Bruce Gentry – Daredevil of the Skies

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Bruce Gentry – Daredevil of the Skies
Bruce Gentry FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Thomas Carr
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Lewis Clay
George H. Plympton
Joseph F. Poland
Ray Bailey (character)
Starring Tom Neal
Judy Clark
Ralph Hodges
Forrest Taylor
Hugh Prosser
Tristram Coffin
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Ira H. Morgan
Edited by Dwight Caldwell
Earl Turner
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • February 10, 1949 (1949-02-10)
Running time
15 chapters
Country United States
Language English

Bruce Gentry – Daredevil of the Skies (1949) is a 15-episode Columbia Pictures movie serial based on the Bruce Gentry comic strip created by Ray Bailey.[1] It features the first cinematic appearance of a flying saucer, as the secret weapon of the villainous Recorder.[2]


Dr Benson (Forrest Taylor ), a friend of charter pilot Bruce Gentry ( Tom Neal), is kidnapped by the mysterious enemy agent, "The Recorder" who only issues orders through recordings. Benson is used to perfect the villain's flying saucers, launched and controlled by electronic means. Industrialist Paul Radcliffe (Hugh Prosser) hires Bruce to investigate the saucers as he thinks they may have a commercial use.

Necessary for the production of the flying saucers is a mineral called Platonite. The Recorder's only source, an abandoned mine on the land belonging to Jaunita (Judy Clark) and Frank Farrell (Ralph Hodges), has run dry and he needs to steal supplies from the US Government.

When Bruce closes in on The Recorder, he finds out that his prey is actually Dr. Benson. Krendon (Tristram Coffin), one of his henchmen, releases a deadly flying saucer on an attack against the Panama Canal. In his aircraft, Bruce intercepts the saucer, crashing into it, and escaping the resultant explosion by taking to his parachute. Back at The Recorder's headquarters, the saucer controls explode, killing all the enemy agents.


At the end of chapter 14, Gentry drives over a cliff on a motorbike. In the resolution at the beginning of chapter 15, Gentry is replaced by an animated sequence which shows him escaping death by use of a parachute hidden under his jacket. The cliffhangers, and their resolutions, in chapters one and 12 are almost identical.[3]



The flying disc is described by Harmon and Glut as "an embarrassingly bad animated cartoon drawn over the action scenes." Animation also appears in the resolution of a cliffhanger, in which an animated Gentry is used instead of a stuntman.[3]

The flying disc, however, may be the first cinematic appearance of a flying saucer.[2]

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. The Mysterious Disc
  2. The Mine of Menace
  3. Fiery Furnace
  4. Grande Crossing
  5. Danger Trail
  6. A Flight for Life
  7. A Flying Disc
  8. Fate Takes the Wheel
  9. Hazardous Heights
  10. Over the Falls
  11. Gentry at Bay
  12. Parachute of Peril
  13. Menace of the Mesa
  14. Bruce's Strategy
  15. The Final Disc


Critical reception[edit]

According to Harmon and Glut, Bruce Gentry was "one of Columbia's closest attempts at imitating the serials of Republic, a studio known for superbly staged action sequences" but it did not equal Republic's standards.[3]

Film historian William Cline describes the serial as a "pretty good airplane adventure."[5]



  1. ^ Weiss and Goodgold 1973, p. 288.
  2. ^ a b Greer 2009, p. 33.
  3. ^ a b c Harmon 1973, pp. 158–159.
  4. ^ Cline 1984, p. 248.
  5. ^ Cline 1984, p. 27.


  • Cline, William C. "2. In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  • Cline, William C. "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  • Greer, John Michael. The UFO Phenomenon: Fact, Fantasy and Disinformation. Woodbury, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 2009. ISBN 978-0-73871-319-9.
  • Harmon, Jim and Donald F. Glut. "7. The Aviators "Land That Plane at Once, You Crazy Fool". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. London: Routledge, 1973. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  • Weiss, Ken and Ed Goodgold. To be Continued ...: A Complete Guide to Motion Picture Serials. New York: Bonanza Books, 1973. ISBN 0-517-166259

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Congo Bill (1948)
Columbia Serial
Bruce Gentry – Daredevil of the Skies (1949)
Succeeded by
Batman and Robin (1949)