Saturday, February 20, 2021

KANE RICHMOND: Only the SHADOW Knows the SPY SMASHER!

Kane Richmond played opposite "Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr.", met "Flash Gordon" on Mars, became "The Shadow" and fought "Bad Guys" in a few major "Cliff Hangers". 

Frederick William Bowditch was born on December 23, 1906 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fred Bowditch attended college and played football, first, at the private Catholic School, "St. Thomas", and moved up to the "University of Minnesota". At some point, after college, Fred, became a "Motion Picture Salesman". Which really meant, he booked motion pictures into local movie theaters throughout the mid-West on commission.

While on a business trip to Hollywood, perhaps to obtain better films to promote, Fred Bowditch was approached by either a Universal Pictures Executive, or Talent Scout. That depends upon whose biography of Kane Richmond you're reading. 

The story then claims, that Fred was asked to make a test for the lead in a "Two-Reel Film", "The Leather Pushers", about a young boxer. At least that's what Ephaim Katz, in his 1979, "The Film Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume" tells it. After which, according to the book, Kane Richmond's motion picture career began. 

There's a problem with Mr. Katz's story, if it's correctly quoted on several sources.

The first film that Kane Richmond appeared in, when and how his name changed I could not locate, was as a "Party Guest", in "Trial Marriage", released on March 10, 1929, and without any credit for his appearance.

"Trial Marriage" was not from "Universal Pictures Corporation", the actual name of the studio from 1923 through 1929, but "Columbia Pictures". That film would be followed by another role, without credit, as a "Nightclub Patron", in "Song of Love", released on November 13, 1929. This feature was also from "Columbia Pictures".

In fact, Richmond had four other roles, without credit, split between "Warner Brothers" and "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", before September 3, 1930. When, Kane Richmond, portrayed, "Kid Roberts", in the first of eleven, two-reel shorts, making up "The Leather Pushers", Sound versions, from now, "Universal Pictures".















The original Universal series, of seventeen Silent two-reel shorts, starred British actor Reginald Denny. By the end of the last film, Denny, had become a minor star for the studio. However, that was not to be for Kane Richmond.

Two more shorts followed the last of "The Leather Pushers" series and then, Kane Richmond's, first screen credited feature film followed those shorts. 

On, April 11, 1931, Richmond, portrayed ninth billed, "Hal Rodgers", in the feature film Comedy Romance, "Stepping Out". The irony of the role may have been felt by the actor, because the movie's star was Reginald Denny.

A forgotten Comedy followed and then came one of Harry Carey, Sr.'s Westerns and third billing.


CAVALIER OF THE WEST released November 15, 1931




The motion picture was Directed by John P. McCarthy. Who had been directing "B" Westerns since 1920, McCarthy, also wrote the story for the screenplay. While credited, , for the dialogue, was Harry L. Fraser. Who had been writing screenplays since 1925 and was one of the three screenplay writers for the 15 Chapter, 1943, "Cliff Hanger", "Batman". See my link, under, "Spy Smasher", to my article about World War 2 Super Heroes.

Harry Carey, Sr. portrayed "United States Cavalry Captain John Allister". Carey was one of the premier Western actors of the period and the mentor to a young actor named John Wayne. He had just been seen in 1931's, "Bad Company", a drama, not a Western, with thirteenth billing. Carey, would follow this picture with the ,1932, Western, "Without Honor", back in first billing.





Carmen LaRoux portrayed "Dolores Fernandez". Forgotten actually, Carmen Laroux, started out in an equally forgotten Western, 1927's, "Don Mike", and would end her 21 motion picture career. As a "Maid in Xanadu Hall", in Orson Welles', 1941, "Citizen Kane".

















Kane Richmond portrayed "United States Army Lieutenant Wilbur Allister". 















 








Above, Richmond is on the far left in this hard to view photo.

George F. Hayes portrayed "Sheriff Bill Ryan". George Hayes would eventually pick-up the nickname of "Gabby" and become a major "B" sidekick to many a "B" Western cowboy.


























My article, "George 'Gabby' Hayes: Being a 'B' Cowboy 'Sidekick", can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2020/03/george-gabby-hayes-being-b-cowboy.html

That, uncredited little girl, would grow up to be in Universal Pictures, 1944, "House of Frankenstein" and co-star on Robert Young's television series, "Marcus Welby, M.D.", from 1969 through 1976. 

The plot of "Cavalier of the West", was typical "B", with Kane Richmond being framed by the cattle rustlers for a murder and his older brother proving his innocence.



Three short subjects, two movies without credit and seventh billing in a motion picture starring silent screen star, Ramon Navarro. Who had the title role in the original, silent, 1925, "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ", followed "Cavalier of the West", and then 


THE DEVIL TIGER released February 8, 1934



The motion picture was Produced and Directed by Clyde E. Elliott, a wild animal documentary film maker. The motion picture uses footage of wild animals, including the tiger of the title.

Marion Burns portrayed "Mary Brewster". Her fifteen roles are divided into five sections. Between 1931 and 1938, Burns appeared in either Westerns, or Action dramas. Then there was a break until 1945, and Marion Burns appeared only in the "Cliff Hanger", "Brenda Starr, Reporter". Another break took place until 1956, with an appearance on the forgotten television series, "Wire Service". Which was followed by 1959's, "Manhunt" and 1961's, "My Three Sons".

Kane Richmond portrayed "Robert 'Bob' Eller".




Above Kane Richmond and Marion Burns.

The plot has "Bob Eller" and his team going to Asia to find the elusive title character. The documentary footage is the reason to still see this motion picture. At one point in the story, "Eller", is to fight a boa constrictor. Richmond refused to have a stunt double and the snake started to wrap around his body and the script called for Burns to pull it off. Needless to say, the boa constrictor now got itself around her body also. In the end the snake was removed and there was a great scene shot, if the actors thought otherwise.


Five more uncredited movie roles followed, along with a small role in a "Colonel Tim McCoy" feature and another in a crime drama. At which point, Kane Richmond moved to his first "Cliff Hanger". Considered a Science Fiction classic of the period.


THE LOST CITY the First Chapter premiered on March 6, 1935






The 12 Chapter, four hour long "Cliff Hanger", was Directed by Harry Revier. Revier started working with the "Universal Film Manufacturing Company" in 1914. He would direct several genres, including Westerns and "Tarzan" films starring Gene Pollar. However, he is remembered for 1938's, "Child Bride", a scandalous, for the period, story about Ozark men marrying child brides. Some of their brides having just entered their teens.


