The Serial Squadron Cinema Cliffhanger Archive

SON OF THE GUARDSMAN

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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!


ORDER THE 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.



COMPATIBILITY NOTES

Please note that not all Blu-Ray players will play BD-R disks. So this disk is not guaranteed to load on all players.

Squadron BD-Rs have been tested on and will play on Sony BDP-s390, BDP-s1200 and BDP-s3100 and LG BPM-35 Blu-Ray players, Playstation 4, and XBox 1S

You should have one of these players or be willing to get one if you order a Blu-Ray disk. Some other players simply cannot read them and cannot be forced to do so and we will not send a replacement disk out if a disk will not load in your player because replacing one disk with another that is identical to it and not compatible with your player will not do you any good.

We will fulfill disk replacement requests for the new Blu-Ray edition of this serial if a disk itself is physically defective or damaged in shipment.

If you receive a disk your player will not read, there are 3 things you can do.

1. Go to your Blu-Ray player manufacturer's website and look for your model number there and instructions on how to
download and update the "firmware" of your player which may not be enabled to play BD-Rs until you download and install this small software program. Connect your Blu-Ray player to your network, download and install the firmware update and you may be good to go. This is a good thing to do anyway as what the firmware does is try to keep the player up to date in a number of various ways and work better all around with whatever new technology is thrown its way.

2.
Get one of the players listed above which we know will play the disk without the need for firmware updates. You can get the BDP-s3100 for $25-35 or so on eBay or a used or renewed one for $49.95 on Amazon.

3.
Get the DVD version of the serial which will play in virtually all players

ORDER THE SON OF THE GUARDSMAN DL-DVD
(Lesser quality motion and sharpness)
From an HD transfer; 720 x 480 image burned on DL-DVD same basic content as Blu-Ray with lesser sharpness & motion quality & occasional graininess due to compression