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atenolol
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Joined: August 19th, 2007, 2:30 pm

July 30th, 2012, 7:08 pm #21

Just bought and watched THE MASKED MARVEL. Had never seen it. Personally, I loved the slobberknocky fights. The action was really first rate and I have no problem with Steele as a stuntman.

As for the four leads, yes, they were bland, but it doesn't seem to matter to me much who plays the heroes in Republic serials. Nor does the heroine matter that much. Most, or all of these characters, lack any sort of human dimension. They are just folks fighting the good fight for truth, justice, our country, and all those other good things. The villains do need some pizazz, and Johnny Arthur did it for me in this one. He was arrogant enough, with that precise yet artificial delivery, to make it work, and Anthony Warde was Republic's top of the line henchman (sorry, Roy).

Richard Bailey, on the other hand, in MANHUNT ON MYSTERY ISLAND is the one Republic hero who really drags it down. I just find his delivery of even the most routine espository dialogue lacking, and sometimes downright risible. And he looks awful in the closeups during the fight sequences. He just doesn't throw a convincing punch.
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SAM33
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Joined: December 18th, 2005, 3:28 am

September 5th, 2018, 7:14 pm #22

I just finished this one and liked it quite a bit. I'm not as sharp an observer of fight technique I guess, because I enjoyed all the action a lot.

Yep, the 4 stiffs were bland, but it moved real well overall. I'm particularly fond of WWII era serials.

I gave it WAY too much credit in the plot department though, as I had it figured that they were ALL the MM and took turns.
The "big reveal" was a real nothing-burger...

Didn't know about Bacon at all until I dug up this thread, most interesting and sad.

SAM33
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Blaster
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Joined: June 14th, 2018, 11:58 pm

September 5th, 2018, 8:34 pm #23

Someone tried to start a rumor that THE MASKED MARVEL was the failed result of Republic trying to get the rights to Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT.  The only similarity is that the Masked Marvel and the Spirit are both masked mystery men who wear suits and hats instead of tights and capes.  THE MASKED MARVEL is a pretty good serial.  I saw it on TV when I was 10 or 11.  It may have been the first Republic serial I ever saw.  Aside from FLASH GORDON and BUCK ROGERS, Chicago TV didn't show a lot of serials in the early 60's.  The only other one I recall must have been one of Republic's Mountie Serials which featured a lot of cool fights and stunts on out of control Cris-Craft powerboats.  
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will
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Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

September 5th, 2018, 11:41 pm #24

There was a comic book character called the Masked Marvel by Centaur, which went out of business a year before the serial's release. There are some similarities. The comic book version is dressed in red, but has a simple mask. His identity is never revealed. He has three non-costumed assistants with code names. He has no superpowers.
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Blaster
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Joined: June 14th, 2018, 11:58 pm

September 5th, 2018, 11:50 pm #25

Also, historically, wasn't "Masked Marvel" a generic alias for mystery performers that was often applied to wrestlers, acrobats, strongmen, singers etc.?
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Jameselliot
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Joined: June 23rd, 2012, 11:09 pm

September 6th, 2018, 2:55 am #26

There were two masks I'd always wanted: the Masked Marvel's and the Green Hornet's (the mask Van Williams wore).
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CHEROKEEBRUCE
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Joined: August 23rd, 2017, 7:31 am

September 6th, 2018, 10:04 pm #27


I believe this was Tom Steele's biggest screen role at Repubic  (He was the Masked Marvel under that mask) & the only time he was never given screen credit.
.
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robert304152
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Joined: February 24th, 2018, 4:09 am

September 6th, 2018, 11:42 pm #28

Other than FLASH GORDON and its sequels, the only serial that I can remember being broadcast on Chicago TV in the early '60s is THE MYSTERIOUS DOCTOR SATAN, one of Republic's best.
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Ray Faiola
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Joined: October 19th, 2005, 10:37 pm

September 15th, 2018, 9:54 am #29

I've never been a big fan of this one. One thing I can't get past is Johnny Arthur as Sakima. All I can think of is him crying "Momma! Momma!" in the Our Gang short NIGHT 'N GALES.

G-MEN VS. THE BLACK DRAGON is leagues ahead of this one in every regard.

Still, MARVEL's got great fights and great music. Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes a week I guess.
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Elisabeth
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Joined: December 5th, 2009, 7:25 am

September 15th, 2018, 8:24 pm #30

Ray Faiola wrote: I've never been a big fan of this one. One thing I can't get past is Johnny Arthur as Sakima. All I can think of is him crying "Momma! Momma!" in the Our Gang short NIGHT 'N GALES.

G-MEN VS. THE BLACK DRAGON is leagues ahead of this one in every regard.

Still, MARVEL's got great fights and great music. Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes a week I guess.
I wonder if that was the IDEA.... …., to portray the Japanese Villain as a closet "sissy".  Golly knows, they certainly picked the right actor for the part, and every picture going kid of the era would have remembered NIGHT 'N' GALES.
"E"
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Joined: December 22nd, 2009, 7:25 pm

September 16th, 2018, 1:07 pm #31

^ Good point Elisabeth, and pretty plausible. Really need to sit down and work my way through this one sometime. I saw bits of it as i was transferring it from VHS, and it looked pretty good to me.
..."Do you care if I smoke?" ... " I don't care if you burn."
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will
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Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

September 16th, 2018, 1:27 pm #32

I had the same problem. I recognized him immediately from The Little Rascals. Not my idea of an Asian baddie.
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horrorfilmx
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Joined: October 29th, 2009, 12:09 am

September 17th, 2018, 12:10 pm #33

When he puffs on that cigar he reminds me of Robert Woolsey.

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Ray Faiola
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Joined: October 19th, 2005, 10:37 pm

September 17th, 2018, 2:58 pm #34

Elisabeth wrote:
Ray Faiola wrote: I've never been a big fan of this one. One thing I can't get past is Johnny Arthur as Sakima. All I can think of is him crying "Momma! Momma!" in the Our Gang short NIGHT 'N GALES.

G-MEN VS. THE BLACK DRAGON is leagues ahead of this one in every regard.

Still, MARVEL's got great fights and great music. Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes a week I guess.
I wonder if that was the IDEA.... …., to portray the Japanese Villain as a closet "sissy".  Golly knows, they certainly picked the right actor for the part, and every picture going kid of the era would have remembered NIGHT 'N' GALES.
"E"
Johnny had recently played Suki Yaki, the Japanese member of the Axis trio in the Hal Roach streamline comedy THAT NAZTY NUISANCE. So he was already burlesquing the evil Empire.
Classic Film Scores Restored on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com
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