Zorro cracks the whip in this nail-biting 12 Episode Republic Serial. Hang on to your saddles as Zorro fights one of Cinemas greatest bad men (Noah Beery Sr.) for control of a railroad. Load your six-shooter, mount Old P... more »aint, take a deep breath and scre« less
"I wish I could give this DVD a favorable review. Unfortunately, I cannot. If you are expecting the Zorro of the 1820's of Southern California who fought against tyranny, you won't find him here. Nor will you find the Capitan or Sgt. Garcia. This is the story of Zorro's descendant. *cough* The acting leaves much to be desired. So does the script. His Zorro costume is not what I expected. The mask is pathetic. It doesn't look like the Zorro mask most of us know it to be. The picture on the cover is misleading. You're better off watching the Disney version of Zorro starring Guy Williams. Sorry to sound so harsh, but I am sorry I wasted my money on this DVD."
"The King of Serials...VCI Entertainment ~ Zorro's Cliffhang
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 11/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"VCI Entertainment and Republic Pictures present three outstanding serials with 36 Chapters starting with "Zorro Rides Again" (1937)..."Zorro's Fighting Legion" (1939) and "Zorro's Black Whip" (1944) (Dolby digitally remastered), exciting Chapters of vintage serials loaded with thrilling drama and high adventure sequences....there is a great deal of entertainment here for the cliffhanger fans out there... It has more of everything with lots of action, hard riding chases and plenty of shootouts...Republic Pictures stuntman assistant director Yakima Canutt and his department of stunt people Tom Steele, Dale Van Sickel, Babe DeFreest, Helen Thurston, James Fawcett, Ted Mapes, Ken Terrell make every scene and episode a cliffhanger...each episode gets closer to the climatic ending, watch this and relive those thrilling yesteryears of the Saturday Matinee.
First up with Disc One is "Zorro Rides Again" (1937)...12 Chapters under director's John English and William Witney, producer Sol C. Siegel, with screenplay by Franklin Adreon, Johnston McCulley, Morgan Cox, Barry Shipman...the cast include John Carroll (James Vega/Zorro), Helen Christian (Joyce Andrews), Reed Howes (Phillip Andrews), Duncan Renaldo (Renaldo), Noah Beery (J.A. Marsden), Richard Alexander (Brad 'El Lobo' Dace), Bob Kortman ( Trelliger - Henchman), Jack Ingram (Carter - Henchman), Edmund Cobb (Time-bomb - Henchman), Tom London (O'Shea), Lane Chandler (Malloy)...one of the best serials that Republic Pictures produced during the '30s...loaded with six gun action, railroad explosions and airplanes...a winning combination as this formula worked very well...the musical scores are wonderful and John Carroll is great as the Zorro of today... the rest of the cast gives their all especially Duncan Renaldo (Cisco Kid of the '50s TV series) playing an older servant of the Vega family, when he was the same age of our hero John Carroll...after watching this DVD there is no doubt that Republic Pictures was the King of Serials.
CHAPTER TITLES: (Disc One) (Zorro Rides Again) 1. Death from the Sky 2. The Fatal Minute 3. Juggernaut 4. Unmasked 5. Sky Pirate 6. The Fatal Shot 7. Burning Embers 8. Plunge of Peril 9. Tunnel of Terror 10.Trapped 11.Right of Way 12.Retribution
SPECIAL FEATURES: (Disc One) VCI BIOS: 1. Reed Howes 2. Helen Christian 3. William Witney (Director) 4. John English (Director) VCI SERIAL TRAILERS: (Disc One) 1. Zorro Rides Again (John Carroll) 2. Adventures of Red Ryder (Don "Red" Barry)
Disc Two and second the this triple bill is "Zorro's Fighting Legion" (1939), 12 episodes of the best of Zorro chapterplays with the great directing team of John English and William Witney, producer Hiram S. Brown Jr, screenplay by Franklin Adreon, Ronald Davidson, Morgan Cox, Barney A. Sarecky, Sol Shor...the cast include Reed Hadley (Don Diego Vega/Zorro), Sheila Darcy (Volita), William Corson (Ramon), Leander De Cordova (Gov. Felipe), Carleton Young (Benito Juarez), James Pierce (Moreno - Henchman), Guy D'Ennery (Don Francisco), John Merton (Commandante Manuel ), Charles King (Valdez - Henchman), Bud Geary (Dungeon thug), Reed Howes (Trooper), Clayton Moore (Fernando), Yakima Canutt (Trooper, also the ace stuntman coordinator of Republic)...the story line has our favorite legendary masked swordsman Zorro escaping a variety of deathtraps, including exploding barns, runaway elevators and avalanches...will Zorro thwart the evil leader Don Del Oro from taking over and ruling Mexico...who is this mystery villain that will keep us guessing until Chapter 12...awesome stuntwork, veteran villians and character actors abound...exciting screenplay with a catchy musical score that stays with you for days...don't pass this one up.
