Mandrake, the Magician (1939)

Approved   |    |  Action, Adventure, Crime


Mandrake, the Magician (1939) Poster

Mandrake and his assistant Lothar are working the cruise lines and make the acquaintance of Professor Houston who has developed a radium energy machine, which is much coveted by a masked Crime Lord known as "The Wasp".


6.9/10
164

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


31 May 2008 | BaronBl00d
7
| No Sleight of Hand Here
While not made with an over-powering budget by any standards and populated with the dime-store variety of plot devices, mediocre special effects, and bearable, workmanlike performers, the Columbia serial Mandrake the Magician has many fun, entertaining moments and is quite thrilling at times. Isn't that what a serial is suppose to be? Warren Hull plays the dapper Mandrake in top hat and tails and seemingly an expert in every field and every form of fisticuffs. With him is his faithful Lothar, a servant who like Mandrake can fight at will and ease under any circumstances. Of course when Lothar fights - the actor playing him Al Kikume is easily seen not to be fighting as the stunt double looks nothing like him. That is just one of a host of problems with the serial in terms of direction, production, and cinematic achievement. Routinely actors are poorly doubled. Fight scenes are nothing more in some instances than actors playing patty-cake with their fists. The identity of the serial villain - the Wasp - is clearly evident in the final three or four chapters. The leading lady - Doris Weston - is as bland as cottage cheese. When would the parade of henchmen end? And some of the storyline about "a machine invented by Professor Houston to benefit mankind"(you remember those catch phrases once you have heard it 12 different times at the beginning of each chapter)was utterly ridiculous with all that nonsense about shutting off/destroying public works so as to let the Wasp take over the world and the platinite(don't ask) needed to fuel it. But despite all these things, Mandrake the Magician is a lot of fun to watch, and I must confess that for at least the first 9 chapters I had to find out who the Wasp was as three of Mandrake's circle were framed so as to suggest each one. Each episode left with some great calamity, and this serial is definitely worth a peek.

Critic Reviews


Details

Release Date:

6 May 1939

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

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