William "Stage" Boyd portrayed "Zolok". The actor took on the middle nickname of "Stage", he had come from the legitimate stage, to avoid conflict with another William Boyd. Who became "Hopalong Cassidy" in "B" Westerns! Sadly, "Stage" Boyd passed away, on March 20, 1935, fourteen days after this "Cliff Hanger" began being shown, he was only 45.

















Kane Richmond portrayed "Bruce Gordon".






Claudia Dell portrayed "Natcha Manyus". Dell portrayed, "Sally Dangerfield", in 1932's, "Destry Rides Again", starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, and "Octavia", in Cecil B. DeMille's 1935, "Cleopatra", starring Claudette Colbert.

Josef Swickard portrayed "Dr. Manyus". Between 1912 and 1939, character actor Swickard appeared in 236 different motion pictures. These included the Rudolph Valentino, 1921, "The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse", and the classic, 1938, Frank Capra Comedy, "You Can't Take It with You", starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur. 






Above Claudia Dell and Joseph Swickard.


George Hayes portrayed "Butterfield".








There have been electrically induced natural disasters appearing around the World. Scientist "Bruce Gordon", has traced them to a location in Africa. Going there, he encounters the evil "Zolok". Who wants to take over the World. "Gordon" also finds out that "Zolok" is the last of the people of the "Lost Continent of Lemuria". Additionally, "Zolok", has imprisoned the daughter of "Dr. Manyus", "Natcha", to make her father work for him. The two men are creating giant mindless slaves to work for "Zolok".

Will "Bruce Gordon" be able to rescue "Natcha" and her father? Will he be able to end "Zolok's" quest for World domination? Will he be able to keep "Natcha" from the slave trader "Ben Ali", played by Gino Corrado, with the help of "Queen Rama", played by Margo D'Use? Of course, this is a "Cliff Hanger" and the hero always wins.


























  

























































My article on "ATLANTIS, LEMURIA AND MU: The Lost Continents in Science Fiction Movies", that mentions of Gene Autry, Dr. Who, Godzilla, Producer George Pal and Walt Disney Productions, can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/04/atlantis-lemuria-and-mu-lost-continents.html



A Crime Drama followed and then Kane Richmond found himself in a 12 Chapter, four hour and 9 minutes long, "Cliff Hanger", with third billing behind a dog and a horse. 


THE ADVENTURES OF REX AND RINTY the First Chapter premiered on August 1, 1935




There were two directors on the production. Ford Beebee was both a Director, he had 105 motion pictures to his credit, and Screenplay writer, he would have 126 motion pictures to his credit. As a Director, Beebee would work on both 1938's, "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars", and 1940's, "Flash Gordon Conquerors the Universe". His other work, as a director, included 1939's, "The Phantom Creeps", a "Cliff Hanger" starring Bela Lugosi, and the same years, "Buck Rodgers".

The second director was B. Reeves Eason. Eason started directing in 1915 and at the end of his career, in 1950, had to his credit 157 films, or "Cliff Hangers". Of which, 63 are two-reel Dramas and Westerns.


Rex, King of Wild Horses, portrayed himself. Between 1924, with "King of the Wild Horses", and 1938, with "King of the Sierras". " Rex appeared in 20 feature films for "Mascot Pictures",.








Rin Tin Tin, Jr. portrayed "Rinty". He was the son of the original Rin-Tin-Tin and would co-star with Rex in two "Cliff Hangers". In all, between 1932 and 1939, Rin-Tin-Tin Jr., appeared in 14 feature films. There was a radio show featuring "Rinty" and he "Voiced the Role" on them.







Kane Richmond portrayed "Frank Bradley".






Norma Taylor portrayed "Dorothy Bruce". Taylor would only have eight on-screen appearances and this was her third. Her fourth was a Gene Autry, Musical Western, with fifth billing behind George Hayes.







Above Norma Taylor, Allan Cavan as "Mr. Bruce", and Kane Richmond in front of Rex.

The story has "Rex", brought from the factious island of Sujan to the United States. "Rex" is to be trained as a Polo Pony, but the horse longs for his home. "Frank Bradley" arranges to have him transported back, but upon arrival a discovery is mad. "Rex" is looked upon by the natives as a "God-Horse" and had originally been planned to be burnt as a sacrifice. Now, "Bradley" must save the horse, before the natives carry out their plans. 



Above the Comedian Mischer Ayer as the villain "Tanaga"

























Above Lester Alvin "Smiley" Burnette as "Jensen". One month after the release of this "Cliff Hanger", "Smiley" Burnette became Gene Autry's sidekick in "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"





















Three "B" films followed, that were described as, a Crime Drama, a Western and a Mystery. Which bounced Kane Richmond from first billing to as low as ninth. Next, the actor, had a case of deja vu, finding himself billed second to "Lobo the Wonder Dog", or as billed below, "Lobo the Marvel Dog". The 55 minute Western was 1935's, "Thunderbolt".




Three movies later and Kane Richmond found himself in an "A" List feature film in 1936. "Private Number", starred Robert Taylor, Loretta Young and Basil Rathbone. Kane Richmond found himself in nineteenth billing in the role of "Joe".

In 1937, the Mystery,
"Nancy Steele is Missing!", was released. That "B+" movie, starred the 1935 Best Actor Oscar winner, Victor McLaglen, and Peter Lorre. In the cast was seventh billed, John Carradine, and he was followed by future, Best Supporting Actress winner, for John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath", Jane Darrell. Four positions lower, at twelfth billing. was Kane Richmond as "Tom--Steele's Chauffeur".

Around those two motion pictures was a series of seven "B" Drama's co-starring with actor Frankie Darrow. Darrow started out in silent films as a child star. He would co-star with Gene Autry in the cult "Cliff Hanger", 1935's, "The Phantom Empire". Which is about the survivors of the lost continent of Mu wanting to conqueror the world from underneath Autry's "Melody Ranch". Darrow appeared in many Depression Era films, provided the voice of "Lampwick", in Walt Disney's, 1940, "Pinocchio", and was inside the body of "Robby the Robot", in the 1956, Science Fiction classic, "Forbidden Planet".

Kane Richmond and Frankie Darrow might be playing different named characters in each of their motion pictures, but the audience knew what to expect from the two heroes. The titles were, 1936's, "Born to Fight", 1936', "Racing Blood", 1937's, "The Devil Diamond", 1937, "Headline Crasher", 1937's, "Tough to Handle", 1937's, "Anything for a Thrill", and 1937's, "Young Dynamite".








