Film serials

by connorhissey | created - 10 months ago | updated - 10 months ago | Public

Film serials from the major studios

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1. 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

Columbia Pictures

2. Mandrake, the Magician (1939)

Approved | 215 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Mandrake and his assistant Lothar are working the cruise lines and make the acquaintance of Professor Houston who has developed a radium energy machine, which is much coveted by a masked Crime Lord known as "The Wasp".

Directors: Norman Deming, Sam Nelson | Stars: Warren Hull, Doris Weston, Al Kikume, Rex Downing

Votes: 153

Columbia Pictures

3. 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: 227

Columbia Pictures

4. Terry and the Pirates (1940)

Passed | 300 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Dr. Herbert Lee (John Paul Jones), an archaeologist seeking to decipher ancient Mara inscriptions, is aided by his son, Terry (William Tracy), and Terry's pal, Pat Ryan (Jeff York), and ... See full summary »

Director: James W. Horne | Stars: William Tracy, Jeff York, Joyce Bryant, Allen Jung

Votes: 61

Columbia Pictures

5. Deadwood Dick (1940)

Approved | 285 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Deadwood Dick, a masked and mysterious hero, is in reality Dick Stanley, editor of the Dakota Pioneer Press and a leading member of Statehood For Dakota. He is on the trail of a masked ... See full summary »

Director: James W. Horne | Stars: Donald Douglas, Lorna Gray, Harry Harvey, Marin Sais

Votes: 47

Columbia Pictures

6. The Iron Claw (1941)

Approved | 289 min | Crime

Miserly old Anton Benson once recovered a treasure in gold from a sunken Spanish galleon, and in his greed murdered anyone who got in his way of keeping it. Now his family is gathered at ... See full summary »

Director: James W. Horne | Stars: Charles Quigley, Joyce Bryant, Forrest Taylor, Walter Sande

Votes: 35

Columbia Pictures

7. The Secret Code (1942)

Approved | 275 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A police detective goes undercover and joins a gang of Nazi agents using explosive gases and artificial lightning to sabotage the war effort, whom he battles in disguise as The Black Commando.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet | Stars: Paul Kelly, Anne Nagel, Trevor Bardette, Rudolph Anders

Votes: 44

Columbia Pictures

8. Batman (1943)

Approved | 260 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Japanese spymaster Prince Daka operates a covert espionage organization located in Gotham City's now-deserted Little Tokyo which turns American scientists into pliable zombies.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Lewis Wilson, Douglas Croft, J. Carrol Naish, Shirley Patterson

Votes: 1,746

Columbia Pictures

9. The Desert Hawk (1944)

Approved | 285 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Evil Hassan slips back into his native land of Ahad and plots to overthrow his twin bother, Kasim, who has just been crowned the Caliph. Hassan enlists the aid of the chief Chamberlain, ... See full summary »

Director: B. Reeves Eason | Stars: Gilbert Roland, Mona Maris, Ben Welden, Kenneth MacDonald

Votes: 28

Columbia Pictures

10. The Monster and the Ape (1945)

Passed | 295 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

At the Bainbridge Research Foundation, Professor Franklin Arnold, displays his creation, the Metalogen Man, a robot, to Professor Ernst and three other colleagues. Shortly afterward, the ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Bretherton | Stars: Robert Lowery, George Macready, Ralph Morgan, Carole Mathews

Votes: 54

Columbia Pictures

11. Superman (1948)

Approved | 244 min | Sci-Fi

Superman comes to Earth as a child and grows up to be his home's first superhero with his first major challenge being to oppose The Spider Lady.

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Thomas Carr | Stars: Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill, Tommy Bond, Carol Forman

Votes: 891

Columbia Pictures

12. Batman and Robin (1949)

Approved | 263 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The caped crusaders versus The Wizard, black-hooded mastermind.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet | Stars: Robert Lowery, Johnny Duncan, Jane Adams, Lyle Talbot

Votes: 1,532

Columbia Pictures

13. Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)

Approved | 252 min | Sci-Fi

Superman battles Lex Luthor who is using a teleportation device and a new identity as Atom Man in his criminal plans.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet | Stars: Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill, Lyle Talbot, Tommy Bond

Votes: 599

Columbia Pictures

14. Blackhawk: Fearless Champion of Freedom (1952)

Approved | 242 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Based on a successful comic book that began in 1941, the Blackhawks were seven flyers who banded together during WW II to fight the Nazis. After the war, they continued to fight evil where ... See full summary »

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Fred F. Sears | Stars: Kirk Alyn, Carol Forman, John Crawford, Michael Fox

Votes: 119

Columbia Pictures

15. Darkest Africa (1936)

Approved | 269 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A 15-episode serial in which Beatty goes to darkest Africa to rescue the Goddess of Joba, who is being held by the high priest.

