Ace Drummond (serial)

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This article is about the film serial. For the comic strip, see Ace Drummond.
Ace Drummond
Film poster for Chapter 8
Directed by Ford Beebe
Clifford Smith
Starring John 'Dusty' King
Cinematography Richard Fryer
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
1936 (1936)
Running time
13 chapters (258 min)
Country United States
Language English

Ace Drummond is a 1936 film serial based on the Ace Drummond comic strip drawn by Clayton Knight and written by Eddie Rickenbacker.


A mysterious villain who calls himself The Dragon is attempting to prevent International Airways from beginning service in Mongolia, in order to protect the secret of the mountain of jade for himself. It features a dungeon in the nearby monastery, the kidnapping of an archeologist who stumbles onto the secret, his daughter's attempts to rescue him with Ace's help, a death ray The Dragon uses on the airline pilots, a radio system by which The Dragon communicates with his henchmen via the rotation of Buddhist prayer wheels (each transmission concluding "The Dragon commands!"), and a squadron of his own fighter planes.



Ace Drummond was based on a comic strip by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker.[1]

Ace Drummond gained good publicity following a set visit by Amelia Earhart. The famous aviator had driven out to the San Fernando Valley, after hearing that the serial was being shot there on location, where she watched the filming of the chapter two cliffhanger.[2]

In the traditional foreword at the beginning of each chapter, Ace Drummond used comic strips to summarise the story so far. This worked well and Universal, who had been trying to get away from using written text in its forewords, used "similar gimmicks" in their succeeding serials.[2][3]


Ace also regularly performs his theme song, "Give Me a Ship and a Song".

Critical reception[edit]

In the words of Cline, Ace Drummond "exuded the futuristic aura of Flash Gordon combined with the eerie mystery of Baron Frankenstein's castle laboratory."[4]

Chapter titles[edit]

Source for titles:[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cline, William C. "2. The Perils of Success". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 17. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 
  2. ^ a b Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut. "7. The Aviators "Land That Plane at Once, You Crazy Fool"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 149, 151. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9. 
  3. ^ Stedman, Raymond William. "5. Shazam and Good-by". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5. 
  4. ^ Cline, William C. "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 32. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 
  5. ^ Cline, William C. "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 215–216. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Phantom Rider (1936)
Universal Serial
Ace Drummond (1936)
Succeeded by
Jungle Jim (1936)