The Serial Squadron Cinema Cliffhanger Archive


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The Spider's Web
✦✦✦✦ (1938, 15 Chapters)
Warren Hull, Iris Meredith
D: Ray Taylor, J. Horne

The mysterious white-robed Octopus raids one industry after another in a systematic grab for power. The Spider, a masked vigilante who looks upon the underworld as his own private shooting gallery, is feared by criminals and civilians alike. When these two powerful figures fight to destroy each other, the result is bloody mayhem. An exciting pulp story come to life, packed with non-stop action.
Influenced: All pulp-avenger-style serials and films which followed, including the Darkman series. The Spider was the first costumed pulp character to appear on a movie screen.

Transfer Quality: From 16mm; transfer quality excellent, very sharp picture, stabilized, exposure-corrected, with normalized and noise-reduced audio. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE OF THIS TITLE.

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Republic, 15 Chapters

Blu-Ray / DL-DVD Upgrade


D: John English, E. Clifton

This title has been upgraded 5/2021

A serial killer known as “the Scarab” drives former members of an archaeological expedition to suicide using “purple death” poison. Relentless District Attorney Grant Gardner decides he’s going to go after the fiend dressed as a comic book character, gets ahold of a Captain America costume missing its shield and boots and he and his trusted secretary Gail Richards work hard to put a stop to the Scarab's seemingly never-ending crime spree related to his quest for Mayan treasure.

Republic's most expensive serial, adapted from an unused script prepared by Republic Pictures for the Fawcett comics character Mister Scarlet. This serial gets random and crazy at times, with things like the Dynamic Vibrator (which destroys buildings), the Fire-Bolt, a remote control self-driving truck, a machine which brings people back to life, and a chamber which will fill with gas that turns one into a "withered mummy" all coming and going before you realize what's going on -- it is like a wild and sometimes completely off-the-wall golden age comic book brought to life.

This new set is a remastering of the original Squadron-produced transfer with complete, corrected chapter openings and closings (all in the right place now), fully stabilized, with improved sharpness, audio, damage/artifact removal, picture clarity and motion. Audio is full-volume and sharper than before but not perfect because the original tracks required a lot of hiss and hum removal.

Also includes a Captain America mini-documentary, cast bios, image collection, the re-release trailer, and a short subject on the Captain America collection at
Wade's Comic Madness.

Influenced: Captain America, The Avengers films

Extras: Stills/memorabilia/character and serial history slideshows with music, interview with Captain America collector Wade Shaw, Re-release trailer

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Transfer Quality: From two 16mm prints, very good quality, fully stabilized shot by shot, restored audio; this is a major upgrade from the transfer many have copied and even posted online by surviving members of Dr. Maldor's gang. If you want something better, and to order it from the people who did the work, this is it.

NOTES: This is not a "perfect" studio release. It is the best that can be done, however, with the available versions of the original, nicely stabilized and superior in quality to any other circulating version of the serial (most of which are just unauthorized copies of the Squadron's version from 2003!) It is best viewed on medium-size TVs, not really big ones. Check the quality in the sample video, and get the real thing, from those who did the restoration work.

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Includes 4.5 hours of content
All 15 episodes painstakingly stabilized and restored, Still Gallery, History, Cast Bios, Re-release Trailer, and other extras.

Image: 720 x 480, Standard definition, sharp picture, about 7GB of data.

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PP Aerieal Wire

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Pauline's adoptive father dies and leaves his sizable fortune in the hands of Owen, a con man who will control it until such time as she is married. Pauline denies a proposal from handsome Harry Marvin because she wants to spend a year adventuring. Owen and his blackmailer decide that if Pauline were made to disappear they'd make out like bandits. So guess happens to Pauline? Answer: anything and everything Owen and his scheming confederate can arrange to try to do her in.

Re-translated with intertitles that make sense and use correct character names from the original US release, stabilized, and newly scored for a fresh and new experience with this groundbreaking and important series.

