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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.
SON OF THE GUARDSMAN
THE MOVIE SERIAL
Blu-Ray / DL-DVD
FEATURING BOB SHAW, DAUN KENNEDY, BUZZ HENRY, CHARLES KING and WHEELER OAKMAN
"This is the first of the arrows of vengeance which shall find their marks in the oppressors of freedom."
In medieval England, Young Roger Mowbray, when his grandparents are robbed and burned to death in cold blood by Sir Edgar Bullard's soldiers, is taken in by a group of "free" forest outlaws led by Alan Hawk and Red Robert who are committed to combatting Bullard's oppression, and fights alongside them in battles against the soldiers with his sling as they attack with bows and arrows.
David Trent, who lives in Bullard's castle with his uncle, begins to discover the cruelty with which Bullard treats his subjects and, when he is threatened with execution for aiding one of the outlaws who knows information about the murder of his father, a royal Guardsman and friend to the King, turns against Bullard and also joins the outlaws and helps rival Lord Markham build a force against his uncle.
Bullard captures Louise, daughter of Markham, who disguised herself as a boy to try and escape his wrath, and tells her he intends to sell her off as a bride for profit to one of his enemies but David defends her honor as well and the battles escalate between the outlaws and Bullard's forces until all-out war breaks out involving other noblemen as well, and it is discovered that Bullard was not only responsible for the murder of Trent's father and stole his treasure, but also has been working to prevent the long-thought-lost true king, young Prince Richard, from ascending the throne of England.
Unfairly maligned by author Alan Barbour, this low-budget but ambitious and very entertaining serial features a large cast of second- and third-stringers who were still available in 1946, after the war, when male actors were difficult to find and many of the available ones had moved up into "A" pictures. Jock Mahoney, a new leading man on his way up, appears in the serial as a guardsman.
This 1940s budget G-rated serial version of Game of Thrones includes some unintentionally funny moments including scenes in which characters act as if they do not notice that pin-up girl Daun Kennedy as "Louis" Markham is female because no effort has been made to disguise her womanly figure. And though more than a few unkempt wigs and hastily-filmed chapter endings involving row-boats are also in evidence here (and who had hairdressers in Sherwood Forest?), the serial has an excellent script and an engaging and progressive story, and plenty of energy, which is interesting to watch with actors you have not seen in leading serial roles before.
Son of the Guardsman was one of only two cliffhanger serials set in medieval times, the other being Adventures of Sir Galahad, and reuses castle sets from feature films of the time. Not a frame of stock footage is used in the serial, either; all its footage is original and shot specifically for the production. While Republic at this time began to start re-using cliffhangers from other serials, Columbia at this time became more ambitious and experimented with costume epics like this one and the also entertaining The Desert Hawk.
Watch the sample chapter presented here to see how a higher quality restored image improves the entertainment value of this unusual post-war chapter play, named as it was so as not to interfere with the announced but never-made Republic Robin Hood serial planned for Roy Rogers.
Includes all 15 episodes painstakingly stabilized and restored from 2 16mm prints; about 4 hours 45 minutes
The Blu-Ray edition includes Memorabilia slideshow, Robin Hood cartoon & audio drama & other extras.
In order to present the serial in the highest quality possible on the DL-DVD edition, fewer or no extras may be included. The Blu-Ray is recommended.
The Blu-Ray includes about 17GB of content, the DL-DVD about 7GB.
Note: Why is the image size in the Blu-Ray 960 x 7200 rather than larger? The reason is that this serial is composed of 15 20+ minute episodes and includes nearly 5 hours of content in total, and is therefore much longer than a 3 hour Republic serial like Spy Smasher or the 2:47 The Crimson Ghost, and includes some variation in print sources as well, and we have discovered that using not too large of an image size actually looks better in the end result for this sort of project in terms of motion and smoothness or lack of grain than a larger one. An image which requires more compression and therefore becomes more grainy ends up presenting motion which is less smooth. For this project, in which quality of smoothness and motion are important, the selected image size creates better motion and less grain or image artifacting, and fits better on one Blu-Ray disk and actually makes the finished project look better overall!
