"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
5. Sky Pirate
6. The Fatal Shot
7. Burning Embers
8. Plunge of Peril
9. Tunnel of Terror
11.Right of Way
SPECIAL FEATURES: (Disc One)
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
11.Face to Face
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
10.Fangs of Doom
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)"
dfwcrow | Quispamsis, N.B. Canada | 06/09/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Adapted from the serial or not this was an action serial and belongs to those days, Don't compare and you will enjoy. I didn't like Zorro singing, Yakima Canutt did all the stunt work and they cheated the kids on some the cliffhanger endings, but it was an enjoyable one with a good story line."
ZORRO LOVERS THIS MOVIE ROCKS
Brad Sprentz (firstname.lastname@example.org) | US | 10/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This action packed zorro movie is one of the best movies i ever saw.It has great stunts and lots of gun shooting.I hope you buy this film (you will love it). -Brad Sprentz"
I'M GLAD TO KNOW THIS GREAT SERIAL IS FINALLY ON DVD
MICHAEL TAYLOR | RICHMOND, VA USA | 08/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"CRIMINALS TRY TO STOP THE CALIFORNIA RAILROAD LINE, SO THE OWNER CALLS IN THE GREAT GRANDSON OF THE LEGENDARY ZORRO. VERY GOOD SERIAL. THIS 12 CHAPTER SERIAL IS VERY GOOD. HAS PLENTY OF ACTION, AND PLENTY OF GOOD SHOOTOUTS. IF YOU LIKE ZORRO OR IF YOU'RE JUST A FAN OF SERIALS, YOU'LL LOVE THIS ONE. GET THIS ONE NOW! ALSO, CHECK OUT ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGION."