Classic Movie Serialsby Cinemageddon | created - 15 Sep 2013 | updated - 21 Oct 2018 | Public
Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials, Film serials or Chapter plays, are short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a feature film.
They were related to pulp magazine serialized fiction.
Also known as "chapter plays", they were extended motion pictures broken into a number of segments called "chapters" or "episodes". Each chapter was screened at the same theater for one week and ended with a cliffhanger in which the hero and heroine found themselves in a perilous situation with little apparent chance of escape.
Viewers had to return each week to see the cliffhangers resolved and to follow the continuing story.
Serials were especially popular with children and for many youths in the first half of the 20th century a typical Saturday at the movies included a chapter of at least one serial along with animated cartoons, newsreels, and two feature films.
(Info taken from wikipedia)
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1. The Shadow (1940)
Passed | 285 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
The Shadow battles a villain known as The Black Tiger, who has the power to make himself invisible and is trying to take over the world with his death ray.
2. Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)
Passed | 269 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
The nefarious Dr. Fu Manchu searches for the keys to the tomb of Genghis Khan, in order to fulfill a prophecy that will enable him to conquer the world. His nemesis, Dr. Nayland Smith, and ... See full summary »
3. Daredevils of the Red Circle (1939)
Approved | 211 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
Using a diabolical disguise, Harry Crowel embarks on a vengeful career of destruction...opposed by three heroic daredevils.
4. The Spider's Web (1938)
Passed | 300 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A crime fighter known as The Spider battles a villain called The Octopus, who is out to sabotage America and install his own government.
6. The Return of Chandu (I) (1934)
Approved | 208 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror
The Black Magic cult of Ubasti, based on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Nadji, a princess of Egypt, is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice Nadji ... See full summary »
7. The Three Musketeers (1933)
Passed | 210 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Tom Wayne rescues Clancy, Renard and Schmidt in the Arabian desert and they join him in going after El Shaitan, a bad guy who is never seen as he tries to wipe out the Foreign Legion.
9. Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island (1936)
Approved | 256 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A 14-episode serial in which Mala, a Polynesian in the employ of U.S. Intelligence investigates sabotage on Clipper Island. A gang of spies causes the eruption of a volcano, for which our ... See full summary »
10. The Fighting Marines (1935)
Approved | 216 min | Action, Adventure
Corporal Larry Grant and Sergeant "Mac" McGowan, of the United States Marine Corps, are rival for the love of Frances Schiller, but team up to hunt down "The Tiger Shark," a mad, scientific... See full summary »
11. Young Eagles (1934)
Approved | 228 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Two Boy Scouts win an around-the-world trip with a crack aviator, and find themselves crash-landed in the South American jungles after the ace forgets to refuel in Ecuador.
12. The Shadow of the Eagle (1932)
Passed | 218 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
The Eagle uses sky writing to make threats against a corporation. Nathan Gregory owns a traveling fairground and is thought to be the Eagle. Craig McCoy is a pilot who goes looking for the Eagle when Gregory turns up missing.
13. The Hurricane Express (1932)
Passed | 227 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
When his father is killed in a train wreck, Larry Baker vows to unmask a mysterious criminal called "The Wrecker," who has targeted the L&M Railroad for deadly" accidents."
14. Jungle Jim (1937)
Approved | 232 min | Adventure
Two safaris enter the African jungle intent on finding a white girl who is the heiress to a fortune. One tries to help her and the other one wants to kill her.
15. The Galloping Ghost (1931)
Passed | 226 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A gambling ring run out of the Mogul Taxi company is intent on fixing college football games. Football star Harold "Red" Grange is a target for the gamblers, whose thugs try to eliminate ... See full summary »
16. Hawk of the Wilderness (1938)
Approved | 213 min | Adventure
An expedition arrives on an uncharted jungle island to rescue the local natives, led by a jungle boy, from a volcano that is about to erupt.
17. Darkest Africa (1936)
Approved | 269 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A 15-episode serial in which Beatty goes to darkest Africa to rescue the Goddess of Joba, who is being held by the high priest.
19. Perils of Pauline (1933)
Passed | 231 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A famous scientist and his beautiful daughter travel to Indochina to find an ivory disc that has the formula for a deadly gas engraved on it. An evil doctor and his gang are also looking for it.
20. The Last of the Mohicans (1932)
Approved | 231 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Natty Bumppo, known as Hawk-Eye, is a frontiersman in the American wilderness. Together with his Indian friends Chingachgook and Uncas, he fights battles against nefarious white soldiers as... See full summary »
21. Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)
Passed | 212 min | Action, Adventure, History
The masked hero leads a fighting force to fight a villian who plots the conquest of The Republic of Mexico.
