Gang Busters (serial)
|Directed by||Noel M. Smith
Jacques Jaccard (asst.)
|Produced by||Ford Beebe|
|Written by||Morgan Cox
George H. Plympton
|Cinematography||John W. Boyle
William A. Sickner
|Edited by||Irving Birnbaum
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|13 chapters (251 min)|
The city is terrorized by a crime wave masterminded by the elusive, soft-spoken Professor Mortis (Ralph Morgan). Police detective Bill Bannister (Kent Taylor), his partner Tim Nolan (Robert Armstrong), and police chief Martin O'Brien (Joseph Crehan) investigate the activities of Mortis and his gang, and discover that the crimes were all perpetrated by men who had died some time ago. Following the story is journalist Vicki Logan (Irene Hervey) and her photographer 'Happy' Haskins (Richard Davies).
- Kent Taylor as Detective Lieutenant Bill Bannister
- Irene Hervey as Vicki Logan
- Ralph Morgan as Professor Mortis
- Robert Armstrong as Detective Tim Nolan
- Richard Davies as Happy Haskins, photographer
- Joseph Crehan as Police Chief Martin O'Brien
- George Watts as Mayor Hansen
- Ralf Harolde as Halliger, one of Professor Mortis' henchmen
- John Gallaudet as Wilkinson, one of Professor Mortis' henchmen
- William Haade as Mike Taboni, new member of Mortis's gang
Gang Busters is one of Universal's most elaborate serials, with many chase and thrill scenes expertly staged in outdoor locations. The directors were Ray Taylor, veteran director responsible for many hit serials, and Noel M. Smith, former silent-screen director who specialized in fast action (Smith directed many of Larry Semon's action-filled comedies of the 1920s).
This is mostly a crime film but contains a small science fiction element. The villains, The League of Murdered Men, are all dead criminals killed and revived by Professor Mortis using his own mysterious poison.
The film was very successful in its original release, and was re-released in 1949. Authors Jim Harmon and Donald F. Glut describe Gang Busters as a "well made and interesting serial."
- The League of Murdered Men
- The Death Plunge
- Murder Blockade
- Hangman's Noose
- Man Undercover
- Under Crumbling Walls
- The Water Trap
- Murder by Proxy
- Gang Bait
- Mob Vengeance
- Wanted at Headquarters
- The Long Chance
- Law and Order
- Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "8. The Detectives "Gangbusters!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
- Cline, William C. (1984). "5. A Cheer for the Champions (The Heroes and Heroines)". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 89. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
- Cline, William C. (1984). "7. Masters of Menace (The Villains)". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 108. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
- Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 232. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
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