The Serial Squadron Cinema Cliffhanger Archive

WELCOME TO SERIAL SQUADRON HEADQUARTERS!
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The Serial Squadron is a multimedia archive -- the home on the web of the original (male and female) cinema action heroes, and our goal is to preserve and restore and make available for viewing or study the jungle, mystery, western and sci-fi cliffhangers that inspired STAR WARS and the Hollywood superhero blockbusters of today.


We are a soon-to-be non-profit library/archive supported by enthusiasts of the form, historians, and in cooperation with the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, the Library of Congress, and private collectors, which restores, repairs, and re-creates movie and audio serials in video, audio, and printed form which are not now available or have never been been commercially released by studios or legitimately licensed rightsholders.

UPCOMING ARCHIVE EDITION: PREORDER

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COMING SOON
THE GREAT SERIAL

SPY SMASHER
Blu-Ray/DL-DVD
EXTRA SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION

Featuring
KANE RICHMOND
as the famous Fawcett Comics Hero
MARGUERITE CHAPMAN
and HANS SCHUMM as The Mask
Directed by WILLIAM WITNEY


The fan-favorite serial in a new HD transfer by Dino Everett at the USC Hefner Moving Image Archive and restored by Eric Stedman of the Squadron, for the first time on 1440 x 1080 Blu-Ray. Really.

This is not the end-all greatest digital video version of SPY SMASHER which could ever possibly exist, what it is is a new HD digital transfer from the Squadron's 16mm print,with improved sharpness, motion and audio in comparison to the old 1990s VHS version. SPY SMASHER remains, however, one of the most exciting and masterfully directed and produced sound cliffhanger serials ever made and an action-adventure masterpiece--the second comic book hero movie ever made, and still, possibly, the best--and this version will be sharper and clearer than any version on video you have seen before.

This transfer is complete, splice-free and very good quality and suitable for viewing on large-screen TVs. It also contains fixes of some errors which were present in all past video versions & apparently in the 1942 Republic original. There is a little dust in some of the early chapter openings but no lines or scratches in the transfer at all; the picture quality is very good to excellent throughout, reflecting the quality of the print from which it was transferred.

Preorder SPY SMASHER now
for delivery later this month or early July.

PREORDER BLU-RAY

The Blu-Ray version of this title is recommended as it has much smoother motion and twice the sharpness of the DVD edition.


PREORDER DVD

In order to help us keep accurate records, and because it will ship on its own when it is complete, please do not combine your preorder with orders for any other titles, thank you.

ANNOUNCING THE LATEST SQUADRON DVD RELEASES/ARCHIVE ADDITIONS
Please note that there are two shopping carts on this site.
Titles with
orange BUY IT NOW buttons are mostly Dual Layer DVDs.
Titles with
grey buttons are 2-DVD sets which have not yet been converted to DL format.
Titles of either sort may be combined with others of the same type in a single order but not mixed.

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THE BART ROMANS COLLECTION
SERIAL FEATURE VERSIONS VOL. 1 & 2
2-DL DVD Set

Including DOCTOR SATAN'S ROBOT THE BARON'S AFRICAN WAR LOST ISLAND OF KIOGA SPYSMASHER RETURNS TORPEDO OF DOOM NYOKA AND THE LOST SECRETS OF HIPPOCRATES

Longtime serial collector and Squadron member Bart "Barcroft" Romans has dev0ted a great deal of effort to finding the best transfers he could of the Century 66 titles and generously made his collection of Republic serial feature versions available to the Squadron. This 10-hour 2-DL-DVD edition collects 6 of those 1 hour 40 minute features.

Please Note:
This is NOT a typical Squadron DVD collection as it is not sourced from new transfers from film. The video sources for these features vary and are all VHS-to-DVD image resolution. The quality here is basically complete and watchable, "good to very good," but unrestored and so best suited for viewing for reference and on smaller TV screens or computers/tablets, not larger TVs. We are offering these titles, though, as the content has never been commercially released in any form and the features are extremely difficult to find yet often requested by fans & researchers.

Thanks to Bart for sharing these with us. Volumes 3 and 4 with 6 more titles will follow later on.


