30 August 2008 | tomwal
This second entry of the Tracy serials is finally on DVD courtesy of VCI entertainment. Having viewed the first five chapters,it appears that its an improvement over the tape.Sound is Dolby Digital , sharp and crisp.Picture quality varies from chapter to chapter,but is very good overall.If the remaining chapters are the same,it would appear that VCI has done a commendable job restoring this serial,one of the best of the Tracy serials. For the time it was made, this is hard edge story telling. Charles Middleton plays Pa Stark,leader of the notorious Stark gang. He and his sons rob payrolls,deal in hot cars,and cause havoc until Tracy and his G Men get on their trail. In the opening chapter a rookie G man played by stunt ace David Sharpe is shot from behind by one of the Starks during a robbery. He survives and is placed in an iron lung. Fearing that he will identify the shooter,Pa without any remorse,unplugs the iron lung,killing the agent.This is gritty stuff for a serial in 1938! The cast is headed by Ralph Byrd who is perfect in the title roll. Mike McGurk,Junior,Steve Lockwood and Gwen return from the first entry,all played by different actors.The supporting cast,headed by Middleton are all excellent. There is extensive location shooting,chapter endings and resolutions are exciting and for the most part believable. The one downside is the music ,which from time to time, does not fit the action. Over all this long serial ,254 minutes, is fast paced and under the direction of the masters of serial making, William Witney and John English, offers fifteen chapters of non stop action. A must see for anyone who wants to see one of the best of the serial genres .