US Serial Film (1949). Columbia Pictures. Produced by Sam Katzman. Directed by Thomas Carr and Spencer Gordon Bennett. Written by Lewis Clay, George H Plympton and Joseph H Poland, based on the newspaper Comic strip Bruce Gentry (1945-1951) by Ray Bailey. Cast includes Judy Clark, Tristram Coffin, Ralph Hodges, Tom Neal and Forrest Taylor. 246 minutes. Black and white.
This fifteen-chapter serial is mildly notable for the first film appearance of flying saucers (see UFOs), predating the feature film The Flying Saucer (1950) by a year. In the serial, the saucers are a secret Weapon developed and deployed by an enemy agent to attack chosen US targets; their operation depends on the mineral "platonite", a form of Unobtainium. Air pilot Gentry (Neal) and his sidekick Frank (Hodges) tangle with the cartoony animated saucers in their attempts to uncover the identity of the enemy agent behind them. Columbia's animation department also provided the flight sequences of their previous Superman serials, only slightly more realistically. [LW]
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