Directors: B. Reeves Eason, Joseph Kane | Stars: Clyde Beatty, Manuel King, Elaine Shepard, Lucien Prival

Votes: 98

Republic Pictures

16. Dick Tracy (1937)

Approved | 290 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective's brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick.

Directors: Alan James, Ray Taylor | Stars: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette, Lee Van Atta

Votes: 528

Republic Pictures

17. 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

Republic Pictures

18. Dick Tracy Returns (1938)

Approved | 260 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Dick Tracy battles spies and saboteurs in his efforts to bring to justice the Stark gang, a criminal family led by the vicious Pa Stark.

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Ralph Byrd, Lynne Roberts, Charles Middleton, Jerry Tucker

Votes: 357

Republic Pictures

19. 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

Republic Pictures

20. Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)

Passed | 269 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The nefarious Dr. Fu Manchu searches for the keys to the tomb of Genghis Khan, in order to fulfill a prophecy that will enable him to conquer the world. His nemesis, Dr. Nayland Smith, and ... See full summary »

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Henry Brandon, William Royle, Robert Kellard, Gloria Franklin

Votes: 254

Republic Pictures

21. Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940)

Passed | 267 min | Adventure, Action, Crime

A mad scientist plots the domination of America and only the masked hero, The Copperhead, can stop him.

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Eduardo Ciannelli, Robert Wilcox, William Newell, C. Montague Shaw

Votes: 190

Republic Pictures

22. Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Passed | 216 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

To protect a magic talisman from being used for evil, a teenage boy named Billy Batson is given the power to become an adult superhero, Captain Marvel, with a single magic word: "Shazam!"

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Tom Tyler, Frank Coghlan Jr., William 'Billy' Benedict, Louise Currie

Votes: 1,039

Republic Pictures

23. Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc. (1941)

Passed | 263 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Dick Tracy goes up against a villain known as The Ghost, who can turn himself invisible.

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Ralph Byrd, Michael Owen, Jan Wiley, John Davidson

Votes: 261

Republic Pictures

24. Spy Smasher (1942)

Passed | 215 min | Action, Adventure

Alan Armstrong, aka Spy Smasher, battles a Nazi villain known as The Mask, who heads a gang of saboteurs determined to spread destruction across America.

Director: William Witney | Stars: Kane Richmond, Marguerite Chapman, Sam Flint, Hans Schumm

Votes: 231

Republic Pictures

25. Haunted Harbor (1944)

Approved | 243 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

A sea captain about to be hanged for a murder he didn't commit is rescued from the gallows by two of his crewmen. They head for the island of Pulinan, where they believe the real murderer--... See full summary »

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Wallace Grissell | Stars: Kane Richmond, Kay Aldridge, Roy Barcroft, Clancy Cooper

Votes: 56

Republic Pictures

26. The Crimson Ghost (1946)

Approved | 167 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

A criminal mastermind known as the Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit all electrical currents on the planet.

Directors: Fred C. Brannon, William Witney | Stars: Charles Quigley, Linda Stirling, Clayton Moore, I. Stanford Jolley

Votes: 348

Republic Pictures

27. King of the Rocket Men (1949)

Passed | 167 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Jeff King in his experimental rocket suit battles the evil Dr. Vulcan.

Director: Fred C. Brannon | Stars: Tristram Coffin, Mae Clarke, Don Haggerty, House Peters Jr.

Votes: 820

Republic Pictures

28. Flash Gordon (1936)

Approved | 245 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Alexis Zarkov visit the planet Mongo to thwart the evil schemes of Emperor Ming the Merciless, who has set his planet on a collision course with Earth.

Directors: Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor | Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton, Priscilla Lawson

Votes: 2,024

Universal Pictures

29. Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)

Approved | 299 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

When a deadly Nitron ray strikes Earth, Flash Gordon and his friends travel to Mars to battle Ming the Merciless and his new ally Queen Azura.

Directors: Ford Beebe, Robert F. Hill, Frederick Stephani | Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton, Frank Shannon

Votes: 827

Universal Pictures

30. Buck Rogers (1939)

Approved | 237 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A 20th Century pilot named Buck Rogers and his young friend Buddy Wade awake from 500 years in suspended animation to find that the world has been taken over by the outlaw army of Killer Kane.

Directors: Ford Beebe, Saul A. Goodkind | Stars: Buster Crabbe, Constance Moore, Jackie Moran, Jack Mulhall

Votes: 720

Universal Pictures

31. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)

Approved | 220 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkov return to the planet Mongo for an antidote to the Purple Death, which wreaking destruction on Earth. However, Ming the Merciless has other plans for them.

Directors: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor | Stars: Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne

Votes: 1,179

Universal Pictures



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