Thursday, April 28, 2016

THE MAN OF BRONZE SERIAL by Dave Goode

If you're a fan-boy like me there probably hasn't been a time while watching a Buster Crabbe jungle adventure from PRC that you haven't imagined the former swimming champion playing Doc Savage.Clad in sport shirt, jodhpurs and riding boots Crabbe pretty much looked like one of illustrator Walter Baumhofer's pulp magazine covers come to life.Though the artists at Street & Smith were told to make Clark Savage Jr. look as much like Clark Gable as possible. As popular as the Doc Savage pulps were I'm sure that a serial would have been just as popular.

I imagine the serial starring Crabbe would feature the likes of Reed Hadley, Ben Weldon, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams and other serial and B-Movie regulars as his companions the Amazing Five. A fifteen chapter serial from Pre-Republic Mascot that would begin with the "The Man of Bronze" in New York for the first three chapters. In the next three chapters he and his men would end up in Asia. Chapters seven through nine would find our heroes in the jungles of Africa. And the final chapters would find them back in New York where they would thwart the villain once and for all.

The serial wouldn't be based on any particular Doc novel. And it would feature a villain specifically created for the chapter-play. More importantly the serial would have had Doc going up against a gorilla in one of the chapters. Something that the Man of Bronze, as far as I know, never did in any of  the original 181 published stories. Something this fan boy would have loved to have seen on the cover of one of the pulps. Or illustrated on one of the paperback re-issues by James Bama.

7 comments:

  1. Love these faux lobby cards by Vance Capley.

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  2. If the Doc serial took the path of other similar pulp/comic serial adaptations, there probably wouldn't be any of his Fantastic Five present, though Pat might show up as his secretary or something.

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  3. Funny that you mention Pat.I was watching one of the Mr.Moto movies that featured Rochelle Hudson as a globe-trotting adventuresss.She was garbed for most of the film like "Doc" and in the end her shirt was torn.She looked how I always imagined Pat to look.I'm afraid you're right about how a studio would have cut out the Amazing Five.Or at least cut back their number to three.

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  4. Here's Rochelle Hudson as Victoria Mason in "Mr. Moto Takes a Chance" (24 Jun 1938).
    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/dfordoom/3834032/2300421/2300421_original.jpg

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  5. Fighting Devil Dogs was supposed to have been the Doc Savage serial but the rights negotiations fell thru and Republic turned it into one of their service related serials (in this case, the USMC). This is the serial with The Lightning (a proto-Darth Vader) and his flying wing. You can easily see how Doc & his crew would have fit in.

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