Above Kane Richmond and Frankie Darrow being attacked by thugs in 1937's, "Born to Fight".


In 1938, Buster Crabbe aka: "Flash Gordon", Jean Rodgers aka: "Dale Arden" and Frank Shannon aka: "Dr. Alexis Zarkov", once more, went after Charles Middleton aka: "Emperor Ming", in "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars". Below, without credit, is Kane Richmond as one of "Ming's" "Pilot Captain's" with actor Keene Duncan, usually a henchman in "B" Westerns, as an "Airdrome Captain".





Below, Kane Richmond is confronted by Buster Crabbe as "Flash Gordon".





Six more roles without credit followed and then came:


TAIL SPIN released February 19, 1939 







This was a feature film aimed at Depression Era women.

Note: 

The main stars are all popular actresses, Alice Faye, Constance Bennett, Nancy Kelly, Joan Davis, Jayne Wyman, and all under contract to "20th Century Fox". Five of the pictures seven main roles went to these ladies, and don't forget eighth billed Joan Valerie. While only two of the man roles went to the men, Charles Farrell and Kane Richmond. 


























Above, Kane Richmond as "Lieutenant Dick 'Tex' Price" and Constance Bennett as "Gerry Lester".

"Trixie Lee", portrayed by Alice Faye, and her partner, "Babe Dugan", portrayed by Joan Davis, enter an air race from Los Angeles to Cleveland. Their plane develops an oil leak and "Tex Price" helps  them. Later, his ex-girlfriend, "Gerry Lester", wants to fly in the "Powder Puff Derby", woman's air race. Pitting, "Gerry" against "Trixie", who wants to win both races. In the end "Gerry" and "Tex" get back together.


Richmond's next eight motion pictures, included, 1939's, "The Return of the Cisco Kid" starring Warner Baxter and Lynn Bari. It featured the future "Cisco Kid" and televisions "The Joker", Cesar Romero. Kane Richmond had fifth billing as "Alan Davis", behind Henry Hull, 1935's "The Werewolf of London".






















Above, Chris-Pin Martin as "Gordito", Kane Richmond and Lynn Bari


For those interested in the "Cisco Kid", my article, "The History of the CISCO KID on the Motion Pictures and Television Screens: La Historia del CISCO KID en las pantallas de cine y television", will be round at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2019/09/the-history-of-cisco-kid-on-motion.html


Kane Richmond appeared in two Sidney Toler, "Charlie Chan", mysteries, 1939's, "Charlie Chan in Reno", with fifth billing, and 1940's, "Charlie Chan in Panama", with sixth billing. That entry also featured Jean Rodgers, Lionel Atwill and Chris-Pin Martin.

Kane Richmond portrayed "Elmer Layden", one of Notre Dame's famed football "Four Horsemen", in 1940's, "Knute Rockne, All American", starring Pat O'Brien and a young, Ronald Reagan as "George Gipp" aka: "The Gipper".




Bill Marshall, Nick Lukas, Kane Richmond and Bill Byrne as the "Four Horsemen".

Before he was President, there was "Ronald Reagan Motion Picture and Television Actor", at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/03/ronald-reagan-motion-picture-and.html


Six forgotten motion pictures later and Kane Richmond found himself as "Army Captain Baker". In the first feature film of the Comedy duo, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, "Great Guns", released October 10, 1941. The motion picture is also considered the start of the teams decline with their audience, because the scripts did not fit Stan and Ollie's comedy style.

The motion picture was a failed attempt to equal Bud Abbot's and Lou Costello's, January 31, 1941, "Buck Privates".





Three more forgotten motion pictures and Kane Richmond found his calling.


SPY SMASHER the First Chapter premiered on April 4, 1942





It was only five months and three days short of December 7, 1941. "Republic Pictures" brought the very popular "Fawcett Comic Book" hero to the motion picture scree n. They also made what is still considered the "Best Cliff Hanger Serial" ever produced.































William Witney was the Director and among his many "Cliff Hangers" are, 1937's, "Zorro Rides Again", and 1938's, "The Lone Ranger". While in 1939 he Directed, "Daredevils of the Red Circle", "Dick Tracy's G-Men", and "Zorro's Fighting Legion". In 1940, it was  the "Drums of Fu Manchu" and "The Mysterious Dr. Satan". William Witney also brought to the screen, 1941's, "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" starring "B" Cowboy actor Tom Tyler.

There were five writers on the 12 Chapter, three hour and thirty-four minute "Cliff Hanger".

Ronald Davidson worked strictly on Republic Picture serials. Among his work are all the above mentioned "Cliff Hangers".

Norman S. Hall worked on condensing full length serials into one hour motion pictures for additional release. He also worked on the above mentioned serials and Universal Pictures, 1938, "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" and 1939's, "Buck Rodgers.

William Lively's first "Cliff Hanger", 1936's, "Custer's Last Stand", ran five hours and twenty-eight minutes. Among his others are, 1941's, "King of the Texas Rangers", and the classic, 1949, "King of the Rocket Men". Which has the first appearance of Republic's Rocket Suit. Lively also specialized in "B" Westerns.

For those of my readers who are familiar with the rocket suit. My article, "Republic Pictures: THE ROCKET MAN CLIFF HANGERS" will be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2019/09/republic-pictures-rocket-man-cliff.html

Joseph O'Donnell worked basically on "B" Westerns and Crime Dramas. 

Joseph Poland started working on screenplays in 1913 and with the advent of sound. Poland switched to "B" Westerns for Gene Autry, Buck Jones and John Wayne. Poland worked on the 1940 "Cliff Hanger" version of the radio drama, "The Shadow", starring Victor Jory as "Lamont Cranston". 

In short, there was an excellent team behind "Spy Smasher".


The story changed slightly, from the "Fawcett Comic", with the addition of the hero's brother. Who was not in any of the original stories.

Kane Richmond had the duo role of "Alan Armstrong" aka: "Spy Smasher", and his new twin brother, "Jack Armstrong". Which may have been a deliberate play on the popular radio show, "Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy".









Marguerite Chapman portrayed "Eve Colby". Among the "B" actresses other work are, Sidney Toler's, 1940, "Charlie Chan in the Wax Museum", and Warner Brothers, 1941, answer to Universal Pictures, 1940, Comedy, "The Invisible Woman", called "The Body Disappears". 

In that picture, Chapman was the gold digger fiancée of Jeffrey Lynn. Who accidently becomes the "Invisible Man". While, Jayne Wyman was his true love and Edward Everett Horton, in the John Barrymore type role from the Universal feature, is the one who creates the Invisibility formula.






