King of the Royal Mounted (1940)

Article 2436 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-1-2007
Posting Date: 4-13-2008
Directed by John English and William Witney
Featuring Allan Lane, Robert Strange, Robert Kellard

Nazi spies are after Compound X, a substance that cures infantile paralysis, but, when combined with the right elements, can produce magnetic torpedo bombs that can be used against the English navy. However, they fail to contend with the skill and dedication of Sergeant Dave King of the Mounties.

This serial is sometimes called ZANE GREY’S KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED, but I don’t find western writer Zane Grey listed under the writers on IMDB for an original source work. I suspect the story here largely sprung from the imagination of the serial writers, especially the whole Gizmo Maguffin concept of Compound X. It’s a pre-war serial, though Nazis are the bad guys. At first, I was surprised that the fight scenes weren’t quite the warehouse-busters of Republic’s finest serials, but this one may predate those types of fight scenes; they’re well staged, and this is actually a fairly strong serial. At least there isn’t much in the way of bailing out as a cliffhanger resolution, but there’s a reason for that; horses are the primary means of transportation here, and there simply aren’t good scenarios for bailing out of a horse.


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