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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"Zorro Rides Again"; Republic, 1937

Noah Beery, Sr. is not as well known as his brother Wallace Beery or his son Noah Jr. (Rockford's dad on "The Rockford Files). Although he had a distinguished career in the silent era most fans love him for the crafty villains who always pretended to be on the side of the hero that he played in serials.

Starting at Mascot Berry portrayed an evil rancher out to get Rex, the Wonder Horse to use for his own personal gain in "The Devil horse"(1932) but screen legend Harry Carey soon put a stop to that. Next Berry faced off against famed scout Kit Carson(played by soon to be cowboy star Johnny Mack Brown) over a stolen shipment of gold in "Fighting with Kit Carson"(1933). Berry's son played the hero's sidekick.

When Mascot became Republic Studios Beery was once again up to his old tricks trying to take over a railroad line in "Zorro Rides Again"(1937). Republic launched the career of Don "Red" Barry with the comic strip adaptation "The Adventures of Red Ryder"(1941) Beery was a crooked saloon owner out to cause trouble for the red headed cowboy and his Indian pal.

Beery had to contend once more with his son being the hero's sidekick in Universal's "Overland Mail"(1942). Beery was out to steal a mail franchise but was thwarted by Lon Chaney, Jr. (Fresh from his star making performance in "The Wolf Man"(1941)). So ingratiating is Beery as a villain that even after all the nefarious things he has done Chaney says, "He wasn't such a bad sport," after the man confesses right before dying. Amen.

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