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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"Pirates of the High Seas"; Columbia, 1950

Pierce Lyden has had a film career that has lasted for over three decades, over half of that making serials for Columbia and countless B-Westerns for the "poverty row" studios. Usuually heplayed just one of the gang who would get knocked around by the hero and end up getting killed before the serial was half over. A good example of this is "Blackhawk" (1952) where Lyden attempted to double cross his mysterious leader for some quick cash. Needless to say he was rubbed out before the chaper was over.

Lyden wasn't always just one of the gang. "Pirates of the High Seas" (1950) had Lyden and fellow heavy Terry Frost constantly battling hero Buster Crabbe to find a hidden cache of stolen diamonds. That same year he appeared in Republic's "Government Agents vs. Phantom Legion" as a red herring who was suspected of being the mysterious smuggler, The Voice. It goes without saying that Lyden appeared in the last serial ever made, "Blazing the Overland Trail" (1956) before moving onto television

A popular actor, he was voted Villain of the Year by the Photo Press Fan Poll in 1944. He was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and given his own star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, both in 1979.

I was lucky enough to actually meet the last of the B-western Bad Men at the 1994 Western Film Fair in Charlotte NC. I will never forget how we all booed and hissed as he made his way to the podium. He told us in a choked up voice that brought tears to our eyes every boo and hiss let him know that he was still loved and appreciated. We gave him a standing ovation. To see a picture of me with him, visit our image gallery.

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