 


Sam Flint portrayed "Admiral Colby". Flint played military officers, senators, business executives and father figures, in all genres of films starting in 1933.



Hans Schumm portrayed the Nazi Spy known only as "The Mask". German-American and Jewish actor Schumm had moved to the United States in 1931. Like many German Jewish actors as Hitler started to come to power. He would appear in stage plays at the famed, "Pasadena Playhouse". His film roles were minor until World War 2. When he started playing, ironically, Nazi's. Schumm was drafted into the United States Army, but registered as a conscientious objector. His best known roles is  this one, but he was also the captured Nazi soldier in Humphrey Bogart's 1943, "Sahara", and the year before, played, "Anton", in Bogart's, "All Through the Night".






Tristram Coffin portrayed "Drake".  With his chiseled features, Coffin, real name, usually played the main henchman in crime and spy films, but in 1949, he had the title role of "King of the Rocket Men", see my above link. 






Above Tristram Coffin, with his hands on "The Mask's" device, and John James as "Henchman Steve".


"Alan Armstrong" is a freelance costumed vigilante. He takes on Nazi espionage groups operating in the United States and any country already fighting Germany. He is also, not connected with any Government Agency.

The story opens with "Spy Smasher" working with French operative, "Pierre Durand", played by Franco Corsaro.




















"Spy Smasher" is captured by Nazi agents, but will be rescued by "Pierre".




 





Above a rare color image of a scene in Germany as "Alan Armstrong" is being initially captured. These color shots were used on the "Lobby Cards".


















































Thinking "The Mask" is now captured, "Alan Armstrong" returns to the United States. However, American Nazi agents, working for "The Mask", are now operating with "Drake" in charge.

"The Mask" has an American business as a cover, but his actual base of operations, as before, is a Nazi submarine off the American coast. "The Mask's" first attempt against the United States is to flood the entire country with counterfeit money and undermine the economy, but thanks to "Spy Smasher" that fails.

"Alan Armstrong" is now working with "Admiral "Corby". Whom the Admiral doesn't know is "Spy Smasher". At the Admiral's home, "Alan" meets his twin brother "Jack's" fiancé, "Eve Colby", the Admiral's daughter.

"Drake" and his Nazi agents will kidnap "Jack", mistaking him for "Alan", and it's up to "Spy Smasher" to rescue him.

 























There are some great moments in this "Cliff Hanger" that add to its fame.

Spoiler Alerts:

"Chapter One: America Beware", like all "Cliff Hanger" First Chapters, establishes the characters and the plot and is the longest at 28 minutes and 32 seconds. All the remaining Eleven Chapters run a few seconds over 16 minutes.  

The First Chapter has a fight sequence taking place in the basement of the "Acme", yes, "Acme", cafe's wine cellar.



































































"Alan Armstrong" discovers a secret doorway in a phonebooth at the "Acme Cafe". He changes into "Spy Smasher", enters the basement wine cellar, and confronts several agents of "The Mask". "Spy Smasher" appears outnumbered in a fight that starts with the Nazi Agents, but as it progresses. He seems to have the situation under control. Until one of  "The Mask's" henchmen sets a fuel tank on fire. However, there's a tunnel with an old railway handcar the Nazi agents use to move supplies and equipment from the ocean side. The fire is spreading and "Spy Smasher" jumps onto the handcar and heads down the tunnel attempting to escape. The audience now gets the point of view of "Spy Smasher" coming directly at them.

WHEN---see "Chapter Two: Human Target", at this theater next week.

When the audience returned the following week. They now see, which they didn't last week, that there is a box of hand grenades on the railroad handcar. "Spy Smasher" uses them the stop the fire and destroy part of the tunnel blocking the Nazi agents escape.

In "Chapter Eleven: Hero's Death", the Nazi agents kill "Spy Smasher". According to Jim Harmon and Donald F. Glut in there 1973 work, "The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury". The death of "Spy Smasher" is perhaps the:
most unique chapter ending of them all

Spy Smasher is gunned down by enemy agents at point blank range and falls from the top of an office building to crash into the pavement below. In the resolution, the audience discover that Jack, Spy Smasher's brother, has knocked him out and stolen his costume. The real Spy Smasher turns up too late to save his twin.






















In the "Fawcett Comic Book", "Spy Smasher" had a weird looking plane called the "Gyrosub". Which, as its name implies, both fly's and goes underwater. The plane was in the "Cliff Hanger", but changed into "The Mask's", "Bat Plane".












































The following link is to the complete "Spy Smasher" "Cliff Hanger", at the time of this writing:

https://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x28ypm


"Spy Smasher" is part of my article, "America's Super Heroes VS the Axis Powers in World War 2 Cliff Hangers", found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/02/americas-super-heroes-vs-axis-powers-in.html


Look for Kane Richmond as "Ensign Wright", without screen credit, in the Humphrey Bogart and Raymond Massey, 1943, "Action in the North Atlantic". The same year, Richmond, was "Army Sergeant Cummings", without credit, in 1943's, forgotten, "There's Something About a Soldier", starring Tom Neal, Evelyn Keyes and Bruce Bennett.

Two more films followed and in 1944, with the last credited role, at 14th billing, Kane Richmond was "Alex Anderson", in "Ladies Courageous" aka: "Fury in the Sky". The story was about the "Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron" of pilots. The picture starred Loretta Young, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Diana Barrymore, Anne Gwynne and Evelyn Ankers.






Two more forgotten dramas later and Kane Richmond was back in another "Cliff Hanger".



HAUNTED HARBOR aka: PIRATES HARBOR the First Chapter premiered on August 26, 1944





The acting Director was Spencer Gordon Bennet. Who started directing in 1921 and among his films are a large amount of "B" Westerns. Bennet's "Cliff Hangers" include, 1943's "The Masked Marvel", and "G-Men vs The Black Dragon". starring Rod Cameron. In 1944 are both "The Tiger Woman", starring "B" Cowboy Alan "Rocky" Lane, Linda Stirling and Duncan Renaldo and "Zorro's Black Whip", starring Linda Stirling as "Zorro".

The action Director was Wallace Grissell. Grissell started with 1944's, "The Tiger Woman" and also worked on "Zorro's Black Whip". Additionally with Linda Stirling's, 1945, "Manhunt on Mystery Island" and, Judd Holden's,1951's, "Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere".


"Haunted Harbor" was a 15 Chapter "Cliff Hanger" that ran four hours and three-minutes.


Kane Richmond portrayed "Jim Marsden".

