BRUCE GENTRY (1949)
(a.k.a. BRUCE GENTRY, DAREDEVIL OF THE SKIES)
Article #1680 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-20-2005
Posting Date: 3-19-2006
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr
Featuring Tom Neal, Judy Clark, Ralph Hodges
Bruce Gentry investigates reports of destructive flying saucers and the kidnapping of a noted scientist.
Daredevil of the skies, huh? One would think you’d get a generous supply of airplane antics in this one. No such luck, really; outside of his ability to crash airplanes into animated flying saucers (or crashing the same airplane into the same animated flying saucer several times, or so the footage tells me), he shows precious little airborne derring-do. Mostly he tools around in his car, or when that isn’t available, puttering around on one of the dinkiest motor scooters I’ve ever seen. Our hero here is just another stock serial hero type, and the villain? Well, he’s called The Recorder because he delivers all of his messages via phonographed instructions; in other words, as such, he has very little presence in the story (though he is clearly one of the other characters in the story). If I don’t sound too impressed with this one, it’s because I’m not; this was one of the most routine serials I’ve ever seen. Sure, it’s neat that it has flying saucers, but they appear so sporadically you forget they exist for long stretches of the serial, and when they do appear, it’s usually all the same footage from the first episode. It does work itself up to a couple of decent cliffhangers, and the revelation of the villain’s identity is more satisfying than I expected, but for the most part, this serial was a waste of time.