SON OF THE GUARDSMAN Blu-Ray (Highest quality motion & sharpness, includes all extras; recommended)
From an HD transfer; 960 x 720 image burned on Blu-Ray with excellent smoothness, sharpness & motion, more than twice the quality of motion & image smoothness of the average DVD.
THE CRIMSON GHOST
THE MOVIE SERIAL
Blu-Ray / DL-DVD
FEATURING CHARLES QUIGLEY, LINDA STIRLING, CLAYTON MOORE, KENNE DUNCAN
and ? as THE CRIMSON GHOST
(Voice by I. Stanford Jolley)
Professor Chambers demonstrates his new invention, the cyclotrode, to his associates, and soon after is pursued by agents of a caped fiend called the Crimson Ghost, a disguised and demented University professor wearing a skull mask and hooded crimson cape.
The Cyclotrode is capable of disrupting all sorts of electronic signals and said to even be able to assume control of a nuclear missile, and with it the Crimson Ghost desires to assume total power.
Criminologist Duncan Richards tries to avoid the masked villains' mind‑control collars, which bend victims to his will, and uncover his true identity.
The Crimson Ghost was the final serial directed by William Witney for Republic. It's simple, efficient and fast-moving, with a solid cast of performers including fan-favorite Linda Stirling and Clayton Moore, on hiatus from the Lone Ranger TV show, who as Ash is an effectively dangerous right-hand henchman to the caped fiend who dominates the story.
The serial last appeared in a colorized and edited version for TV presentation; this edition is the complete black and white original theatrical version taken from an original print and presented in 1440 x 1080 HD.
Includes all 12 episodes in excellent condition transferred from a near-mint condition original print with a clear and very stable picture; almost no damage, dust or splices; about 3 hours.
CRIMSON GHOST BLU-RAY
1440 x 1080 HD image burned on Blu-ray media; superb, clean, sharp picture quality; probably the highest overall picture quality sound serial the Squadron has yet made available.
We will be adding a book/audio/Blu-Ray set of THE VOICE FROM THE SKY, the first sound serial, to our production schedule shortly. Watch for a pledge drive to help raise funds to pay for acquisition and transfer of the existing reels.
NOVEMBER / LAST OF THE MOHICANS HD transfer completed
DECEMBER 7 / Restorations of THE CRIMSON GHOST and SON OF THE GUARDSMAN have both been completed and DL-DVDs and Blu-Rays are now being burned. The completion date schedule is staggered because the burning of a Blu-Ray master can take up to 4 days for 15 chapter serial titles.
CRIMSON GHOST Blu-Ray
SON OF THE GUARDSMAN DL-DVD & Blu-Ray
CAPTAIN AMERICA Blu-Ray upgrade
PROJECTED SHIPPING DATES (approximate):
Orders for CRIMSON GHOST and SON OF THE GUARDSMAN DVDs will ship as soon as they are completed, before the Blu-Rays which will ship individually if ordered individually. The two titles will ship together if they were ordered together and also at the same time to subscribers.
SERIAL SQUADRON 2020 CALENDAR
Order link to be posted shortly
CAPTAIN AMERICA Remastered for-possibly-enhanced-compatibility edition
Status: 2-Disk version burn completed, being checked & tested; 1-disk updated version burn pending
THE CRIMSON GHOST DL-DVD
Status: Completed & burned, being duplicated
Expected to begin shipping: Monday Dec. 16
SON OF THE GUARDSMAN DL-DVD
Status: Proof burned, being checked; final burn pending
Expected to begin shipping: Wednesday Dec. 17
THE CRIMSON GHOST Blu-Ray
Status: Elements created, ready to burn
Expected to begin shipping: Friday Dec. 20
SON OF THE GUARDSMAN Blu-Ray: Elements created, entering minor corrections; final burn pending. Expected to begin shipping: Dec. 26
SERIAL SQUADRON 2020 MEMBERSHIP KIT
15 / THE HOUSE OF HATE Remastered upgrade
17 / SERIAL FEATURE VERSIONS Vol. 2 DL-DVD
BLU-RAY AND DVD TITLES
Squadron AUDIO DVDs available again
TARZAN AUDIO COLLECTION
MASTERS OF HORROR
WORLD WAR II
SWORDS OF ADVENTURE
SHADOW OF FU MANCHU
ROY ROGERS SHOW
PIRATES & SEA ADVENTURES
SERIAL SQUADRON RESTORATIONS
Available and In Production
The Serial Squadron offers restorations of film serials in Blu-Ray, DVD, Audio and Book form. All our serials on Blu-ray and DVD are restored for picture/and or sound quality, mostly from new stabilized digital transfers of original film prints. Many also include custom extras and reconstruction of lost content.