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NEW BOOK
THE ADVENTURES OF
SPY SMASHER
IN THE COMICS AND THE MOVIES


A 250 Page Serial Squadron
"Cliffhanger Companion" Book

Includes:

History of Spy Smasher
Spy Smasher in the Comics
Spy Smasher's Greatest Foes
3 Spy Smasher Comic Book Stories

The Story of the Serial
Chapter Summaries/Lobby Cards
Cast Biographies
Still Photos Gallery
Costumes/Props
Pressbook Ad Cuts

and
The complete 113 page illustrated dime action novel
restored:
Spy Smasher and the Red Death


This book is ready to order & shipping now. Click this link to get your copy!

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THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN KIDD
DL-DVD

Featuring
JOHN CRAWFORD
and RICHARD CRANE


A 15 chapter cliffhanger actually set in the days of swashbucklers and privateers. Two men are charged with finding out whether the infamous Captain Kidd is a pirate hunter or whether he has turned pirate himself--and if he has, to capture him and bring him back to England for trial. This ambitious low-budget costume epic is unique and one of the most entertaining later American movie serials. It makes good use of existing seaworthy sets, costumes and stock footage. This transfer was donated to the Squadron and resolution is not perfect but the picture is very clean, stable and splice-free.


View Chapter 1: "Pirate vs. Man-of-War"
View Chapter 2: "The Fatal Shot"

15 Episodes / Black and White
Very good quality video & audio
Dual-layer DVD
SHIPPING NOW
This archive title is not available for commercial distribution.

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DESPERADOES
OF THE WEST

DL-DVD


Featuring
RICHARD POWERS
ROY BARCROFT
and I. STANFORD JOLLEY


A group of courageous ranchers under the leadership of Colonel Arnold and Ward Gordon, engaged in the cooperative project of drilling an oil well, is receiving fierce opposition from an unknown bandit gang. In fact, J. B. Dawson, a smooth-talking easterner, is the head of the outlaws. He is out to prevent the co-op from striking oil before its lease expires so he can secure the property for himself, although in town he positions himself as the representative of a local syndicate. He hires strong-arm men Larson and Hacker to commit a series of murders, including the co-op's driller, to prevent the completion of the well. Plenty of action follows as Dawson's men attempt to blow up a derrick and bullets from the outlaws detonate the dynamite . . .

View Chapter 1: "Tower of Jeopardy"


12 Episodes / Black and White
Excellent Quality Picture & Sound
Dual-layer DVD
SHIPPING NOW
This archive title is not available for commercial distribution.

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(SLIGHTLY) UPGRADED
KING OF THE MOUNTIES
DL-DVD
Featuring ALLAN LANE
and ANTHONY WARDE
Directed by WILLIAM WITNEY


Sergeant King of the Mounties faces three high-level agents, one from each of the Axis powers, who harass the Canadian population with bombing raids by a vertical-takeoff plane that takes off from their volcano headquarters and seems to come from nowhere.

This would have been the second serial to feature Spy Smasher but was rewritten to include Sgt. King of the RCMP. It is extremely well-produced and full of constant thrilling and skillfully-directed and edited action.

It has been given a new cover, converted to DL-DVD and upgraded to include the previously missing Chapter 3 takeout and also a preview (Chapter 1) of the upcoming SPY SMASHER DVD.

A print of this serial with full audio has not yet been available so all missing music and sound effects have been replaced in this edition and subtitles added for missing dialogue. Watch the sample chapter to see the final effect of the audio restoration on a chapter missing reels of sound.

DVD Contents (2 DVD set; Contains chapters 1-12, missing reel 1 of Ch. 3 which has been reconstructed)

Order Dual-Layer DVD
(Entire serial on 1 disk, full quality)
12 Episodes / Black and White
Restored picture and audio
SHIPPING NOW

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PIRATE TREASURE
Featuring RICHARD TALMADGE
WILLIAM DESMOND
and WALTER MILLER

DL-DVD

Champion flyer Dick Moreland uses his prize money for a groundbreaking flight to finance an expedition to a remote island where his pirate ancestor is said to have buried a million dollars in gold. Brassett, a crooked lawyer and member of the Aero Club tricks Moreland into accepting him along with his band of crooks on the voyage to the island and constant battles ensue as the various factions fight over control of the loot, and avoid hostile natives on the island as well.

Talmadge was a master of his trade who performed stunts for Douglas Fairbanks and this serial shows off his amazing abilities.


12 Episodes / Black and White
3 hours 48 minutes
Restored picture and audio
Dual-layer DVD
SHIPPING NOW
This archive title is not available for commercial distribution.

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PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT


These titles have been scheduled for restoration in 2019 and in various stages of production.

If you have a film print of a serial for which no high quality transfer exists that you would like to see us restore, please contact us.