Kay Aldridge portrayed "Patricia Harding". Aldridge was a model and her first on-screen appearance, without credit, was in "Vogues of 1938", released in 1937, as a model. In fact, 5 of her total 25 films, were without credit. Kay Aldridge did star opposite Clayton Moore, in the 1942, "Cliff Hanger", "Perils of Nyoka", portraying "Nyoka Gordon". in 1943. Aldridge co-starred with Alan "Rocky" Lane in the Western "Cliff Hanger", "Daredevils of the West" and her final motion picture was 1945's, "The Phantom of 42nd Street", about the murder of a Broadway actor.























Above, Kane Richmond and Kay Aldridge


Roy Barcroft portrayed "Carter aka: Kane". Between 1931, as an extra in Greta Garbo's "Mata Hari," to 1970's, Lee Marvin and French actress Jeanne Moreau's Western, "Monte Walsh". Roy Barcroft appeared on screen over 462 times. Normally, he played the bad guy, especially in Westerns, and had the title role in the 1945, "Cliff Hanger", "The Purple Monster Strikes". However, I first saw "Roy Barcroft as "Colonel Logan", the owner of the "Triple R Ranch", on "The Adventures of Spin and Marty". That was shown on the original "Mickey Mouse Club".






















Sea Captain "Jim Marsden's" ship "The Dolphin" is lost at sea with a million dollars in gold bullion in its hold. Should that amount seem small in February of 2021, as write this article. At this time, thank you inflation, it would equate to $14,862,613.64.

"Marsden" is framed for a murder and just as he's about to be hanged. Two of his crew rescue him and they head for the island of Pulinan. Where, "Marsden", expects to find the real killer, his ex-partner, "Kane". Who the audience discovers is calling himself "Carter". There, they rescue "Patricia Harding" and her father, "Dr. Oliver Harding", played by Forrest Taylor. Of course, "Patricia" keeps getting herself caught by the bad guys, because that's the heroine's job in a "Cliff Hanger".








































































A portion of the action takes place in the entitled, "Haunted Harbor". Which has a Chinese style dragon lurking. Don't laugh at the dragon's look. After all this is a Republic Picture "Cliff Hanger" and just go with it.









BRENDA STARR, REPORTER the First Chapter premiered on January 26, 1945





"Brenda Starr" was based upon a popular newspaper comic strip.


The "Cliff Hanger" was Produced by Sam Katzman. Katman had been Producing pictures since 1933 and the "Showman" taught William Castle the trade. Among Sam Katzman's productions are, 1942's. "The Corpse Vanishes", starring Bela Lugosi and Tristram Coffin. 1943's, "Ghost on the Loose", starring "The Eastside Kids". Who started out on Broadway and their first motion picture as "The Dead End Kids", and would end up by becoming, "The Bowery Boys". In 1948, Katzman brought "Superman" to the movie screen and a year later, he produced "Batman and Robin", both successful "Cliff Hangers". He was the executive producer for Ray Harryhausen's, 1955, "It Came from Beneath the Sea" and 1956's, "Earth vs the Flying Saucers". Sam Katzman even produced an Elvis Presley motion picture. 

My article, "Superman' Meets 'The Giant Claw' as the 'Earth vs the Flying Saucers': Executive Producer Sam Katzman" will be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/10/superman-meets-giant-claw-as-earth-vs.html


The Director was Wallace Fox. Fox started out with "B" Westerns and forgotten Comedy short subjects. He graduated to "The Eastside Kids" and "B" Horror films, like "The Corpse Vanishes", for Sam Katzman. He directed Duncan Renaldo in his early "Cisco Kid" movies and found himself directing episodes of televisions, "The Gene Autry Show", "The Range Rider" and "Annie Oakley" in the early 1950's.


Joan Woodbury portrayed "Brenda Starr". Woodbury started on-screen acting, without credit, in 1934. She portrayed "The Queen in the Bottle", in James Whale's 1935, "Bride of Frankenstein". In fact, 16 of her first 23 film roles were without credit. Joan Woodbury had third billing, behind Bruce Cabot, 1933's "King Kong", and Helen Mack, 1933's, "Son of Kong", in 1939's, "Mystery of the White Room".

Kane Richmond portrayed "Police Lieutenant Larry Farrell".


























Syd Saylor portrayed photographer "Chuck Allen". Saylor's first on-screen appearance was in the 1926 Western, "The Winking Idol", with tenth billing. The film was Directed by Francis Ford, the older brother of Director John Ford. His career would end with 441 roles in 1963, because of his looks, he was often referred to as "Frog Face" and he used a comedic sneeze as a trademark.

 





















Above left, is Syd Saylor, Kane Richmond, Joan Woodbury and Joe Devlin as "Police Sergeant Tim Brown". 

William "Billy" Benedict portrayed "Pesky". Benedict was a regular as one of "The East Side Kids" and "The Bowery Boys". Among his other "Cliff Hangers" are, 1940's, "The Adventures of Red Ryder", 1941's, "The Adventures of Captain Marvel", 1943's, "The Adventures of the Flying Cadets". In which he played a cadet with the colorful name of "Zombie Parker". At the end of his career, in 1988, on "Bonanza: the Next Generation", William Benedict had 320 roles to his credit.
























Gangster "Joe Heller", played by Wheeler Oakman, is double-crossed after the robbery of a quarter-of-a-million-dollar payroll, takes all the money, and goes into hiding. He is discovered by another gangster, who was in on the robbery, named "Kruger", played by Jack Ingram. "Kruger" shoots "Heller" and leaves with a satchel containing the money from the robbery. "The Daily Flash" newspaper's star reporter, "Brenda Starr", stumbles upon the dying "Heller". Who gives her a coded message! When "Kruger" opens the satchel, it contains cut-up paper, but he knows about the message given to "Brenda".





















The audience has not seen the last of actor Wheeler Oakman, as he plays "Joe's" twin brother, "Lew Heller", another gang leader after the money. "Brenda Starr" now attempts to solve the coded message and get her story. While, "Police Lieutenant Larry Farrell" is watching all those involved and especially "Brenda Starr". Who always seems to get into trouble and needs rescuing.

 







Above left, George Meeker is the "Big Boss and Nightclub Owner Frank Smith", talking with Jack Ingram's "Kruger".




