CHAPTER TITLES: (Disc Two) (Zorro's Fighting Legion) 1. The Golden God 2. The Flaming "Z" 3. Descending Doom 4. The Bridge of Peril 5. The Decoy 6. Zorro to the Rescue 7. The Fugitive 8. Flowing Death 9. The Golden Arrow 10.Mystery Wagon 11.Face to Face 12.Unmasked
BIOS: (Disc Two) 1. Reed Hadley 2. Sheila Darcy 3. John English (Director) 4. William Witney (Director)
VCI Promos: (Disc Two) 1. Stories of the Century (featuring Jim Davis - based on official newspaper files & records) 2. I Married Joan (Joan Davis & Jim Backus) 3. Terry & the Pirates (TV Series) 4. My Little Margie (Gale Storm as Margie & Charles Farrell as Vern)
Disc Three and the final feature of this triple bill is "Zorro's Black Whip" (1940), another great directorial team of Spencer Gordon Bennet and Wallace Grissell, producer Ronald Davidson, screenplay by Basil Dickey, Jesse Duffy, Johnston McCulley, Grant Nelson, Joseph F. Poland... the cast include Linda Stirling (Barbara Meredith - The Black Whip), George J. Lewis (Vic Gordon), Francis McDonald (Dan Hammond), Lucien Littlefield (Tenpoint Jackson), Wally Wales (aka Hal Taliaferro - is Baxter), John Merton (Ed Harris - Henchman), Tom London (Commissioner James Bradley), Jack Kirk (Marshal Wetherby), Jay Kirby (Randolph Meredith), Tom Steele (Ed - Henchman, also double for Wally Wales stuntman), Dale Van Sickel (Rock, also double for George J. Lewis), Helen Thurston (stunt double) and Babe DeFreest (double for Linda Stirling stunt woman)...the plot goes something like this will Idaho become a state of the union or can Hammond stop this with violence and bloodshed...after Randolph Meredith is killed will his sister Barbara take up "The Black Whip"...can government agent Vic Gordon shut down the efforts of Hammond and be of service to "The Black Whip"... a few behind the scenes info with leading the call for justice is serial queen Linda Stirling (Tiger Woman 1944), Mexican born George J. Lewis was picked for the male lead (who mainly play villians throughout his film and television career) and Francis MacDonald who appeared in numerous Hopalong Cassidy, Red Ryder and Rocky Lane films as an outlaw, sheriff, banker and Indian...in any Republic Serial it's always nice to have second unit direction by stunt-man extraordinaireYakima Canutt...this is the type of Saturday Matinee serials I ran to the local theater to see everyweek and came home with the neighborhood kids and played out "Zorro's Black Whip" the rest of the week...gotta love it!
CHAPTER TITLES: (Disc Three) (Zorro's Black Whip) 1. The Masked Avenger 2. Tomb of Terror 3. Mob Murder 4. Detour to Death 5. Take Off That Mask! 6. Fatal Gold 7. Wolf Pack 8. The Invisible Victim 9. Avalanche 10.Fangs of Doom 11.Flaming Juggernaut 12.Trail of Tyranny
BIOS: (Disc Three) 1. Linda Stirling 2. George J. Lewis 3. Spencer Gordon Bennet (Director) 4. Wallace Grissell (Director)
VCI CliffHanger Promo: (Disc Three) 1. Zorro's Black Whip (Linda Stirling & George J. Lewis) (Previews & Coming Attractions) 2. S.O.S. Coast Guard (Ralph Byrd as Lieut. Terry Kent, Bela Lugosi as Boroff and Richard Alexander as Thorg)
Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more of the same from the '40s vintage serial days...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment, stay tuned once again with a top notch serial from VCI...just the way we like 'em!
