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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"Hawk of the Wilderness"; Republic, 1938

Like Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe, Herman Brix was an olympic champion who's acting career got a big boost due the character of Tarzan. truth be known it was shot putter Brix that was a front runner for the role of Tarzan at MGM but an injury sustained during the filming of "Touchdown" (1931) caused the studio to go with Weissmuller instead.

A setback for Brix but a blessing for serial fans as it allowed the actor to be free when Tarzan creater Edgar Rice Burroughs was casting an independantly produced serial, "The New Adventures of Tarzan" (1935). Brix is the only actor to ever portray Tarzan as his creator envisioned.

Brix next battled villain supreme Bela Lugosi in the Sam Katzman produced serial "Shadows of Chinatown" (1936). Brix then made "A Million to One" (1937), a feature about an Olympic athelete who falls in love with a socialite.

The atheletic actor was then cast as one of a group of Texas Rangers suspected of being the Lone Ranger in Republic's "The Lone Ranger" (!938) serial. That same year Republic teamed Brix up with fellow "Lone Ranger" alumnus Lee Powell as a couple of Marines trying to save the world from the mystery villain, The Lightning, in "The Fighting Devil Dogs" (1938). Brix would finish out the year playing a Tarzan imitation, Kioga, in a serial adaptation of the William L. Chester book, "Hawk of the Wilderness" (1938).

Brix would bid farewell to the serial world in 1939 after playing one of three circus acrobats tracking down master criminal 39-0-13 in "Daredevils of the Red Circle" (1939). Changing his name to Bruce Bennet he carved out a lucrative career as a character actor appearing in such diverse films as "Before I Hang" (1940) with Boris Karloff, Humphry Bogart's war time drama "Sahara" (1943), and the original "Angels in the Outfield" (1951).

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