The Crimson Ghost
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|The Crimson Ghost|
|Directed by||Fred C. Brannon|
|Produced by||Ronald Davidson|
|Written by||Albert DeMond|
I. Stanford Jolley
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
The Crimson Ghost is a 1946 12-chapter Republic film serial directed by Fred C. Brannon and William Witney with Charles Quigley and Linda Stirling playing the leads. This was Witney's last serial, after a career that left him one of the most praised of all serial directors. The serial was re-released as a six-episode television series in the 1950s and as a television film called Cyclotrode "X" in 1966. In the 1990s The Crimson Ghost was one of only two Republic serials to be colorized. The villain of the serial, the Crimson Ghost of the title, is one of the most visually striking of the medium. The horror punk band Misfits adapted his visage as their skull logo, and he has appeared in the music video for the song "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (June 2018)
- Charles Quigley as Duncan Richards
- Linda Stirling as Diana Farnsworth
- Clayton Moore as Ashe
- I. Stanford Jolley as Doctor Blackton and the Voice of the Crimson Ghost
- Kenne Duncan as Dr. Chambers
- Forrest Taylor as Professor Van Wyck
- Emmett Vogan as Anderson
- Sam Flint as Maxwell
- Joseph Forte as Professor Parker/the Crimson Ghost
- Stanley Price as Count Fator
The Crimson Ghost was budgeted at $137,912, although the final negative cost was $161,174 (a $23,262, or 16.9%, overspend). It was the most expensive Republic serial of 1946. It was filmed between March 28 and April 24, 1946 under the working title The Scarlet Shadow. The serial's production number was 1597.
In order to prevent the audience deducing the identity of the Crimson Ghost, the studio (Stanford Jolley) provided the voice, and was behind the costume Jolley's role was minor but he received fourth-billing and was therefore highly suspect. When The Crimson Ghost was unmasked in the 12th and final chapter, he proved to be yet another actor entirely, Joseph Forte, who had played a character seemingly above suspicion at that point in the serial.
Television's future Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, played a rare villainous role in this serial as one of the Crimson Ghost's henchmen, a cold-hearted gangster named Ashe. This was director William Witney's last serial. His first was The Painted Stallion in 1937 and prior to this production had temporarily left the serial business to serve in World War II.
- Dale Van Sickel as Duncan Richards (doubling Charles Quigley)
- Polly Burson as Diana Farnsworth (doubling Linda Stirling)
- Tom Steele as Ashe (doubling Clayton Moore & I. Stanford Jolley)
- Joe Yrigoyen as Duncan Richards & Count Fator (doubling Charles Quigley & Stanley Price)
The special effects were produced by Republic's Lydecker brothers.
The Crimson Ghost's official release date is 26 October 1946, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.
In the early 1950s, The Crimson Ghost was one of fourteen Republic serials edited into a television series. It was broadcast in six 26½-minute episodes. The Crimson Ghost was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to Cyclotrode "X". This version was cut down to 100 minutes in length. The Crimson Ghost was one of two Republic serials to be colorized in the 1990s.
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Hans J. Wollstein from Allmovie called the film "One of the most entertaining serials to be released by Republic Pictures". Author William C. Cline felt that The Crimson Ghost was the most striking and visually fascinating villain in any film serial. On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar wrote, "This is considered one of the better serials out there, and rightfully so; it’s efficient, the fights are well staged, it’s packed with gadgets, and it has a great villain."
- Atomic Peril (20 min)
- Thunderbolt (13min 20s)
- The Fatal Sacrifice (13min 20s)
- The Laughing Skull (13min 20s)
- Flaming Death (13min 20s)
- Mystery of the Mountain (13min 20s)
- Electrocution (13min 20s)
- The Slave Collar (13min 20s) - a re-cap chapter
- Blazing Fury (13min 20s)
- The Trap that Failed (13min 20s)
- Double Murder (13min 20s)
- The Invisible Trail (13min 20s)
The poster for a March 28, 1979 show at Max's Kansas City featured the first use of the Crimson Ghost  by the band Misfits. The cover art for their Horror Business EP, the band's third single, would be the first time that the character would appear on a release by the band. It would continue to be used as the band's mascot and its skull image continues to serve as the Misfits' logo.
Full motion video clips from the Crimson Ghost serials were used in the Philips CD-i video game Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost, released by Oldergames in 2002. The gameplay involved watching clips from the serial and injecting the Jack Sprite character into the scene at certain times for fighting levels, with The Crimson Ghost acting as a boss character.
- Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 94–95. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8.
- Wollstein, Hans. "The Crimson Ghost [Serial] (1946) - Fred C. Brannon, William Witney". Allmovie.com. Hans J. Wollstein. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- Cline, William C. (1984). "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
- Sindelar, Dave. "The Crimson Ghost (1946)". Fantastic Movie Musings.com. Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 244. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
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