Lost Serial Collection/Serial Rarities
The Black Box
The Eagle's Eye
The Hope Diamond Mystery
The House of Hate
The Mysteries of Myra
The Masked Rider
The Mystery Mind
New Adventures of
J. Rufus Wallingford
The Perils of Pauline
The Romance of Elaine
Strange Case of Mary Page
The Trey O'Hearts
The Trail of the Octopus
The Ventures of Marguerite
Under the Crescent
Adventures of Tarzan
The Liberty Boys
The Flame Fighter
Isle of Sunken Gold
The Lightning Raider
Brenda Starr, Reporter
The Desert Hawk
Drums of Fu Manchu
G-Men vs. the Black Dragon
The Green Archer
The Iron Claw
Holt of the Secret Service
King of the Mounties
King of the Texas Rangers
The Masked Marvel
The Master Key
Mysterious Doctor Satan
Perils of Nyoka
Secret Service in Darkest Africa
The Spider Returns
The Tiger Woman
Early Sound Serials
Advs. of Frank Merriwell
Blake of Scotland Yard
The Call of the Savage
Clancy of the Mounted
The Fighting Marines
The King of the Kongo
The Lost Special
Mala, Secret Agent
of the South Seas
The Mystery Squadron
The Mystery Trooper
The Phantom Empire
Secret of Treasure Island
SOS Coast Guard
The Spider's Web
Tailspin Tommy in The Great Air Mystery
Tarzan the Fearless
The Vanishing Shadow
The Voice from the Sky
The Wolf Dog
Daredevils of the West
Desperadoes of the West
The Devil Horse
Great Adventures of
Wild Bill Hickok
Heroes of the West
James Brothers of Missouri
Jesse James Rides Again
King of the Texas Rangers
Last of the Mohicans
The Lone Defender
The Painted Stallion
The Red Rider
The Rustlers of Red Dog
The Sign of the Wolf
The Vanishing Legion
SPY SMASHER IS HERE!!
THE GREAT SERIAL
EXTRA SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION
as the famous Fawcett Comics Hero
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.
The Blu-ray and DVD include the complete 12-episode serial, re-release trailer and .cbz files of all the original Spy Smasher comic books which can be read on your computer.
This is not the end-all greatest digital video version of SPY SMASHER which could ever possibly exist, what it is, though, is a new HD digital transfer from the Squadron's 16mm print,with improved sharpness, stabilization, motion and audio in comparison to the old 1990s VHS version.
You will receive an email with tracking information when your copy ships.
To help speed up delivery of shipments we are requesting you order this title separately, thanks.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE
SQUADRON SPY SMASHER RESTORATION
"Arrived today and well worth the wait. Just watched the first 2 chapters. The quality on the flat screen in amazing. THANK YOU for the time and effort you put into the restoration of this serial!" -- Steve Walker
"I'm in Nazi-punching glory. The Serial Squadron restoration of my favorite serial is more than I could have hoped for. And the companion book is a treasure trove of comics and pulpy goodness . . . I'm going to eventually write a full review, but 3 chapters in, and I'm completely blown away." -- Michael Wheeler
"The book and the Blu-Ray are a must for all serial collectors, They are number one in my collections. Thanks Eric for a Christmas in July present." -- William Holmes
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.
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
More information and Squadron history
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.
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.”
"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."
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, Frank Petrick, 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
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