James Bradbury jr) - who are such loyal allies that Kelly at one point goes to prison for a murder Craig is said to have committed (though neither of the two actually had).

The plot soon leads to the usual chases by foot and by car, through streets, across the country and over rooftops - until it is found out that the directors haven't actually stolen the invention from Gregory, Kelly has sold it to them having believed Gregory's dead. That though now makes Kelly the prime target of the Eagle, but Craig - whose name in the meantime has been cleared as well as that of Gregory - sets a trap for the villain, who ultimately turns out to be one of the directors who wanted to make the others to sell out to him, and his skywriting he did via a remnote-controlled airplane, as to always have an alibi ...

 

Typical Mascot serial: The plot is over-convoluted, doesn't always make perfect sense and contains quite a few cheats and plotholes - but as usual that hardly matters, the whole thing is fast paced and delivers the goods concerning action to keep the audience happy. Sure, the serial is made rather on the cheap, and especially the skywriting effects are ratehr pathetic, but at the same time it has a certain naive charm, and if you are into low budget 1930's action, this one might just be your thing.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD