Pulp Magazine Adaptations

by dean11mck | created - 16 Aug 2011 | updated - 22 Feb 2018 | Public

These live-action feature films, TV series and serial films are based on the pulp magazines, also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s.

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1. The Stolen Heirlooms (1915)

Short, Crime, Drama

A detective is drugged with flowers and tied to a sawmill while saving an ex-gambler from a jewel theft charge.

Director: Charles Raymond | Stars: Harry Lorraine, Bert Rex

2. The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Passed | 107 min | Adventure, Romance, Western

A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed.

Director: Fred Niblo | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, Robert McKim, Noah Beery

Votes: 2,053

3. The Further Exploits of Sexton Blake: The Mystery of the S.S. Olympic (1920)


A detective saves the kidnapped daughter of an inventor murdered for his formula.

Director: Harry Lorraine | Stars: Douglas Payne, Marjorie Villis, Jeff Barlow, Frank Dane

9. Don Q Son of Zorro (1925)

Not Rated | 111 min | Adventure, Romance

Don Cesar, son of Zorro, is framed for murder while visiting Spain, and becomes the whip-wielding outlaw Don Q.

Director: Donald Crisp | Stars: Mary Astor, Jack McDonald, Donald Crisp, Stella De Lanti

Votes: 388

12. The Bold Caballero (1936)

Passed | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Commandant is making life rough for the colonials in Spanish California. While trying to help, Zorro is charged with the murder of the new Governor, but in the end he triumphs over the evil Commandant.

Director: Wells Root | Stars: Robert Livingston, Heather Angel, Sig Ruman, Ian Wolfe

Votes: 133

13. The Shadow Strikes (1937)

Approved | 61 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Lamont Cranston assumes his secret identity as "The Shadow", to break up an attempted robbery at an attorney's office. When the police search the scene, Cranston must assume the identity of... See full summary »

Director: Lynn Shores | Stars: Rod La Rocque, Agnes Anderson, James Blakeley, Walter McGrail

Votes: 321

14. Zorro Rides Again (1937)

Approved | 212 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The California-Yucatan Railroad, being built for the good of Mexico, is under siege by a gang of terrorists hoping to force its sale; no one can prove their connection to profiteer Marsden.... See full summary »

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: John Carroll, Noah Beery, Richard Alexander, Reed Howes

Votes: 242

15. Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror (1938)

Not Rated | 70 min | Crime, Thriller

Sexton Blake and Tinker foil criminal plot connected with the Tongs, and master-minded by "famous stamp collector" and millionaire.

Director: George King | Stars: George Curzon, Tod Slaughter, Greta Gynt, Tony Sympson

Votes: 154

16. The Spider's Web (1938)

Passed | 300 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A crime fighter known as The Spider battles a villain called The Octopus, who is out to sabotage America and install his own government.

Directors: James W. Horne, Ray Taylor | Stars: Warren Hull, Iris Meredith, Richard Fiske, Kenne Duncan

Votes: 104

17. International Crime (1938)

Passed | 62 min | Adventure, Crime, Mystery

Lamont Cranston (Rod La Rocque), amateur criminologist and detective, with a daily radio program, sponsored by the Daily Classic newspaper, has developed a friendly feud that sometimes ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont | Stars: Rod La Rocque, Astrid Allwyn, Thomas E. Jackson, Oscar O'Shea

Votes: 332

18. Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)

Passed | 212 min | Action, Adventure, History

The masked hero leads a fighting force to fight a villian who plots the conquest of The Republic of Mexico.

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Reed Hadley, Sheila Darcy, William Corson, Leander De Cordova

Votes: 358

19. Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)

Passed | 59 min | Crime, Mystery, Drama

Detective Nick Carter is brought in to foil spies at the Radex Airplane Factory, where a new fighter plane is under manufacture.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Rita Johnson, Henry Hull, Stanley Ridges

Votes: 337

20. The Shadow (1940)

Passed | 285 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The Shadow battles a villain known as The Black Tiger, who has the power to make himself invisible and is trying to take over the world with his death ray.

Director: James W. Horne | Stars: Victor Jory, Veda Ann Borg, Roger Moore, Robert Fiske

Votes: 228

21. Sky Murder (1940)

Passed | 72 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

A body is found in a locked airplane compartment and a German female refugee is a suspect. Passenger detective Nick Carter is convinced she didn't do it and works to solve the mysterious murder.

Director: George B. Seitz | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Kaaren Verne, Edward Ashley

Votes: 337

22. The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A young Spanish aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard

Votes: 8,909 | Gross: $4.36M

23. Phantom Raiders (1940)

Passed | 70 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

An insurance company tasks Carter and Beeswax to Panama as cargo ships are mysteriously exploding and sending their valuable cargoes to the bottom with all hands.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Joseph Schildkraut, Florence Rice

Votes: 336

24. The Spider Returns (1941)

Approved | 300 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The evil and masked "Gargoyle" is sabotaging all of America's industrial plants. It is up to the Spider to save the country.

Director: James W. Horne | Stars: Warren Hull, Mary Ainslee, Dave O'Brien, Joseph W. Girard

Votes: 227

25. Zorro's Black Whip (1944)

Approved | 211 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Hammond, owner of the town's stagecoach line and a leading citizen, is opposed to Idaho becoming a state, and kills Randolph Meredith, owner of the town's newspaper, for endorsing it. ... See full summary »

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Wallace Grissell | Stars: George J. Lewis, Linda Stirling, Lucien Littlefield, Francis McDonald

Votes: 183

26. Meet Sexton Blake! (1945)

80 min | Drama, Thriller

Famous detective and his trusty side-kick Tinker are called in by the War Office to find some important papers that were stolen from a man killed during an air raid.

