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The Reference section of this site has been 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.
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The Serial Squadron is a multimedia archive -- a soon-to-be non-profit library 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 published the first-ever movie serial on DVD, Zorro's Fighting Legion, in 2002 and has continued working on restorations of rare and long-unavailable movie serials ever since. Our goal is to preserve, restore and make available for viewing or study the original cliffhangers that inspired Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Hollywood superhero blockbusters of today.
GUNFIGHTERS OF THE NORTHWEST
DL-DVD; 15 Episodes
Rare late US sound serial featuring Jock "Tarzan" Mahoney, Clayton "Lone Ranger" Moore and Phyllis "Lois Lane" Coates all together, shot hastily all outdoors, with lots of action as a couple of Mounties go after a "White Horse" raider gang trying to take control of Indian territory in Canada. The good news is this (donated, not new) transfer is not from a VHS tape but the not so good news is it is not high resolution so will only look ok on a small TV screen, and shows some occasional digital artifacting. The transfer may have been prepared for TV broadcast. So this is not a typical sharp, new Squadron digital transfer; contrast is fine, audio is restored, the print is almost entirely clear of splices or damage. It has everything but sharp focus :( But this version looks better than any others currently floating around so people have asked that it be offered "as is," so here you go. This edition will be available for a limited time.
LINDA STIRLING 2-SERIAL SET
THE TIGER WOMAN/
THE BLACK WHIP
Contains both full serials, THE TIGER WOMAN and ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP, with original trailers, featuring the fan-favorite heroine, on one BR disk.
In The Tiger Woman Linda is a jungle goddess who engineer Allan Lane tries to protect from destructive white men who want to plunder the riches and oil in her South American kingdom, and in Zorro's Black Whip she plays the first female costumed Zorro-style masked avenger of the movies.
Also includes a mini-documentary about stunt woman Helen Thurston, the "Face Behind the Mask" in Zorro's Black Whip and a Linda Stirling Bio and slideshow. Plays on Sony BDP-s390, s12oo, s-3100, s-5390 players for sure, and others with the built-in protocol to play Hybrid Blu-rays. (Read about Hybrid Blu-Rays before you order)
The video posted above is the SD version. Upgrade to Blu-Ray for smoother motion and sharper picture.
DRUMS OF FU MANCHU
Hybrid Blu-Ray; 15 Episodes
Featuring HENRY BRANDON and ROBERT KELLARD
An upgrade of the original Squadron transfer from Jack Mathis's original print -- authored as a DVD and burned to a Blu-Ray uncompressed for 3 times smoother motion, sharper picture and enhanced audio.
Please read about Hybrid Blu-Rays before you purchase. Most Blu-Ray players will play them -- the Sony BDP-s390, Sony BDP-s1200, Sony BDP-s3100, and Sony BDP-5390 players will all play this disk for sure, but not all have a built-in protocol to access the format. So get one of those players if you need to so you can be sure to enjoy this content at full quality!
COLUMBIA SERIAL THEMES
Every single one of the opening themes from all the Columbia serials made over 20 years, queued in order, beginning with JUNGLE MENACE from 1-, moving along to THE SPIDER'S WEB, THE GREEN ARCHER, THE SECRET CODE, BATMAN, THE PHANTOM, THE DESERT HAWK, BRENDA STARR, REPORTER and many more till it finishes up with BLAZING THE OVERLAND TRAIL from 1956. 55 tracks (because the theme for SUPERMAN and ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN is the same).
Shipped in a slim DVD case so you can read the index of titles on the back.
CURRENT SERIAL OF THE MONTH TITLES
New titles may be preordered with your PayPal email address until the announced cutoff date. Orders are collected on the first business day following, and processed and shipped immediately afterward. Your PayPal account will not be charged until your shipment is made.
NOTE: The Hybrid Blu-Rays previously posted here for preorder including Drums of Fu Manchu which are authored differently than a standard Blu-Ray and need to be differentiated from them are now on their own Hybrid Blu-Rays page which contains more information about them.
SERIAL OF THE MONTH
Preorder now for shipping October 4
THE TRAIL OF
Featuring Ben Wilson and Neva Gerber
(Hallmark, 15 Episodes)
DVD Release Sponsored by Henry Miyamoto
Restoration by Eric Stedman
Musical Score by Kevin McLeod
Seven daggers, when inserted into a cliffside cave wall, will reveal the ancient magic talisman called The Devil’s Trademark. Detective Carter Holmes tries to prevent it from falling into the hands of Asian mastermind Wang Foo or the mysterious masked Monsieur X.
Transfer Quality: Transferred from the original 35mm print, with full score and occasional color tints and audio effects
Contents: 14 Half-hour Episodes + 1 15-minute partially re-created Episode, about 7 hours
Updated with new footage, including more of the aftermath of Stanhope's murder in Chapter 1, the formerly missing Chapter 9 reel 2 and the crucial and eye-popping scene in the final chapter in which the true identity of Monsieur X is finally revealed.
SERIAL OF THE MONTH
Preorder for shipping November 4
THE HOUSE OF HATE
Featuring Pearl White and Antonio Moreno
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?
SERIAL OF THE MONTH
Preorder for shipping December 1
The Serial Squadron presents
A new HD digital transfer in glorious black and white from a near-perfect original print
GEORGE "SUPERMAN" REEVES
Lois Hall, John Merton
Directed by Spencer Bennet
Galahad and fellow knights fight the Saxons, Black Knight, and Merlin's magic, and try to recover stolen Excalibur.
New state-of-the-art digital transfer.
Resolution: 1440 x 1080 -- Sharp as a tack!
