The Serial Squadron is a multimedia archive -- a soon-to-be non-profit library/archive supported by enthusiasts of the form, historians, and in cooperation with film archives and private collectors, which restores, repairs, and re-creates movie and audio serials not now available or have never been been commercially released by studios or legitimately licensed rightsholders in video, audio, and printed form. The Squadron is the home on the web of the original (male and female) cinema action heroes, and our goal is to preserve, restore and make available for viewing or study the original cliffhangers that inspired Star Wars and the Hollywood superhero blockbusters of today.
The Reference section of this site has been massively expanded to include complete lists of serials by studio and a comprehensive list of ALL US MOVIE SERIALS from 1912 to 1956, with release dates, principal credits and descriptions. Check out the links above!
THE FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS
Featuring Lee Powell, Herman Brix
and The Lightning
Directed by William Witney
A group of heroic marines sent to Lingchuria battle a helmeted super-villain and murderer called The Lightning, who soars through the sky in a flying wing, controls "the power of electricity" and wants to use it to rule the world. The soldiers must use a combination of force and detective work to discover the Lightning's identity before he wreaks havoc upon the entire planet from his secret island headquarters.
This serial may have been planned for Doc Savage but the title characters cast as Marines instead when the license fee for the character turned out to be too high for Republic to be able to afford. So if that was the case, that is why the Doc Savage-type world-conquering villain Republic made up still remains in the serial. The Lightning was to become the cinematic prototype for the character Darth Vader in Star Wars, so fans of those films should check it out. And, of course, this is also an opportunity to see Lee Powell, the screen's first Lone Ranger, in another leading role.
Picture and audio have been restored and while the original print, which was not "perfect," was sometimes variable where exposure was concerned, which created some occasional high-contrast scenes after adjustment, most of the footage has been adjusted to proper exposure and the transfer is clear, stable, and remarkably sharp throughout.
This title was only ever released by Republic Home Video 30 or so years ago as a VHS tape and all existing on or off-line versions are copies of that tape, in which contrast may be more even than in this edition but which is not sharp. The Squadron edition is a new transfer from film which has three times that resolution and is the sharpest video version of this serial in existence, appropriate for large-screen TV viewing.
PROJECTS IN PRODUCTION
These Blu-Rays, DVDs and books are being worked on now and
will be released within the next few weeks/months. New titles will also be available for online viewing and as downloads.
Featuring Robert Paige and Adrian Booth
with Sammy McKim
BY POPULAR DEMAND: The lively and rare serial featuring mystery character The Black Falcon, who, with his G-man friends, fight on land and in the air to try to destroy a spy ring in pre-WWII America. Who is behind the mask? We don't always know for sure but if one of the G-men in the Black Falcon guise perishes, another will take his place. Adrian Booth's first serial and the obvious inspiration for the comic book character Blackhawk.
Lo-res analog transfer; not super-sharp but stable, clean and scratch-free; reel change markers removed, end titles restored/reconstructed, opening titles fully visible (they say FLYING G-MEN, not LYING G-ME), fully restored audio. This is not a new digital transfer but a clean copy of a serial you may not have which should hold you until we do a full-quality new restoration someday. Sounds and looks good on phones, tablets, computers and small to medium size TV screens.
View Online/Download / Order DL-DVD
(Links to be active soon)
Click to View Chapter 1
SON OF ZORRO
George Turner and Peggy Stewart
with Roy Barcroft and Ernie Adams
A descendant of the original Zorro attempts to set things right when a crooked sheriff and judge conspire to swindle money out of settlers. Decent low-budget action serial with a small cast, not based on stock footage.
Standard-definition transfer, excellent exposure, very clean, no splices or reel change markers, audio enhanced & very clear and strong.
View Online/Download / Order DL-DVD
(Links to be active soon)
Click Below to View Chapter 1
Shipping in March
MYSTERIOUS DOCTOR SATAN
Featuring Robert Wilcox and Eduardo Ciannelli
A crazed scientist plans to create an army of killer robots with which he thinks he can control the world and destroy Superman. When Superman flies off, thinking he can make more money appearing in Fleischer cartoons instead, a new hero called the Copperhead steps up to the plate to fight Dr. Satan and the one robot he's been able to manufacture so far and rescue Lois, who stayed to finish the serial. So cliffhanger situations here created for Superman but adapted for the Copperhead are quite extreme and thrilling. New 2K digital transfer.
