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  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Flaming Frontiers" was the third of four serials that Johnny (billed as "John") Mack Brown made for Universal in the 30s before moving exclusively to features. Though not one of the best western serials ever made, it nonetheless contains non-stop action throughout its 15 chapters. Much of the credit can be attributed to Universal's liberal use of its vast store of stock footage and its large cast of seasoned performers.

    The story is that old chestnut about competing parties trying to gain control of a gold mine. Mary Grant (Eleanor Hansen) receives word from her brother Tom (Ralph Bowman) that he has struck it rich in Gold Creek. She and her father (Eddy Waller) plan to go to Gold Creek to join Tom. Villainous Bart Eaton (James Blaine) woos Mary in order to acquire the mine for himself. Indian scout Tex Houston (Brown) aids the Grants in their quest.

    Along the way Mary's father is killed (through the actions of henchman Roy Barcroft). Upon arriving at Gold Creek we meet up with yet another villain, Ace Daggett (Charles Middleton) who has his own plans for the mine.

    Amid double crosses, Indian raids and murder the quest for the mine continues. Tom is falsely accused of a murder committed by bad guy Breed (Charlie Stevens) and is jailed. Eaton and Daggett both try to capture Tom and/or Mary to force him to sign over his mine. Its up to Tex Houston to save the day.

    Brown once again plays the all-in-black hero (no doubt to match the stock footage). He was a cut above the average western hero of the day, a fact born out by his long running career with both with Universal and Monogram. Eleanor Hansen is the usual helpless heroine, "Mary". We are treated to a "two for one" combination of main villains. Charles MIddleton, best known for his portrayal of "Ming the Merciless" in the Flash Gordon serials steals the show from the rather colorless James Blaine.

    Others in the cast are Chief Thunder Cloud, Charlie King and Jack Rutherford as Buffalo Bill.

    Ralph Bowman later changed his name to John Archer and enjoyed a lengthy career. Eddy Waller is best remembered as Allan "Rocky" Lane's sidekick, Nugget Clarke. Chief Thunder Cloud would go on to play "Tonto" in the Lone Ranger serials and Geronimo in the movie of the same name.
  • If you love westerns (serials) that is full of action, this one is for you.I found the acting and story was very good and very well put together. For that time period of the 30's I found it to be very well done.There is some very well done drama in between all the fist fights,fast horse riding and shootings.I rented it on DVD.Some of it seemed a little dark in spots and unclear,which where the night scenes, but all in all it came through very well. They certainly don't make movies like this anymore.Its great we live in a time where we have so many choices to watch.I love to rent or buy movies that the TV stations fail or refuse to offer.To be honest right now, I would love to scream at the TV stations to stop showing the same movies over and over again"sigh"boring, when there have been so many movies made from the first one ever produced.Even some stations that show classic movies don't even offer these wonderful serials that could be shown week to week.It would be like watching a brand new movie.I also like the way this serial shows the players battling the wicked weather too give the story even more action and adventure.I really wish that more of these serials will be available soon on DVD so us that love these old serials can either get to buy them or rent them.Don't hesitate to enjoy this one.I loved it.