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The Adventures of Frank Merriwell (1936)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Mystery | 13 January 1936 (USA)
A 12-episode serial in which scholastic sports star Frank Merriwell leaves school to search for his missing father. His adventures involve a mysterious inscription on a ring, buried ... See full summary »


Clifford Smith (as Cliff Smith), Lew Landers (uncredited)


Burt L. Standish (based on the stories by), George H. Plympton (screenplay) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Briggs ... Frank Merriwell (as Don Briggs)
Jean Rogers ... Elsie Belwood
John 'Dusty' King ... Bruce Browning (as John King)
Carla Laemmle ... Carla Rogers
House Peters Jr. ... House Peters
Herschel Mayall Jr. Herschel Mayall Jr. ... 'Hersh' Mayall
Wallace Reid Jr. ... Wally Reid
Edward Arnold Jr. Edward Arnold Jr. ... Eddie Arnold
Bryant Washburn Jr. ... Bryant Washburn
Allan Hersholt Allan Hersholt ... Allen Hersholt
Carlyle Blackwell Jr. ... Carlyle Blackwell
Peter Gowland ... Peter Gowland
Sumner Getchell ... Harry
William P. Carleton ... Charles Merriwell [Chs.10-12] (as William Carleton)
Ben Hewlett Ben Hewlett ... Daggett (as Bentley Hewlett)


A 12-episode serial in which scholastic sports star Frank Merriwell leaves school to search for his missing father. His adventures involve a mysterious inscription on a ring, buried treasure, kidnaping and Indian raids. He saves his father and returns to school just in time to win a decisive baseball game with his remarkable pitching and hitting. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 January 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O protathlitis tis peripeteias See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


  • 1. College Hero
  • 2. The Death Plunge
  • 3. Death at the Crossroads
  • 4. Wreck of the "Viking"
  • 5. Capsized in the Cataract
  • 6. Descending Doom
  • 7. Monster of the Deep
  • 8. The Tragic Victory
  • 9. Between Strange Foes
  • 10. Imprisoned in the Dungeon
  • 11. The Crash in the Chasm
  • 12. The Winning Play
See more »

Crazy Credits

Featuring the sons of famous actors. See more »

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User Reviews

That Merriwell Does It All
23 January 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I might have enjoyed the Adventures of Frank Merriwell a whole lot more had they kept it within the time frame it was written. The first Frank Merriwell story came out in 1896 and the attitudes in those stories very graphically expressed those of pre-World War I America. And that's where Frank should have stayed.

Instead he's updated to the year 1936 and the character really doesn't play well here. For those who don't know Merriwell was a fictional character created by Gilbert Patten writing under the name of Burt L. Standish. He was a square jawed, clean living, college athlete with no vices of any kind who while getting into all kinds of adventures still managed to get back in time to make the winning touchdown, win the race, or hit the home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for good old Yale. The books were enormously popular in the Theodore Roosevelt era and baseball pitcher Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants was in that time considered a living embodiment of Frank Merriwell. I'm surprised no one has ever considered a biographical film based on Mathewson.

This is a serial, so I'm not expecting the greatest caliber of acting and certainly not even Cecil B. DeMille type special effects. In that I wasn't disappointed. Donald Briggs plays our firm jawed hero who in this version after hitting a game winning grandslam homerun, gets called home when his mother is taken ill. That's a ruse, she's being harassed by prowlers and she thinks they're after a ring that Dad Merriwell left before disappearing two years earlier.

The ring holds the key to a buried treasure and our intrepid hero with his gang of college chums go searching for it with these mysterious villains on their trail. During the course of the Merriwell gets to show off his prowess in rowing, track and field, and boxing. The climax in fact involves a football game.

Jean Rogers who played Dale Arden in the Flash Gordon serial is on hand as Frank's most chaste girl friend and biggest booster. It's what was expected of the all American hero back then in 1896.

It might have gotten a couple extra stars had it stayed in 1896.

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