22. Zorro Rides Again (1937)
Approved | 212 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The California-Yucatan Railroad, being built for the good of Mexico, is under siege by a gang of terrorists hoping to force its sale; no one can prove their connection to profiteer Marsden.... See full summary »
23. Tailspin Tommy in The Great Air Mystery (1935)
Passed | 236 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A 12-episode serial in which Tailspin Tommy evades volcanoes, anti-aircraft shells, and time bombs as he foils a plan by corrupt profiteers to steal an island's oil reserves.
25. The Adventures of Frank Merriwell (1936)
Passed | 219 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
A 12-episode serial in which scholastic sports star Frank Merriwell leaves school to search for his missing father. His adventures involve a mysterious inscription on a ring, buried ... See full summary »
26. Ace Drummond (1936)
Approved | 255 min | Action, Adventure
This 13 chapter serial is based on the comic strip character Ace Drummond created by Eddie Rickenbacker. Ace is a 'G-Man of the sky' working out of Washington D.C. He is sent to Mongolia to... See full summary »
27. The Adventures of Rex and Rinty (1935)
Approved | 229 min | Action, Adventure
A 12 episode serial starring Rex, the King of the Wild Horses and Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr. Rex is brought from the island of Sujan, where he is worshiped as a God-Horse, to the U.S. to be trained ... See full summary »
28. Dick Tracy's G-Men (1939)
Passed | 302 min | Action, Mystery, Crime
A mad doctor named Zanoff uses a drug to bring himself back from the dead after his execution in prison. Dick Tracy sets out to capture Zanoff before he can put his criminal gang back together again.
29. The Phantom (1943)
Passed | 299 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Professor Davidson and his niece Diana Palmer search Africa for the Lost City of Zoloz, reputed to be the source of a large hidden treasure. Also searching is a local crook, Singapore Smith... See full summary »
30. Dick Tracy Returns (1938)
Approved | 260 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
Dick Tracy battles spies and saboteurs in his efforts to bring to justice the Stark gang, a criminal family led by the vicious Pa Stark.
31. Burn 'Em Up Barnes (I) (1934)
Passed | 210 min | Action, Adventure
Marjorie Temple, owner of a bus line and an apparently worthless plot of land, is set upon by rich oil speculators who know her land actually is worth millions. When they try to put her out... See full summary »
33. The Lost Jungle (I) (1934)
243 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Animal trainer Clyde Beatty heads a rescue party in search of his girl, Ruth, and her father who get lost looking for an uncharted island. His dirigible crashes into the jungles of the ... See full summary »
35. The Phantom Empire (1935)
Approved | 245 min | Action, Adventure, Music
When the ancient continent of Mu sank beneath the ocean, some of its inhabitant survived in caverns beneath the sea. Cowboy singer Gene Autry stumbles upon the civilization, now buried ... See full summary »
36. The Phantom Creeps (1939)
Approved | 265 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A military intelligence officer and a pretty reporter try to find a scientist whose inventions can destroy the world.
37. Buck Rogers (1939)
Approved | 237 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A 20th Century pilot named Buck Rogers and his young friend Buddy Wade awake from 500 years in suspended animation to find that the world has been taken over by the outlaw army of Killer Kane.
38. Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)
Approved | 299 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
When a deadly Nitron ray strikes Earth, Flash Gordon and his friends travel to Mars to battle Ming the Merciless and his new ally Queen Azura.
39. The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939)
Approved | 263 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Homesteaders are moving into the valley settled many years ago by rancher Craig Dolan. He wants to keep them out by legal means but his nephew Bart brings in outlaws to drive them out. The ... See full summary »
40. The Vigilantes Are Coming (1936)
Approved | 229 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
A masked hero called "The Eagle" leads California ranchers in a struggle against Russian Cossacks who are plotting to take over California and turn it into a Russian colony.
41. The Painted Stallion (1937)
Approved | 212 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The period is the 1820's and the first wagon train leaves Independence heading west to Santa Fe. In order to maintain his power, the ruthless Official at Santa Fe must not let them arrive ... See full summary »
42. The Oregon Trail (1939)
Passed | 320 min | Action, Adventure, Western
Frontier scout Jeff Scott (Johnny Mack Brown) and his pal, Deadwood Hawkins (Fuzzy Knight), are hired by Washington officials to stop outlaw and Indian raids on pioneer wagon trains ... See full summary »
43. Law of the Wild (1934)
Approved | 225 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
Rex, a wild stallion, and Rinty, a police dog, are pals. Their master , John Sheldon, is framed for murder, and Alice Ingram plans to race Rex for money to pay for John's legal defense. ... See full summary »
44. The Devil Horse (1932)
Passed | 216 min | Western