Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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"Undersea Kingdom"; Republic, 1936

Monte Blue began his career in the silents, appearing in "The Man From Painted Post" (1917), "Orphans of the Storm" (1921) and "So This is Paris" (1926). He continued his career in the sound era, mostly in low budget westerns like Gene Autry's "Ride Ranger Ride" (1936) and "Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm" (1938).

His serial career spanned a short six years in which he played minor and major villains at all three major studios. His first serial was Republic's "Undersea Kingdom" (1936), where Blue played Unga Khan, ruthless leader of the undersea continent of Atlantis. Next he moved to Universal to appear in "Secret Agent X-9" (1937) as a foreign dignitary who is kidnapped and then impersonated by a famous jewel thief.

Moving over to Columbia, he appeared in "The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock" (1938) as the leader of a band of Phantom Raiders attacking a wagon train and cattle drive. Blue returned to Republic to play an evil Indian witch doctor fighting the Tarzan inspired Kioga in "Hawk of the Wilderness" (1938).

Back at Universal, Blue was one of the many villains trying to prevent Dick Foran and Buck Jones from discovering a lost gold mine in the Million Dollar Serial "Riders of Death Valley" (1941). His last serial was Republic's "King of the Texas Rangers" (1941), playing the father of the hero who is killed in Chapter One leading the son, played by football great "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh, to track down the killers.

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