THE VALLEY OF VANISHING MEN
Featuring Bill Elliott, Kenneth MacDonald and a bunch of other guys who unfortunately seem to have disappeared
Bill Tolliver's father is captured by a criminal gang that enslaves people for their villainous purposes. Will Bill and his friend Missouri ever be able to rescue the old man? You will have to order a copy of this little-seen serial to find out, before it VANISHES too!
THE KING OF THE KONGO
Featuring Walter Miller and Boris Karloff
Early Mascot serial featuring Walter Miller and Boris Karloff which was released part-sound, part-silent and included brief dialogue sequences recorded on discs. We will be putting the serial out fully scored and restored despite the decision of a collector to keep some of those discs from the public for 20 years. This edition is not an empty promise; it will be something you can actually hold in your hands and watch and listen to, will be fully scored and restored and include complete dubbed and/or subtitled versions of the dialogue scenes.
GUNFIGHTERS OF THE NORTHWEST
LAST OF THE WHITE HORSE RAIDERS
Featuring Jock Mahoney, Clayton Moore and Phyllis Coates
Jock Mahoney and Clayton Moore (on hiatus from the TV Lone Ranger program) as mounties after racketeers controlled by "The Leader."
THE HOUSE OF HATE
Featuring Pearl White, Antonio Moreno
and the Hooded Terror
A new upgraded restoration of this amazing and very influential serial; one of the best and most popular ever made.
Pearl Grant, adopted daughter of an arms factory tycoon, attends the reading of his will with his other potential heirs and is named sole benefactor in his will. Later that night her father is murdered by a masked and caped fiend who slams a dagger into her portrait and makes it clear that she is next. The rest of this action-packed serial involves attempts on Pearl's life by the berserk maniac called the Hooded Terror and Harry Gresham, a loyal friend and admirer trying to protect her. Pearl White shines in this serial, doing many of her own stunts and action scenes and playing a dual role -- she also portrays a woman on death row about to be sent to the electric chair who is a double for her main character. Is the Hooded Terror one of the jilted heirs or someone else? Can Pearl and Harry find out, unmask the killer and prevent more bloodshed?
NEW DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASES & ARCHIVE TITLES
Restorations of these titles are complete and shipping now.
Requests for new restorations usually ship within a week. We are experiencing a higher than usual volume of order requests right now and are not staffed like Amazon.com so please be patient about shipping. The email you receive with tracking number means your order has been received and is on the table being assembled and will ship when complete.
NEW & NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY
The Fighting Devil Dogs / The Crimson Ghost / Spy Smasher
Government Agents vs. Phantom Legion / Captain America
Son of the Guardsman / Adventures of Frank Merriwell
SERIAL BOOKS Available Now
Spy Smasher - The Mysteries of Myra
Under the Crescent - The Black Box - Hidden Dangers
The Strange Case of Mary Page - The Trey O'Hearts
SERIAL BOOKS In Production
The Movie Serials - Rocketman in the Comics and the Movies
The Complete Perisl of Pauline - Adventures of Captain Marvel
THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL
In the Comics and the Movies
A companion volume to the SPY SMASHER book previously released by the Squadron. The origins of the character, who was the first comic book superhero to appear in the cinema, and coverage of every aspect of the movie serial; chapter summaries, lobby cards, original photos, cast bios, and notes on the DC/Fawcett lawsuit and the future of the character after Fawcett closed up.
SERIAL SQUADRON RESTORATIONS
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.
The Squadron is not a commercial store that ships daily like Amazon.com.
It is a digital archive, the goal of which is to keep rare content perpetually available at a reasonable cost and never let it go out of print. So titles are made to order for all requests. For faster shipping, please limit library title requests to 4 titles or less per order and allow 1-4 weeks for delivery of any shipment.