Contains content from 13 original episodes, an Episode Guide covering content from lost episodes, and "The Perils of Pauline Phenomenon," a mini-documentary and collection of spinoffs, remakes and spoofs of the serial.

Accompanied, restored and stabilized by Eric Stedman, with custom image noise reduction by the great Hollywoood digital effects artist John Ellis, restorer of the
Steve Canyon TV show now playing on the Decades channel.

View Complete Episode: The Aerial Wire

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(Entire serial on 1 disk, full quality)

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Adventures of Frank Merriwell
✦✦✦✦ (Universal, 12 Chapters)
Don Briggs, Jean Rogers
New restored state-of-the-art 2K HD film-scanner transfer

The dime novel super-sportsman come to life, with Flash Gordon's Jean Rogers. A very high-quality new HD transfer of the complete 12 chapter serial with long-missing opening and closing titles and musical cues restored.

-- A
mini-documentary about the character
-- The
theatrical trailer

View the Fardale Fight Song Video

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Daughter of Don Q
✦✦✦✦ (Republic, 15 Chapters)
Adrian Booth, Kirk Alyn, Roy Barcroft
D: Spencer Bennet

A featured role for Adrian Booth as an heiress marked for death by criminals, including Roy Barcroft as Donovan, the enthusiastic hit-man, and willing and able to fight back, with the aid of her friend, an investigative reporter (Kirk "Superman" Alyn).

Quality: Very good, restored picture adjusted for contrast in sections.

Extras: Includes a 28 minute Adrian Booth retrospective, accompanied by Adrian's question-and-answer session recorded at SerialFest 2006.

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The Vanishing Shadow
✦✦✦✦ (Universal, 12 Chapters)
Onslow Stevens, Walter Miller, Ada Ince
D: Louis Friedlander

Stanley Stanfield seeks to right the wrongs done by corrupt businessman Wade Barnett to his father using a device created by local genius and robot-maker Professor Van Dorn which when strapped to his body can make him invisible but for his shadow. Barnett’s daughter joins Stanfield in opposing her conniving father and his gang. Full-quality restored edition, never before made available in DVD quality. This is the original high-quality first-generation transfer of this title.
Influenced: The Shadow radio series

Transfer Quality: Sharp digital transfer from high quality stable original film print. Excellent quality picture and sound throughout.
DVD Contents:
Complete serial

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The Blue Beetle
Featuring Frank Lovejoy

24 Complete stories, noise-reduced and with enhanced fidelity; Dolby digital sound -- 9 Hours of content

Sweeping down upon the underworld to smash gangland comes a friend of the unfortunate, enemy of criminals, the mysterious all-powerful character who is a problem to the police, a crusader for law! In reality Dan Garrett, a rookie patrolman, loved by everyone but suspected by none of being . . . the Blue Beetle. As the Blue Beetle, he hides behind a strange mask and a suit of impenetrable blue chain armor, flexible as silk but stronger than steel!

Each episode is a complete story in itself; the originally 2-part stories have been conveniently presented as single half-hour format shows. BTW, we did the restoration work on these files which have since been copied by others; this disk is the original, not a copy.

Episode titles
1 Origin of the Blue Beetle/The Opium Gang
2 Sabotage and Liquidation
3 Murder for Profit
4 Blasting the Dynamite Gang
5 The Invisible Ghost
6 Death Rides on Horseback
7 Death Strikes from the East
8 The Sea Serpent
9 The Frame-up
10 Spirits Don't Talk
11 Thoroughbreds Always Come Through
12 Smashing the Arson Ring
13 Rounding Up the Payroll Bandits
14 Crime Incorporated
15 Saved By a Hair
16 Finesse in Diamonds
17 Sabotage Incorporated
18 Smashing the Restaurant Racket
19 Two Rackets in One
20 The Underworld Goes Underground
21 Dancing Ghost of Rocky Hill
22 The Whale of Pirates' Folly
23 The Asylum of Dr. Drear
24 The Jewel Mystery of Channel Island

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