King of the Royal Mounted (serial)
|King of the Royal Mounted|
|Directed by||William Witney
|Produced by||Hiram S. Brown Jr|
|Written by||Franklin Adreon
Norman S. Hall
Joeseph F. Poland
Barney A. Sarecky
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
|Release date(s)||USA 20 September 1940 (serial)
USA 30 April 1942 (feature)
|Running time||12 chapters (211 minutes) (serial)
68 minutes (feature)
|Budget||$136,686 (negative cost: $137,874)|
A feature version, called The Yukon Patrol was released in 1942.
|“||Although the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are few in number, they successfully guard a vast dominion of the British Empire. From the United States border to the Arctic ice pack and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the red coat of the Mountie is the symbol of law and order and a promise that justice will prevail. To these gallant men, "King of the Royal Mounted" is respectfully dedicated.||”|
— Opening caption
In World War II, the Nazis require a special mineral, Compound X, discovered in Canada. Although intended to cure paralysis, the Nazis have discovered that it can be used in magnetic mines to destroy the British fleet and blockade America to prevent it assisting the Allies. The Mounties discover this plot and work to defeat and capture the Nazi spies sent to obtain the ore. Sgt King's father is killed in the line of duty, saving his son from death on a circular saw, and leaving him to carry on the fight against the enemy.
- Allan Lane as Sergeant Dave King
- Robert Strange as John Kettler. Strange's performance is described by Cline as "a flawless characterisation."
- Robert Kellard as Corporal Tom Merritt Jr
- Lita Conway as Linda Merritt
- Herbert Rawlinson as Inspector King
- Harry Cording as Wade Garson
- Bryant Washburn as Matt Crandall
- Budd Buster as Vinegar Smith
King of the Royal Mounted was budgeted at $136,686 although the final negative cost was $137,874 (a $1,188, or 0.9%, overspend). It was the cheapest Republic serial of 1940 which was the first year in which Republic's overall spending on serial production was less than in the previous year..
Republic found success with this naming scheme following this adaptation and subsequently liked calling their heroes "King" in order to use the title "King of..." It even led the studio to name Roy Rogers "King of the Cowboys.".
Director William Witney records that production of the serial was not pleasant. Although the interview for the leading man went well, neither Witney nor his partner John English subsequently had a high opinion of Allan Lane as a person or as an actor. The serial is only afforded three pages in the autobiography of his serial-years, in a chapter entitled "Two Duds and a Hot Water Tank".
Filming took place on location, following a good weather forecast from a Doctor Krich at Caltech, at Big Bear Lake. The area had a log cabin settlement and a disguised dam (logs covering concrete) built by Paramount Pictures for The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936). The area also had the pine trees necessary for the Canadian setting.
King of the Royal Mounted's official release date is 20 September 1940, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.
A 68-minute feature film version, created by editing the serial footage together, was released on 30 April 1940 under the title The Yukon Patrol. It was one of fourteen feature films Republic made from their serials.
- Manhunt (26 min 48s)
- Winged Death (17 min 6s)
- Boomerang (16 min 45s)
- Devil Doctor (16 min 45s)
- Sabotage (16 min 51s)
- False Ransom (16 min 42s)
- Death Tunes In (16 min 43s)
- Satan's Cauldron (16 min 40s)
- Espionage (16 min 43s)
- Blazing Guns (16 min 41s)
- Master Spy (16 min 50s)
- Code of the Mounted (16 min 40s)
- Mathis, Jack. Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 48–49. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8.
- Witney, William (1996). In a Door, Into a Fight, Out a Door, Into a Chase: Moviemaking Remembered by the Guy at the Door. (McFarland & Company) ISBN 0-7864-2258-0
- Cline, William C. "9. They Who Also Serve (The Citizens)". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 142. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
- Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut. "11. New Masks for New Heroes "Get That Masked Trouble Maker"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
- Cline, William C. "2. In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
- Cline, William C. "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 228. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.