Total Time: 603 mins on 3 DVD's ~ VCI Entertainment 8342 ~ (12/16/2003)"
In A Time When There Were No Shades Of Gray ...
D. Reinstein | Fairfax, CA USA | 04/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a child of the 1950's, I spent many a Saturday at the local movie house where, for a quarter, we were out of our mothers' hair for a big chunk of the day being entertained, generally, by a program that included some previews, a couple of cartoons, two features and an old serial chapter, often from the 1930's. These were often my favorite parts! It was how I discovered things like Gene Autry and his horseback good-guys battling underground aliens from the planet of Moravia, etc. Long before Disney's version of Zorro (starring Guy Madison) hit TV, I learned about Zorro and his Robin Hood-esque exploits in the old Republic serials shown then. This DVD, packaged and sold by Marengo Films (www.marengofilms.com), covers one of the many 12-chapter Zorro serials produced by Republic Studios -this one back in 1939.
Starring Duncan Reynaldo as the double sided hero (only unrecognizable behind his mask by the same folks who couldn't see that Clark Kent was Superman in a suit and tie), John Carrol and Reid Howes - and delightfully flourished by one of the black and white screens truly great bad guys, Noah Beery, Jr., the plot revolves around control of a railroad. The plot is less important, I think, than the ways in which this serial masterfully represents an entire, and now obsolete, genre of what were called cliffhangers. As each chapter ends, Zorro (or his love interest played by Helen Christian) is in some imminent jeopardy - literally about to fall off a cliff, be run over by a train, be hung by the nasty Commandante or about to be skewered by the maladept Sgt. Garcia - Yet, each new chapter begins similarly to the way the one before it ended - but just differently enough to allow for a quick but definitive escape from the likely demise suggested by the previous ending. Thus the formula for the serials.
Also characteristic of this type of matinee entertainment - whether shown when first produced in the 1930's or when I saw them as a kid in the 1950s or as a DVD here in the 21st Century- is that in these black and whites there is no gray. The Commandante is not just bad, he is ALL bad . Zorro and his sidekick are not just good, they are ALL good. As kids, I suppose what we learned was that no one wore gray hats - they were black or white - that the world was populated with really good people and really bad ones. Today, as naive as that compartmentalization appears, it is informative historically. Even Hollywood has relegated most of such clearly dichotomous narratives to the world of animation - and even there, crossover can sometimes be found between the good and the bad. But, in Zorro Rides Again there is no question about it.
Nothing can be viewed clearly or understood separate from it's context. Thus it is with this serial. By today's standards, the stagings are primitive, the dialogue unsophisticated and the plot development entirely predictable. While these characteristics would, if applied to any contemporary film effort, result in truckloads or earned criticism, in this 1939 serial - produced as Europe was deeply immersed in the evil that was Nazi Germany and as the United States struggled to eschew military involvement- the simplifications make sense and are reflective of the mores, beliefs and entertainment needs of the public at the time.
Directed for Republic by William Whitney and John English, the 12 chapters run back-to-back for a total of 210 minutes. Keep in mind though, that this is NOT how they were intended to be seen. As first offered to the public, the intent was for people to leave the theater and go back to living a full week of their real lives between each and every episode. I haven't taken the time to watch it that way - but, now that I think about it, it might be fun! "
A Whip Cracking Great DVD
J. Lovins | 04/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Serial takes you back to the good old days of Buckaroo's and fun-filled shoot-em'-ups. If you like cliff-hangers this DVD is for you. Zorro truly does ride again.The print is superb and Marengo Films has done an excellent sound design. You will not be disappointed."
ZORRO DOES RIDE AGAIN - ON A GREAT DVD
Craig H. Cosgray | DALLAS, TEXAS USA | 05/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Marengo Films spent a lot of time and money to restore this Serial to a pristine state. THERE IS NO FINER PRINT OF THIS SERIAL ON THE MARKET... WE GUARANTEE IT. We appreicate your business and your honest feedback.