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  • From Universal pictures came this exciting,rousing action-packed western serial featuring a really likable and easy-going Lon Chaney Jr. as the tough hero.

    Chaney plays a western lawman who is commissioned by military officials to discover the reasons behind the delay of frontier mails,the destruction of pony-express equipment, and the killings of express riders and stage-men. With his two pals,amiably portrayed by Noah Beery Jr. and Don Terry,Chaney heads to the frontier express company and quickly finds out outlaws disguised as Indian braves are the cause of the trouble. The mystery (made apparent to viewers) is to find out who is behind the destruction and why.

    Action fans will not be disappointed as the story unfolds through 15 cliff-hanging chapters with plenty of gun play,fistfights,stampedes,prairie fires,double-dealing,betrayal and everything else one could want in a western serial.

    Both Chaney and Beery Jr. seem like natural horsemen and seem very comfortable with their roles. And Noah Beery Sr. has a wonderful role opposite his son. Viewers will also enjoy substantial roles played by longtime veterans Charles Stevens (as the wiley Puma)and veteran heavy Harry Cording.

    True,historical officianadoes may balk at the prescence of the pony express still in operation at a later date but, it doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.

    Directors Ford Beebe and John Rawlins film some of their best work here and the musical title themes are worth remembering.
  • I expected far less when I started watching this serial. Ya know, a typical and rather boring western with a few good scenes - basically I expected just so-so. Well to my surprise this was really good, very entertaining and a story that is interesting. The story took a few twists and turn that were unexpected. There's plenty of action and adventure to see as well.

    I got this for Lon Chaney Jr alone. BUT after watching it I found I like the entire cast and the characters they played. It's hard not to like Jim Lane (Chaney) and his two buddies Sierra Pete (Beery Jr) and Buckskin Billy Burke (Terry). These three alone could have had a TV series easily because they are interesting and fun characters. I also liked Barbara Gilbert (Parrish) she showed them she was one tough cookie. :)

    Overall a really fun and good western serial that not only fans of Lon Chaney Jr should enjoy but a film for fans of classic westerns.

    9/10
  • Solid western serial stars Lon Chaney and Noah Beery Jr as trouble shooters hired by the military to find out who is trying to stop the mail from going through. Filled with breezy action and good characters this is everything you typically think of as a serial, actually to the point that it seems formulaic. Don't let that fool you this is a nifty little action film (granted an almost five hour one). There are all the usual cliffhangers and for the most part it plays pretty fair with its resolutions. This is one of the rare Universal serials thats 15 chapters (Universal tended to release chapter plays that ran 13 episodes, I'm guessing so that it could release four a year and have one new chapter for every week of the year). Despite being longer than normal the film feels to be the right length (many 15 chapter stories tend to be bloated). Definitely worth a look especially if you like good western action. (An interesting note is that Noah Beery Sr plays one of the key bad guys while his son is the hero's sidekick)
  • Shortly after completing "Eyes of the Underworld," Lon Chaney was hard at work throughout April 1942 on "Overland Mail," the last of his 7 serials, coming full circle from his first, 1932's "The Last Frontier," in that he again plays the heroic lead. His previous Universal serial, "Riders of Death Valley," found him cast as a white clad villain, while here he's the black clad Jim Lane, battling against villainous Noah Beery Sr., who is trying to put the Overland Mail company out of business so he can score a huge payday. Chaney was again working with old friend Noah Beery Jr. (their third serial together), with the added stature of Beery Sr., plus leading lady Helen Parrish, fresh faced ingénue of RKO's "You'll Find Out," one of Lon's most appealing co-stars (Noah Jr. would also play a part in "Frontier Badmen" and "The Daltons Ride Again"). 15 chapters may seem a bit much perhaps, but Chaney is finally the star of a Western, not the main villain or some secondary henchman, and it's a shame that no future Westerns saw fit to have him play the lead. This was also a rare instance where Universal restored the 'Jr.' to Chaney's name, repeated only one other time for the one reel short "Keeping Fit."