An insurance lawyer unhappy with his rate of company advancement becomes a middleman in deals to recover stolen property from the Mob, thus earning a nice living. But his actions attract police attention and set him up for a double-cross.
"Red Barry" was the 40th sound-era serial produced by Universal Pictures (followed "Flaming Frontiers" and preceded "Scouts To the Rescue"), and was based in the Will Gould comic strip distributed to newspapers by King Features Syndicated, Inc. It was the third of five serials from Universal starring Buster Crabbe, and while the plot only revolves around two million dollars in bonds and soon evolves into a game of "Bonds, Bonds, Who Has the Bonds?", it has so many groups, and their armies of henchmen, acquiring and re-acquiring the bonds that, in a chapter or two, the people who have the bonds don't appear to know they are the current holders. Wing Fu, brings the bonds to the USA to buy war planes for an unnamed county, and quickly loses them to Quong Lee, a Eurasian underworld chief, but they are re-taken in chapter two by Red Barry. Ballet dancer Natacha, representing a ruthless group of Russians, acquires them in chapter three, but Barry gets them back in chapter four. Hong Kong ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Not seen on TV over the last 50+ years, this 1938 serial was one of many Universal cliffhangers based on comic strip characters. It was shown in the early 1950s to the young TV viewing audience, but then it suddenly vanished, along with Ace Drummond (1936), Tim Tyler's Luck (1937), Radio Patrol (1937) and others. Except for the "Flash Gordon" trilogy (1936-40) and Buck Rogers (1939), also starring Buster Crabbe, these Saturday-matinee specials seemed to have dropped "off the radar", but thankfully have been revived for home video on VHS and now DVD. Fortunately in March-April-May 2018 Turner Classic Movies showed this serial in its entirety, in weekly Saturday morning installments. See more »
In Episode 4, "High Stakes", after Natacha makes a phone call backstage at the theater, a moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall, upper right of the frame. See more »
[referring to way the police commissioner botched Red's investigation]
Well, he certainly settled that in a hurry.
Settled it? He scrambled it!
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Opening credits are depicted in cartoon panels. See more »
You would think Universal/Filmcraft with their top Serial Star Larry 'Buster' Crabbe would be a worth while watch, wrong. Based on the RED BARRY comic strip by William Gould I would expect a strong plot and two-fisted action, that does not occur in this Serial.
Two/2 Million Dollar$ from China too buy War-Planes is the MacGuffin. Four/4 parties compete for it and like a game of musical chairs it rotates between the four/4. Not much of a plot device and this Serial is almost as boring as HOLT OF THE SECRET SERVICE (1941) Columbia Pictures. Except 'Buster' Crabbe is far more engaging then Jack Holt and Evelyn Brent.
Fortunately it runs only 13 Chapters rather then the 15 of H.O.T.S.S.
For those with a Historical bent, China's motivation for the War-Planes is too help repulse a invader. Though they are not mentioned it is obviously Imperial Japan. The second Sino-Japanese War having started in 1937 and in Chapter one/1 background news-reel footage clearly shows who the aggressor was. It is worth one/1 watch, but solely if you are a Serial fan.
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