DVD TITLES Available Now
Here are links to 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.
Adventures of Captain Marvel / Commando Cody
Daredevils of the Red Circle / The Shadow
Panther Girl of the Kongo/ The Invisible Monster
Flying Disc Man from Mars / The Mysterious Airman
Complete Adventures of Flash Gordon
Gotham City Serials (Batman/Batman and Robin)
Superman/Atom Man Vs. Superman
The Wharton Serials / The Lost Serial Collection / Serial Rarities
SCi-FI & FANTASY SERIALS
The Rocketman Collection / King of the Rocket Men / Radar Men from the Moon
Zombies of the Stratosphere / The Phantom Empire / Undersea Kingdom
ACTION HERO & HEROINE SERIALS
The Spider's Web / Captain America / The Perils of Pauline / Daughter of Don Q
Mysterious Doctor Satan / The Masked Marvel / The Vanishing Shadow
The Lost Special / Adventures of Frank Merriwell / The Blue Beetle
AVIATION, WAR & SPY SERIALS
Flying G-Men / Bruce Gentry / Spy Smasher / Fighting Devil Dogs
The Rex Bennett Collection / Secret Service in Darkest Africa / G-Men vs Black Dragon
King of the Texas Rangers / The Mystery Squadron / The Fighting Marines Tailspin Tommy in The Great Air Mystery / Patria / The Master Key / Steve Canyon
CRIME & MYSTERY SERIALS
The Crimson Ghost / Gang Busters / Beatrice Fairfax / Holt of the Secret Service
Government Agents vs. Phantom Legion / The Wolf Dog / Radio Paltrol
The House of Hate / The Green Archer / Blake of Scotland Yard / Zudora
OCCULT & HORROR SERIALS
The Trail of the Octopus / The Hope Diamond Mystery
The Mysteries of Myra / Horror Archive
EXOTIC ADVENTURE SERIALS
Drums of Fu Manchu / The Desert Hawk / The Tiger Woman / Perils of Nyoka
Lost City of the Jungle / World Adventurers Club
The King of the Kongo / Tarzan the Fearless / Darkest Africa / The Call of the Savage
Jungle Princess / Adventures of Tarzan / Jungle Menace / Tarzan Audio Collection
The Lost City
PIRATE & SEA ADVENTURE SERIALS
Manhunt of Mystery Island / The Great Adventures of Captain Kidd / Pirate Treasure
The Secret of Treasure Island / Mystery of the River Boat / Mala / Isle of Sunken Gold
SOS Coast Guard / Trader Tom of the China Seas
Gunfighters of the Northwest / King of the Mounties
Clancy of the Mounted / The Mystery Trooper
MASKED RIDER SERIALS
The Lone Ranger / The Lone Ranger Rides Again
The Masked Rider / The Scarlet Horseman / The Black Whip / Deadwood Dick
Son of Zorro / Zorro Rides Again / Zorro's Fighting Legion
The Eagle in The Vigilantes are Coming
Daredevils of the West / The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok / Black Arrow
Desperadoes of the West / Jesse James Rides Again / The James Brothers of Missouri
King of the Texas Rangers / Heroes of the West / Mystery Mountain / The Red Rider
The Vanishing Legion / The Sign of the Wolf / The Rustlers of Red Dog / The Painted Stallion
The Devil Horse / The Lone Defender / The Valley of Vanishing Men
RARE FEATURES Also restored by the Squadron
Color, 45 min. feature
1946 rarity produced in color by Richard Talmadge, featuring John Day and Republic serial stunt men Tom Steele and Dale VanSickel, with restored color and audio. A group of ex-GIs leave a hospital and travel to a ranch where they run down crooks not by riding horses but in their jeeps. This film and another (also included on the DVD) were experiments with the idea of rental/distribution outside the studio system. It didn't exactly work, but you can see the stunt guys having a lot of fun with JEEP HERDERS, which ends up with what looks like a 12-way stunt brawl at its conclusion.
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!
Visit the new sister group to the Serial Squadron
THE DAUGHTERS OF DARING
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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