Director: John Harlow | Stars: David Farrar, Manning Whiley, Dennis Arundell, John Varley

Votes: 36

27. The Echo Murders (1945)

75 min | Thriller

The police are investigating the suspicious death of a mine owner when they stumble upon a strange Nazi plot to invade England.

Director: John Harlow | Stars: David Farrar, Dennis Price, Pamela Stirling, Julien Mitchell

Votes: 76

28. The Shadow Returns (1946)

Approved | 61 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

People are literally flying off balconies to their deaths as Lamont Cranston, aka the Shadow, tries to make sense out of a confusing jumble of murders, disappearances, jewels that aren't ... See full summary »

Directors: Phil Rosen, William Beaudine | Stars: Kane Richmond, Barbara Read, Tom Dugan, Joseph Crehan

Votes: 134

29. Blackmail (1947)

Passed | 67 min | Action, Crime, Film-Noir

A private detective is approached by a wealthy entertainment executive to stop a blackmail scheme against him. Although he hasn't decided to take the job, the blackmailers believe that he ... See full summary »

Director: Lesley Selander | Stars: William Marshall, Adele Mara, Ricardo Cortez, Grant Withers

Votes: 144

30. Son of Zorro (1947)

Approved | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Young cavalry officer Jeff Stewart returns to his home in the west after the Civil War to find that a ring of crooked politicians has taken over the county, bleeding the citizens with 50% ... See full summary »

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Fred C. Brannon | Stars: George Turner, Peggy Stewart, Roy Barcroft, Ed Cassidy

Votes: 89

31. Ghost of Zorro (1949)

Approved | 167 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

It's 1865 and the telegraph is heading west. George Crane, wanting to keep law and order out of his territory, is out to stop the construction. The engineer on the job is Ken Mason and he ... See full summary »

Director: Fred C. Brannon | Stars: Clayton Moore, Pamela Blake, Roy Barcroft, George J. Lewis

Votes: 107

32. The Shadow (1954 TV Short)

Not Rated | 25 min | Short, Adventure

Lamont Cranston, a psychiatrist on retainer to the police department, is asked to assist in the Case of the Cotton Kimono murder investigation. Lamont and his girlfriend Margot Lane are not... See full summary »

Director: Charles F. Haas | Stars: Tom Helmore, Paula Raymond, Frank M. Thomas, Alexander Scourby

Votes: 28

33. Zorro (1957–1959)

30 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Don Diego de la Vega opposes the corrupt tyrants of Spanish California as the masked swordsman, Zorro.

Stars: Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, Henry Calvin, Don Diamond

Votes: 2,878

34. The Sign of Zorro (1958)

Approved | 91 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

In this film, edited from eight episodes of Disney's hit TV series, Don Diego returns home to find his town under the heel of a cruel dictator, Capitan Monastario. Diego dons the mask of ... See full summary »

Directors: Lewis R. Foster, Norman Foster | Stars: Guy Williams, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, Romney Brent

Votes: 636

35. Invisible Avenger (1958)

Not Rated | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Lamont Cranston, aka The Shadow, investigates the murder of a New Orleans bandleader.

Directors: James Wong Howe, Ben Parker, John Sledge | Stars: Richard Derr, Mark Daniels, Helen Westcott, Jack Donner

Votes: 175

36. Zorro, the Avenger (1959)

91 min | Adventure, Family, Western

Compiled from six episodes of the original Disney Zorro series, this film has El Zorro, "The Fox," battling Jose Sebastian Varga, "The Eagle," a corrupt dictator set on taking control of all of Spanish California.

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Guy Williams, Charles Korvin, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon

Votes: 159

39. Nick Carter and Red Club (1965)

90 min | Action

Nick Carter, the French counterpart of James Bond, tries to recover some stolen nuclear missiles.

Director: Jean-Paul Savignac | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Nicole Courcel, Joe Dassin, Jeanne Valérie

Votes: 39

40. Sexton Blake (1967–1971)

30 min | Adventure, Family

Adventures of the handsome, fencing detective Sexton Blake and his sidekick Tinker.

Stars: Laurence Payne, Roger Foss, Dorothea Phillips, Meredith Edwards

Votes: 14

41. Adventures of Nick Carter (1972 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 73 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A detective discovers that a colleague's death is tied into the disappearance of a wealthy playboy's wife.

Director: Paul Krasny | Stars: Robert Conrad, Shelley Winters, Broderick Crawford, Neville Brand

Votes: 73

42. The Mark of Zorro (1974 TV Movie)

Approved | 78 min | Action, Adventure, Western

The classic story the masked hero of Old California - his father has been replaced as governor by a corrupt tyrant, so the noble Don Diego Vega plays the coward by day and rides alone at night to defeat the powers of corruption.

Director: Don McDougall | Stars: Frank Langella, Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, Louise Sorel

Votes: 507

43. Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975)

G | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Doc and the Amazing Five battle Captain Seas and "the green death" for control of a fabulous resource.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Ron Ely, Paul Gleason, William Lucking, Michael Miller

Votes: 1,659

45. Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

52 Metascore

Mexico, 1840s. When the new Spanish Governor begins to grind the peasants under his heel, wealthy landowner Don Diego Vega follows in his late father's footsteps and becomes Zorro, the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George Hamilton, Lauren Hutton, Brenda Vaccaro, Ron Leibman

Votes: 3,873 | Gross: $11.12M

46. Conan the Barbarian (1982)

R | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

43 Metascore

A young boy, Conan, becomes a slave after his parents are killed and tribe destroyed by a savage warlord and sorcerer, Thulsa Doom. When he grows up he becomes a fearless, invincible fighter. Set free, he plots revenge against Thulsa Doom.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman

Votes: 132,041 | Gross: $39.57M

47. Zorro and Son (1983– )

30 min | Comedy