In the end "Pesky" solves the code and now everyone moves to the climatic confrontation. This is not one of the best "Cliff Hangers". As Joan Woodbury said about it. referenced, in an article about Sam Katzman, on the website, "Western Clippings: Serial Report":

http://www.westernclippings.com/sr/serialreport_2009_08.shtml


It was made during the war and everybody was hungry, including me. My former husband had gone off to war. I was left with a little daughter. So you grabbed anything you could grab and, believe me, you were very grateful for anything that came along. This was a 13 episode thing, in 21 days! The only reason they gave me the role was the fact I could learn dialogue fast enough to do everything in one take. The most memorable thing is, on the last night, the back of the set was one solid bar and there wasn’t an inch of space between one bottle and the next. Everybody was waiting for the wrap-up, so we could have a party! But I had 19 pages of dialogue on a telephone, with nobody talking back to me. It’s great if an actor talks back, you can at least ad lib on his ad libs. When you have nobody talking back, you’ve got nobody to ad lib you. So, I’d look at a page and say, ‘Okay, let’s do it,’ pick up the phone and we’d shoot it. I shot all 19 sequences in one take, because they were going to kill me if I didn’t, with all that booze waiting; and I proceeded to get bombed after that. (Laughs) Sam, at least, realized it was cheaper to hire a stunt lady than break my leg. So I didn’t fall out of windows…I didn’t have any fun at all. (Laughs) I didn’t care to do any more serials.


Immediately, Sam Katzman put Kane Richmond to work on another "Cliff Hanger". 


JUNGLE RAIDERS the First Chapter premiered on September 14, 1945






The "Cliff Hanger" was Directed by Lesley Selander. Selander was a Director of "B" Westerns, including the "Hopalong Cassidy" series. He also Directed the overlooked, 1945, "The Vampire's Ghost". Think "Casablanca" meets "Dracula".  That was from a story by and screenplay co-written by Leigh Brackett, 1946's, "The Big Sleep", 1959's, "Rio Bravo" and the original screenplay for 1980's, "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back". Bracket was the first major women Science Fiction writer. My article, "LEIGH BRACKETT: John Wayne Meets the Queen of Space Opera" is found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/06/leigh-brackett-john-wayne-meets-queen.html


This is a 15 Chapter, three hours and four minutes long "Cliff Hanger".


Kane Richmond portrayed "Bob Moore".
























Above the uncredited John Elliott as "Dr. Horace Moore" and Kane Richmond


Eddie Quillan portrayed "Joe Riley". Quillan's first 19 on-screen appearances were in short subjects starting in 1926. He was part of the cast of the Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, 1935, "Mutiny on the Bounty" and was mystery writer and detective "Ellery Queen" in, 1936's, "The Mandarin Mystery". Director John Ford cast Quillan in both 1939's, "Young Mr. Lincoln" and 1940's, "The Grapes of Wrath". 






















Veda Ann Borg portrayed "Cora Bell". Borg started on-screen acting in 1936 with roles without credit. On November 20, 1937, the actress was billed tenth, in the Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland, "It's Love I'm After". Then, in 1940, Veda Ann Borg jumped to co-starring as "Margo Lane", in the Victor Jory "Cliff Hanger", "The Shadow". Then dropped down to either uncredited roles, or very low billing.

Carol Hughes portrayed "Zara, the High Priestess".  Hughes replaced Jean Rodgers as "Dale Arden", in 1940's, "Flash Gordon's Conquerors the Universe". However, she had been appearing on-screen since 1934. Her last appearance was in an episode of 1953's, "The Red Skelton Hour".














Above Carol Hughes and Veda Ann Borg.

Janet Shaw portrayed "Ann Reed". Shaw started on-screen acting in 1935, of her first 23 motion picture roles, 15 were without credit. Her 24th film, 1939's, "Torchy Blane in Chinatown", gave the actress 7th billing as "Janet Baldwin". She retained that position for the Vivian Leigh and Robert Taylor, 1940, version of "Waterloo Bridge". Director James Whale's, pre-motion picture code, 1931, version is the better film. In 1942, Shaw was in both Universal Pictures, "Night Monster" and without credit as "The girl in the car", in "The Mummy's Tomb". In fact a majority of Janet Shaw's 72 on-screen roles are without credit.
















Above two of the Jungle natives, Janet Shaw and John Elliott. 


"Ann Reed" travels to a mysterious country of Jungle people to find out what happened to her father, "Dr. Murray Reed", played by Budd Buster, his actual name. "Dr. Reed" disappeared into the interior of the never mentioned jungle country. That looks suspiciously like "Jungleland USA", in Thousand Oaks, California, outside of Los Angeles.

"Ann" joins "Bob Moore" and "Joe Riley", who were just mustered out of the Army, and had plans to join her father. 

Apparently, there is a miracle drug used by the witch doctor of the tribe "Dr. Reed" wanted to locate. However, the owner of the local trading post is after a cache of jewels associated with the same tribe and will do anything to stop "Bob Moore" and his group.




















Next it was back to a 57 minute Crime Drama and Kane Richmond became the sleazy bad guy for a change of pace.


BLACK MARKET BABIES released December 15, 1945






The feature was Directed by William Beaudine. Beaudine started Directing films in 1915 and went into television in 1953. His last actual directing assignment was in 1969, for the 1960 through 1969 television series "Lassie". Depending upon whose list you use, William Beaudine directed between 383 and 500 either motion pictures and television episodes. While, some biographers claim the total was even much higher.


Ralph Morgan portrayed "Dr. Henry Jordan". Morgan was the older brother of Frank Morgan, the title character in 1939's, "The Wizard of Oz". Some of Ralph Morgan's films are, 1932's, "Strange Interlude", starring Norma Shearer and Clark Gable, the 1935 version of "Magnificent Obsession", starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor, the "Cliff Hanger", "Dick Tracy vs Crime Inc.". starring Ralph Byrd, the title character in Universal Pictures, 1942, "Night Monster", with Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill, and 1944's, "The Monster Maker", co-starring J. Carrol Naish.





Kane Richmond portrayed "Eddie Condon".






This picture goes against Kane Richmond's screen persona and turns him into small-time racketeer, "Eddie Condon". Who comes up with a scheme to sell babies. "Condon" finds an alcoholic doctor, "Dr. Henry Jordan", and convinces him to establish "Dr. Jordon's Maternity Manor". The two prey on financially strapped pregnant woman without medical insurance, or a means to raise their newborns. The kindly doctor trades their babies for medical care and a safe delivery.

Everything goes smoothly until a baby is still-born and "Eddie Condon" needs to find a replacement. This results in the authorities finally becoming aware of the operation. At the films climax, "Dr. Jordan" doesn't want to go along with the baby swap and a argument between "Condon" and "Jordan" develops. "Eddie Condon" pulls a gun and in a struggle over a gun, "Dr. Jordan" kills the other. The entire movie is told in flashback, as "Jordon" is testifying before "District Attorney Hamilton", played by Addison Richards.