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COMMERCIAL BLU-RAY/DVD LINKS


Here are links to
FLASH GORDON, ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, COMMANDO CODY and other currently available high quality commercial serial releases. We do not work on titles which have been released commercially by studios or those which have received legitimate distribution by secondary agencies.

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SERIAL SQUADRON DVDs

This is the index page to the Squadron DVD collection of restorations produced since 2002, when Squadron members raised funds to publish the first-ever serial on DVD, ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGION (now being remastered). Archive titles are not available commercially, only to those who request copies from this site. Restorations of public domain titles are available for redistribution/quantity discount.

SQUADRON NEWS

WEBSITE UPDATES
Coming Soon: The new Squadron Members' Area where complete serials can be watched online

AND the return of the Squadron
Cliffhanger Chat Room!

DVD/PUBLICATION UPDATES

PIRATE TREASURE
THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN KIDD
and
DESPERADOES OF THE WEST
are available now.

The
SPY SMASHER Book will ship Thursday May 30; then the Blu Ray

Then
SON OF THE GUARDSMAN
JUST ADDED & AVAILABLE NOW ON DL-DVD:
MANHUNT OF MYSTERY ISLAND (With color-toned Chapter 1)
DARKEST AFRICA
THE TRAIL OF THE OCTOPUS
THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK
THE PHANTOM EMPIRE
KING OF THE TEXAS RANGERS
JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN
THE JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI

THE VANISHING SHADOW
THE RED RIDER
SECRET OF TREASURE ISLAND
KING OF THE MOUNTIES
TRAIL OF THE OCTOPUS
DEADWOOD DICK
THE LONE RANGER
THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN


LIVE EVENTS
A new SerialFest event is in the early stages of planning and if/when produced will feature presentation of "lost serials" on the big screen. Date and location TBA.

MOVIE THEATER

Enter the name for this tabbed section: THE SPIDER'S WEB
Enter the name for this tabbed section: CAPTAIN KIDD
Enter the name for this tabbed section: DESPERADOES OF THE WEST
Enter the name for this tabbed section: PIRATE TREASURE
Enter the name for this tabbed section: BOB BURNS: ROCKETMAN
Enter the name for this tabbed section: THE VANISHING SHADOW
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Visit the Squadron Youtube channel to watch additional episodes

INDEX OF ALL SERIAL SQUADRON RESTORATIONS
Available or In Production

All our serials on DVD are restored for picture/and or sound quality, mostly from original film prints, and some are also newly scored, stabilized, reconstructed, and often include extras.

MORE TITLES IN PRODUCTION
COMING SOON ON BLU-RAY, DVD AND IN PRINT

Coming May 2016

THE SQUADRON GUIDE TO
THE MOVIE SERIALS

A 400 page book which includes concise descriptions of every cliffhanger serial and film series from 1912-1956, listed in order of release date, stills from hundreds of rare titles, feature versions and re-releases, TV cliffhangers, serial merchandise, serials on videotape and DVD, serial novelizations, big little books, comics, even sheet music. Created to be a useful, handy reference no cliffhanger serial fan will want to be without!

SPECIAL PROJECT NEWS
UP TO $4000 VALUE REWARD
For original audio from the 1929 Mascot serial
THE KING OF THE KONGO


The Serial Squadron, Grapevine Video and Sara Karloff will be joining forces soon to produce a new restoration of the 1929 part-sound serial
The King of the Kongo featuring Walter Miller and Boris Karloff.

Dialogue sequences for this serial were recorded on Vitaphone disks, some of which may be lost forever, and some of which are in the hands of private collectors. Missing dialogue will be included in the release in newly dubbed and in optional subtitle-view form. But the more original audio that can be included on this DVD, the better the final result will be and the more delighted film fans who will be able to view the serial in more complete form than ever before.

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Anyone contributing original audio recordings to this project will receive:

  • Credit on the DVD in the opening titles as a primary contributor
  • $200 value in (10) finished DVDs per contributed recording, for a total possible maximum reward of $4000 worth of DVDs
  • The opportunity to take the finished restoration to film festivals and introduce it to the world by showing it for the first time.
If you know anyone who has access to original recordings of audio tracks from this serial please encourage him (or her) to contribute to this project and gain the appreciation of classic film and movie serial fans everywhere for sharing content others would so much like to see (and hear). Or, if you have access to recordings yourself, please contact Production Coordinator John Ellis (video effects professional and restoration director for the STEVE CANYON TV series) to contribute to the project, help put this serial back together and collect your reward!

