JACK ARMSTRONG (1947)
Article #1287 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-22-2004
Posting Date: 2-19-2005
Directed by Wallace Fox
Featuring John Hart, Rosemary La Planche, Joe Brown Jr.
Jack Armstrong and the members of the Fairfield clan attempt to rescue Vic Hardy, who has been kidnapped by thugs. Their search takes them to a distant island, where they deal with suspicious natives and scheming criminals.
It’s nice to take a break from the Republic serials every once in a while and watch one from Columbia; though I don’t think near as much of Columbia’s fight choreography, they do on occasion give their serials more interesting storylines. This one is pretty good, and it has a lot of science fiction elements, including a couple of trips into outer space, and an annihilator ray gun. Granted, it does leave me with a few questions. Here they are.
1) How heavy is a rock about four feet long, three feet high, and three feet wide? I’m guessing that a rock that size would be too heavy for almost any man to shift easily; however, to judge the ease by which one of our heros casually pushes it on the head of one of the villains as a distracting tactic, I’d say this one weighs about two ounces. The villain wasn’t hurt, either.
2) Why are Charles Middleton and John Merton not listed in the credits? They only play the primary villains. Still, it’s nice to see familiar face Wheeler Oakman and Gene Roth, even if I have trouble recognizing the latter through his beard.
3) Who designed the outfits of the natives? The men wear patterned shirts AND patterned skirts. Not only that, they skirts and shirts don’t match. I’m guessing it must have been the villains who provided their clothing; no hero would be so unkind as to dress natives that way. And I certainly hope it wasn’t the intention of the villains to make us all dress that way if they took over the universe.