 






"Poverty Row Studio, Monogram Pictures", now cast Kane Richmond in the first of three pictures, whose character would be as tied to the actor as "Alan Armstrong". Yet, these were quickie, very low budgeted movies with holes in the scripts.

For my readers interest, there were a group of small studios that only had either rented office space, or a small lot area. They all either filmed on location, or rented space from the majors. The studios were all located on Gower Street, in Hollywood, and the street earned the nickname of "Poverty Row". They're story is part of my article, "HOLLYWOOD: Segregated Housing, Motion Picture Studios and Movie Palaces" at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2019/04/hollywood-segregated-housing-motion.html



THE SHADOW RETURNS released February 16, 1946






"The Shadow" started out as a narrator for a series of mysteries on CBS radio, July 31, 1930. He morphed into a mystic character, after the written stories began, and lasted on radio through December 26, 1954.























Different actors portrayed "The Shadow" on radio. Do you recognize the above radio actor? Of course, it's Orson Welles in 1937. 

The transfer to a written character was by Pulp Mystery writer, Walter B. Gibson, starting on April 1, 1931. Between 1931 and 1932, Universal Pictures, released six short subject mysteries that used "The Shadow" as a narrator like the radio programs. In 1937, another "Poverty Row Studio, Grand National Pictures", made the first of two feature films about "The Shadow", portrayed by Rod La Rocque. Next, it was the Victor Jory, 1940, "Cliff Hanger".


"The Shadow Returns" only runs sixty-one minutes, but is a non-stop, "Cliff Hanger" style, action mystery and the first of three with Kane Richmond.

The credited Director was Phil Rosen. Rosen started directing in 1915 and ended in 1951, with an episode of the forgotten television series, "Front Page Detective". That had starred forgotten actor, Edmund Lowe, the 1931 mystery "The Spider", the Bela Lugosi 1932, "Chandu the Magician", and 1945's, "Dillinger".

This was, also, one of William Beaudine's uncredited Directing assignments. Which is why no one is sure how many films he actually Directed.

The screenplay was by George Callahan. Callahan only has 33 films to his credit, but these include, eight, "Charlie Chan" mysteries, starring Sidney Toler. 


Kane Richmond portrayed "Lamont Cranston" aka: "The Shadow".






Barbara Read portrayed "Margo Lane". In 1937, Read, co-starred with Lewis Stone, of the "Andy Hardy" series with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland and 1932's, "The Mask of Fu Manchu", starring Boris Karloff and an unknown Myrna Loy, in the very good Crime Drama, "The Man Who Cried Wolf". About a man who confesses to a series of murders he didn't commit. So when he does commit the planned murder, nobody will believe him.








Above Barbara Read with Tom Dugan as "Moses 'Moe' Sherevitz" aka: Shrevvie". A cab driver that doubles as "Lamont Cranston's and The Shadow's" chauffer. Dugan was in the 1927 "The Jazz Singer", but his comic talent was put to good use in both Carole Lombard and Jack Benny's, 1942, "To Be or Not to Be" and the Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Esther Williams musical, 1949's, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".


Pierre Watkin portrayed "Lamont Cranston's Uncle", "Police Commissioner Weston". Watkin portrayed a variety of roles such as Senator's, the U.S. Secretary of State and Lawyers. He portrayed Confederate "General Robert E. Lee" in a short subject, the "French Prefect of Police" in 1937's, "The Life of Emile Zola", a "District Attorney" in the Humphrey Bogart, 1939, "King of the Underworld" and "Perry White", in both Sam Katzman's "Cliff Hanger's", 1948's, "Superman" and 1950's, "Atom Man vs Superman".

Joseph Crehan portrayed "Police Inspector Cardona". Crehan portrayed Police Officers, Judges and Military Officers primarily. 






















Above on the left is Pierre Watkin and on the right is Joseph Crehan.













What starts out as a jewel robbery, isn't about the jewels as "The Shadow" will discover. Then there are four deaths, two apparently suicides and the other two not clear if they're the same, or murder. In fact, all are murders and it's what's used to kill these four that is the real mystery here. Instead of a straight Crime Drama, the screenplay adds Comic elements, like in the popular "Thin Man" series. Courtesy of "Margo Lane" and "Shrevvie". 




The 1946 Film-Noir, "Passkey to Danger", followed. Then---


BEHIND THE MASK released May 25, 1946





Now, the credited Director was Phil Karlson. This was Karlson's eighth motion picture and he would go on to direct, the pilot for television's "The Untouchables", the Jeffrey Hunter war biography, 1960's, "Hell to Eternity", 1961's, "The Secret Ways", starring Richard Widmark, 1962's, "Kid Galahad", starring Elvis Presley, and two of Dean Martin's, "Matt Helm" series, 1966's, "The Silencers" with Stella Stevens, and, 1968's, "The Wrecking Crew", with Elke Sommer and Sharon Tate.

As before, William Beaudine, without credit, may have directed also.


Kane Richmond was "Lamont Cranston" aka: "The Shadow".

Barbara Read was "Margo Lane".

George Chandler was now "Shrevvie". Chandler started acting in 1928 and would appear in 462 roles with 234 of them without credit. In 1951, Chandler started appearing on television with an episode of "Space Patrol". Then it would be "The Abbott and Costello Show", "The Adventures of Kit Carson" and many others through 1979's, "Lou Grant".





Above, George Chandler, Dorothea Kent as "Shrevvie's" girlfriend, "Jennie Delaney", Barbara Reed and Kane Richmond

Pierre Watkin portrayed "Police Commissioner Weston".

Joseph Crehan portrayed "Police Inspector Cardona".



Wealthy Playboy and Business man "Lamont Cranston" is framed for murder. Now, it's up to "The Shadow" to find the real murderer and clear "Cranston".









THE MISSING LADY released August 17, 1946





The third and final film of the "Monogram Pictures" series, is by far the best and has a very good story.

Once again the Director was Phil Karson, but there is nothing indicating anyone else assisted.


Kane Richmond portrayed "Lamont Cranston" aka: "The Shadow".

Barbara Read portrayed "Margo Lane".

George Chandler portrayed "Shrevvie"

Dorothea Kent portrayed "Jennie Delaney".

Pierre Watkin portrayed "Police Commissioner Weston".