SERIAL OF THE MONTH
THE KING OF THE KONGO
Featuring Walter Miller and Boris Karloff
1929 Mascot serial featuring Walter Miller, Jacqueline Logan, 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.
SQUADRON RESTORATIONS ON BLU-RAY
SQUADRON SHIPPING CART
The releases below come from new state-of-the-art HD transfers of the best-quality available
film prints sourced from loans or purchases from collectors or archives.
SQUADRON HYBRID BLU-RAYS
Authored as DVDs, burned on Blu-Ray disks for best quality
Uncompressed, highest-quality possible presentations of existing Squadron restorations
PLEDGE DRIVE PROJECTS
Next Up: The first sound serial THE VOICE FROM THE SKY
CLIFFHANGER SERIAL BOOKS
Order these titles using the the Lulu Publications Cart.
SERIALS ON DVD
LIBRARY TITLES SHOPPING CART
The serials below were mastered from the best available source, usually
16mm prints given new digital transfers.
The Squadron is the home of the restored 1938 Lone Ranger serial,
the Captain America restoration, the long-thought-lost Daredevils of the West,
the fully-restored original The Perils of Pauline, Drums of Fu Manchu original print,
the Tarzan the Fearless and King of the Mounties reconstructions,
rare silents The Hope Diamond Mystery, The Trail of the Octopus, and The Masked Rider;
Spy Smasher, The Crimson Ghost and The Fighting Devil Dogs on Blu-Ray,
the silent serials filmed in Ithaca, New York and a lot more.
COMICS/PULP-STYLE COSTUMED CHARACTER SERIALS
The Squadron offers the highest-quality available edition of THE SPIDER'S WEB,
created from a new Rank Cintel transfer of a rare 16mm print, and new editions of many
highly-regarded Republic serials from new 2k digital transfers, stabilized and fully restored.
THE FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS features the black-caped and helmeted villain "The Lightning,"
the inspiration for Darth Vader in STAR WARS.
ACTION HEROES/HEROINES & SPORTS SERIALS
The Squadron edition of THE PERILS OF PAULINE is by far the most comprehensive
and highest quality of the serial in existence. Newly transferred and scored, it
includes copious extras detailing information about lost episodes and other
films and serials inspired by the great "original."
ADVENTURES OF FRANK MERRIWELL is one of the highest-picture-quality
releases available from the Squadron or anyone else for that matter. (Try the Blu-Ray!)
The Wharton Serials / The Lost Serial Collection / Serial Rarities
SCI-FI, FANTASY & COSTUME EPIC SERIALS
THE ROCKETMAN COLLECTION includes all 3 of the original Republic
Rocketman/Commando Cody theatrical serials and is a fan favorite.
THE PHANTOM EMPIRE restoration uniquely includes a period musical score
and sepia/blue tone effects distinguishing Western and Muranian scenes.
WARTIME & SPY SERIALS
If you haven't seen the new restored version of SPY SMASHER, you need to grab the Blu-Ray
immediately; it has been one of the most well-received serial restorations ever.
FLYING G-MEN was a precursor to the Blackhawks of the comics. THE GREAT AIR MYSTERY and
THE MYSTERY SQUADRON are excellent quality transfers and BRUCE GENTRY an enjoyable
Republic-like serial with plenty of stunt fighting.
BRENDA STARR, REPORTER will be offered soon in further-restored form
from the Squadron, with previously missing content added and re-created.
GANG BUSTERS features one of the most engaging plots of any serial: the "League of Murdered Men" who commit crimes with clues that lead to dead men(?)
OCCULT, HORROR & MYSTERY SERIALS
The bizarre Ben Wilson serial THE TRAIL OF THE OCTOPUS and
Boris Karloff's earliest major appearance, THE HOPE DIAMOND MYSTERY
are offered exclusively by the Squadron and include new musical scores.
The upgraded restoration of the superb Pearl White serial
THE HOUSE OF HATE is in production and will be released in 2021.
EXOTIC ADVENTURE SERIALS
The Squadron offers the only edition of the splendidly-produced and directed
DRUMS OF FU MANCHU, digitally mastered from an original print.
The Squadron editions of THE TIGER WOMAN and PERILS OF NYOKA
include restored original titles. All three titles have excellent picture and sound
quality and are highly recommended.
The Squadron's restoration of TARZAN THE FEARLESS is the only edition to include rare footage not seen in the feature version, and is presented in chapter format.
A new upgraded HD restoration of ADVENTURES OF TARZAN is in production.
PIRATE & SEA ADVENTURE SERIALS
Squadron-exclusive titles in this category include the rare early sound serial
PIRATE TREASURE featuring accomplished stunt man Richard Talmadge.
Don't miss KING OF THE MOUNTIES (which was originally to have featured Spy Smasher),
one of the most action-packed and well-directed and edited serials ever.
The Squadron edition includes fully re-created sound effects and music
for reels for which audio has thus far been unavailable.
MASKED RIDER SERIALS
Eric Stedman of the Serial Squadron created the restoration of the
1938 Republic LONE RANGER serial and the Squadron exclusively
offers it and its sequel in unique, unsubtitled, complete editions in English.
THE MASKED RIDER, also offered only by the Squadron, was an amazingly influential
(and violent) serial from 1919, the first to be named after a prominent masked/mystery
Western character, and predated and inspired Zorro's black costume
RARE FEATURES Also restored by the Squadron
The Squadron does not work on titles which have been released commercially by studios or those which have received legitimate distribution by secondary agencies.
Here are links to some currently available high
quality and recommended commercial serial releases.
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
Flash Gordon Trilogy / Batman/Batman and Robin
Superman/Atom Man Vs. Superman
BTW The "real", licensed and high quality FLASH GORDON set is the one pictured at left, which was previously released in three volumes with covers with black backgrounds by Image. Look for it on eBay.
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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, 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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