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Daredevils of the Red Circle (1939)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 10 June 1939 (USA)
Using a diabolical disguise, Harry Crowel embarks on a vengeful career of destruction...opposed by three heroic daredevils.


Barry Shipman (original screenplay), Franklin Adreon (original screenplay) (as Franklyn Adreon) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Quigley ... Gene Townley
Bruce Bennett ... Tiny Dawson (as Herman Brix)
David Sharpe ... Bert Knowles
Carole Landis ... Blanche Granville
Miles Mander ... Horace Granville
Charles Middleton ... 39013 - Harry Crowel
C. Montague Shaw ... Dr. Malcolm
Ben Taggart ... Dixon
William Pagan William Pagan ... Police Chief Landon [Ch. 1]
Corbet Morris ... Klein [Ch. 5]
Raymond Bailey ... Stanley - Secretary [Chs. 1-3, 11]
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Snowflake (as Snowflake)
George Chesebro ... Sheffield [Chs. 1, 11]
Ray Miller Ray Miller ... Jeff
Robert Winkler ... Sammy Townley [Chs. 1, 11]


Diabolical mastermind Harry Crowel, a.k.a. Prisoner 39013, escapes and, with a seemingly endless supply of henchmen, sets out to destroy all holdings of industrialist Horace Granville, who put him in prison. One target is an amusement park, home of the three Daredevils of the Red Circle, who perform death-defying stunts. Aghast at innocent lives lost, our three heroes swear to capture No. 39013. It'll be harder than they suspect; the villain is holding the real Granville captive, and with a near-perfect disguise, has taken his place! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der gelbe Kreis See more »


Box Office


$126,118 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
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Technical Specs


(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Episode 11, "The Red Circle Speaks", is a budget-saving recap episode where sequences from previous chapters are shown for most of the running time. See more »


In chapter four when the Daredevils rush out of the room they upset Snowflake knocking loose the dinner tray, when it crashed to the floor no food or drink is visible. See more »


Horace Granville: You're mad!
No. 39013, Harry Crowel: I spent 15 years in a cell like that. That's enough to make anyone, if not mad, then very annoyed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The titular trio have a pet dog named Tuffie. His is the 16th name in the cast list. See more »


Edited into King of the Carnival (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

The most elegant morality play of a lost genre.
20 January 2006 | by w-infoSee all my reviews

As a kid in the early TV era of the 1950s, I had the opportunity to view several serials from the late '30s and the 1940s. Apparently these were syndicated to TV stations to use as "fillers" since the network feeds weren't available (or the station didn't want to pay) during certain hours, including the after-school--i.e. late afternoon--time frame. In retrospect, it seems that our local station (WSBT in South Bend, Indiana) had a very astute--or very lucky--program director who chose the best serials out there. "Zorro's Fighting Legion," "The Mysterious Dr. Satan," "Fighting Devildogs," "The Black Widow"...they were all there. But the best of the best, in my opinion, was "Daredevils of the Red Circle." Drama, suspense, action, and a morality play (the best revenge is not to destroy one's opponent, as 39013 attempted to do, but to outdo him legally and ethically, as 39013 possibly could have done were his superior mind not warped and twisted)...these were the most memorable features of this 6-day, 15 minutes per episode odyssey that trumped sandlot baseball and other boyhood pursuits typical of the early baby boom generation. Some 45 years later, the opportunity to purchase this touchstone of my youth on VHS presented itself. Viewed with the more critical, possibly even jaded, eye of a middle-aged adult, the production does not disappoint. The plot, acting, special effects, and musical score may seem primitive by today's high-tech standards, but in the context of the times in which this serial was created, it "raised the bar," as we like to say today, for all that followed. So check it out. Imagine yourself in the late Art Deco era of engineering feats (the tunnel), sexy vehicles (the "Heritage Softtail" precursor motorcycle and '37 Buick Century straight 8 convertible, among others), and beautiful people (the impeccably coiffed and dressed "Blanche;" the trio of heroes in their flawlessly ironed suits, shirts, and ties; the elegant Granville; and even the villain 39013 as played so convincingly by Charles Middleton in first-class clothing that we seldom see today outside of a corporate boardroom), and enjoy. Maybe the subtitle of this serial should be: "the Lost World, Never to Return"...

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