This project is endorsed by Boris Karloff's daughter Sara Karloff, who will be contributing to the release and will also greatly appreciate any contributions.


Help complete this digital restoration, become a permanent part of film history, and gain the eternal appreciation of the classic film community!

Contact johnellis.lsfx@serialsquadron.com or serialhq@aol.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS

You can SUBSCRIBE and receive the latest Serial Squadron DVDs as soon as they are published. Visit the PATREON SERIAL SQUADRON VIP SUBSCRIBER PAGE for more details!

ABOUT THE SERIAL SQUADRON

It is our mission at the Squadron to preserve and restore the rarest of all historical theatrical cliffhanger movie serials of 1912-1956 and related series films and create restored editions of serials as yet unseen by the general public, or which are only viewable in poor or incomplete condition, and to keep all these titles available for purposes of historical research, study, remembrance value or to be seen by new audiences unfamiliar with the content. Most titles here come from new transfers done from original films and include restored picture and sound. Silent titles include new scores and missing content in any serial is re-created or summarized. Subscribers help us continue to restore new titles and when special projects surface we sometimes use pledge drives to help fund restorations.
The Squadron also publishes
novelizations of lost serials and serial-related comics.
And some lost serials have been re-created as audio dramas and more will be presented in that form as time goes on.

Note: EVERYTHING here is an "upgrade." We will offer NO DVD copy of a serial that we believe exists in better condition anywhere else. We also do not copy studio releases of serials here, period; we do our own work and restorations. And if a studio makes a serial available commercially we will remove it from our list.

Section 108 of the Copyright Act permits libraries and archives to make certain uses of copyrighted materials in order to serve the public and ensure the availability of works over time. Among other things, Section 108 provides limited exceptions for libraries and archives to make copies in specified instances for preservation, replacement and patron access. Section 108 was enacted as part of the Copyright Act of 1976, then amended in 1998 by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act, and in 2005 by the Preservation of Orphan Works Act.

In accordance with current copyright law, no serials will be listed here unless they are public domain and/or more than 75 years old or in their last 20 years of a copyright term and not currently available as a commercial video product by a studio or legitimately licensed rights holder (if any). Copies of orphaned serials in which we have invested time and funds to preserve and restore are (legally) available to the public from this archive in accordance with Section 108 of the US Copyright law which states that “for preservation, scholarship or research, libraries or archives may reproduce, distribute, display or perform published works in their last 20 years of copyright if the work is not subject to commercial exploitation and cannot be obtained at a fair price.”


SQUADRON RESTORATIONS CONTAINING ORIGINAL CONTENT ARE NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN. BUY FROM THIS SITE OR LICENSED VENDORS ONLY

We have regrettably recently received reports of unlicensed vendors selling copies of copyrighted Squadron DVDs at conventions, in email lists, and on websites, including THE HOPE DIAMOND MYSTERY and even advertising illegal copies for sale in periodicals. Only Peter C. Walther of Rome NY, Norman Kietzer and the Lone Ranger Fan Club are licensed as a secondary distributors of Squadron DVDs so please do not order or purchase copies of Squadron publications from ANY other vendors; if you do you may be purchasing stolen property. Squadron restorations of public domain works are actively and legitimately copyrighted as "new versions" or derivative works, they are not public domain, even if their source material may be. Read about copyrights on derivative works at the Library of Congress. We reserve the right to register a copyright infringement complaint with the FBI, take legal action for damages, or file a charge of theft against any vendor selling copyrighted Squadron works without permission.
By ordering a copy of one of the restored public domain titles you agree to respect its copyright as a new version of a public domain work by the Squadron and not to copy or resell the DVD. In regards to orphaned (abandoned) titles, you agree that you are a writer, reviewer, historian, or library and research, review, or study is your purpose in requesting a copy of any of these films which we have taken pains to restore to as close to their original condition as possible.


"I AM THE SERIAL. I am the black sheep of the picture family and the reviled of critics.
I am the soulless one with no moral, no character, no uplift. All I do is try to amuse.
I am ashamed. Because I have so many friends I wonder if there is not some good in me.
I have ambitions. I will get better.
Until then, I suppose it is my fate to flaunt myself along, to put forth what petty virtues I have as best I can -- and pay for the birth of my high-brow brothers.
Ah, me, if only I could be respectable!" -- Pioneer serial producer/director George B. Seitz


More About the Squadron | Contact

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