Approved | Action, Adventure, Western
Gordon Nance (nee Gordon Elliott) had toiled in films from 1925-1938, always using and getting paid as Gordon Elliott (credited or uncredited), with the bulk of his films prior to this serial made for Warners, 89 of over 120 films. He had good featured credited roles in films at Universal, and westerns at Warners with Dick Foran, Republic with Gene Autry and Sol Lesser's Principal Productions with Smith Ballew, with Elliott as the head-honcho villain, and also about as many uncredited small roles and bits as he had credited roles. His record of appearing in films for over thirteen years before ever actually seeing his name above a film title or topping a cast list isn't the longest in film history, but it's way up the list.
Following Columbia's first three serials, all produced for Columbia distribution by Weiss Brothers, Larry Darmour's independent company took over the out-source task of producing the Columbia serials, and continued to do so into the mid-40s, even after Darmour's death in 1942, and the first one was "The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" with, as seen on the film on original release and every piece of paper connected to the serial, the name of Gordon Elliott as "Wild Bill Hickok" topping the cast list. Or, to be specific, the actor Gordon Elliott billed as Gordon Elliott as "Wild Bill Hickok." Gordon Elliott's next film for Larry Darmour Productions was the first of his starring westerns, "In Old Arizona", billed as Gordon Elliott again, although some of the posters showed him as Gordon (Bill) Elliott and, when his next starring western, "Frontiers of '49" was released, his billing name was changed to Bill Elliott. His billing name remained as that until he was signed by Republic in 1943 and, there, became Wild Bill Elliott (as a billing name), until 1946 when Republic upped the budgets in his westerns and changed his billing name to William Elliott...in 1946. He was billed as William Elliott from that point onward until he made a series of 12 westerns at Monogram/Allied Artists from 1951-1954 billed, for the 2nd go-around, as Wild Bill Elliott, and then just plain Bill Elliott, for the 2nd cycle of the name, as a detective in five feature films distributed by Allied Artists. Meanwhile, and in-between, Columbia re-released "The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" when Elliott was still at Republic being billed as William Elliott...and Columbia then re-worked the credits on the re-release prints and changed his original-print billing to William Elliott...which, has nothing to do with how he was billed on the original release, and (as William Elliott) is incorrect when shown as his billing name for this 1938 serial, made eight years before he was ever billed as William Elliott.