James Flavin now portrayed "Police Inspector Cardona". Flavin graduated from West Point, but became an actor instead of an Army officer. Among his films are, Producer Merian C. Cooper's, 1932, "The Most Dangerous Game", 1933's, "King Kong" and 1949's, "Mighty Joe Young". He found himself in many roles as either a Police Officer, Sheriff, or Prison Warden.







Above James Flavin and Pierre Watkin


A jade statue, known as "The Lady", is stolen and it's up to "Lamont Cranston" to find it and "The Shadow" to capture the thief's. However, a series of murders occur and, of course, "The Shadow" is blamed for them. As every time "Lamont" finds a suspect, that suspect is murdered.




A normal shot in all three motion pictures was of "The Shadow's Shadow", rather than actually seeing him.








The very next motion picture had Kane Richmond dropped to fifth billing in the Anthony Quinn and Katherine DeMille, no relation to Cecil B., film, 1947's "Black Gold".

Then the actor was back to first billing in another "Cliff Hanger".


BRICK BRADFORD the First Chapter premiered on December 18, 1947




"Brick Braford",
like "Brenda Starr", was based upon a popular newspaper comic strip.


This was another Sam Katzman serial and was Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet. While, "B" Western Director Thomas Carr did some of the action sequences.

The major problem with this "Cliff Hanger", is that it was written by three different writers and each was given a section to write. The three were given a story outline for their section and wrote them without consulting with the others.

The first five chapters were written by George H. Plympton. Whose "Cliff Hanger" work included, 1936's, "Flash Gordon", 1940's, "Flash Gordon Conquerors the Universe", 1939's, "The Phantom Creeps", both 1940's, "The Green Hornet" and "The Green Hornet Strikes Again", and 1942's, "Captain Midnight".

The second five chapters were written by Arthur Hoerl.  Hoerl wrote silent screen drama's and mysteries between 1921 and 1929. Then switched to Crime Drama's and "B" Westerns. He wrote the screenplay for the Cult Classic, 1936's, "Reefer Madness", and created the basic story for "Behind the Mask". Arthur Hoerl's only other "Cliff Hangers", by this time, were also from 1947. The three are, "Jack Armstrong", "Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West" and "The Sea Hound". 

To illustrate the problem by splitting up the screenplay without coordination. Arthur Hoerl's five chapters are full of inside jokes that don't fit the first five's tone, or the final five chapters. Which doesn't fit either other writers work as the plot will also illustrate.

The final five chapters were written by Lewis Clay. His total output would be 16 titles and all "Cliff Hangers". Prior to this production he had written, the Western, 1942,"The Valley of Vanishing Men",
didn't write anything for four years and then wrote, 1946's, "Son of the Guardsman", followed by the three, 1947, "Cliff Hangers", mentioned by Arthur Hoerl. 

It should be noted the all three writers worked on 1948's, "Superman" as one unit and not writing without coordination.



Kane Richmond portrayed "Brick Bradford". 

Rick Vallin portrayed "Sandy Sanderson". Vallin was born in Crimea and became a major "B" movie character actor, including playing Native Americans, in  almost every genre between 1938 and 1966. Among his films are the 1943 musical, "The Desert Song", the 1944 Comedy, "Army Wives", and the 1947 Western, "Last of the Redmen". Some of his other "Cliff Hangers" are, 1942's, "Peril of the Royal Mounted", 1949's, "Batman and Robin",  1949's, "The Adventures of Sir Galahad", starring George Reeves, and 1950's, "Cody of the Pony Express"






Above Kane Richmond and Rick Vallin.

Linda Leighton as Linda Johnson, portrayed "June Salisbury". Johnson was primarily a "B" Western actress between 1940 and 1950. At which year she switched to television acting with an appearance on "The Lone Ranger" and remained in that medium through 1977.






















Pierre Watkin portrayed "Professor Salisbury". 

 



Charles Quigley portrayed "Laydron". He had co-starred with Rita Hayworth in five of her first films under that name. Some of Quigley's other "Cliff Hangers" are, 1939's, "Daredevils of the Red Circle", 1941's, "The Iron Claw", 1946's, "The Crimson Ghost" and 1948's, "Superman".











John Merton portrayed "Dr. Gregor Tymak".  Merton was known for portraying a villain in several "B" movies and especially "Cliff Hangers". Such as, 1934's, "The Red Rider", 1936's, "Undersea Kingdom", 1944's, "Zorro's Black Whip", 1945's, "Brenda Starr, Reporter", 1946's, "Hop Harrigan America's Ace of the Airways" and 1949's, "Radar Patrol vs Spy King".






"Brick Bardford" has been assigned by the Government to work with "Doctor Gregor Tymak", a brilliant scientist, who is developing the "Interceptor Ray" to take down incoming rockets. The bad side of his invention is that the device can become a "Death Ray". Which brings in the "Cliff Hangers" Foreign Agent "Laydron" attempting to get the plans.



"Laydron" breaks into "Dr. Tymak's" lab and to escape the other. "Dr. Tymak" uses his "Door to the Fifth Dimension" and finds himself on the Moon with breathable air. Where he is captured and brought before the evil, "Queen Khana", played by Carol Forman. Who does not believe "Tymak" came from the Earth and sentences the doctor is to be killed by exposure to absolute zero temperature.

"Brick Bradford" and his pal "Sandy Sanderson", "Professor Salisbury" and his daughter "June" follow "Dr. Tymak" to the moon. Then, working with those the Queen has banished to the wasteland. The group overthrows "Khana", and returns to Earth with "Tymak". Along with one of the two elements needed to complete the "Interceptor Ray", "Lunarium". 






























The second element is only found 200 years in the past. So, using "Dr. Tymak's" time machine. "Brick Bradford" and the others now travel back in time.





The group arrive on an uncharted island and find the last element for "Dr. Tymak" to complete his "Interceptor Ray", but there are pirates and natives the group must fight.









































Above Kane Richmond meets "Lula, the Native Girl", played by an uncredited Noel Neil. Seven roles later, Neil would become "Lois Lane" in Sam Katzman's, 1948, "Superman".

Returning to "Dr. Tymak's" laboratory, Foreign Spy, "Laydron" and his henchmen make their move. The rest of the "Cliff Hanger" is set in 1947, as "Brick" and "Sandy" battle "Laydon".





On, June 13, 1948, Kane Richmond made his final film appearance in the forgotten Crime Drama, "Stage Struck". Until 1966, Richmond would guest on television programs.

From 1934 until his death, Kane Richmond had been married to Marion Barnes. The couple had two children. On, March 22, 1973, at the age of 66, Kane Richmond passed away at his home in Corona Del Mar, California.









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