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Diabolical mastermind Harry Crowel, a.k.a. Prisoner 39013, escapes and, with a seemingly endless supply of henchmen, sets out to destroy all holdings of industrialist Horace Granville, who put him in prison. One target is an amusement park, home of the three Daredevils of the Red Circle, who perform death-defying stunts. Aghast at innocent lives lost, our three heroes swear to capture No. 39013. It'll be harder than they suspect; the villain is holding the real Granville captive, and with a near-perfect disguise, has taken his place!Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Harry Crowel prisoner number 39013 is used again in Daughter of Don Q (1946) for thug, Mel Donovan (Roy Barcroft). When a mugshot is shown of Donovan, his number is 39013. It appears to be the same in both movies. See more »
In chapter 1 police reports show prisoner 39013 as James Crowel, but thought out the movie he is called Harry. See more »
Now this serial had a lot of hype to live up to...I had heard or read that it was one of the best serials ever made from every source I encountered. It was spoken of in the same awed tones as The Adventures of Captain Marvel, Zorro's Fighting Legion, Fighting Devil Dogs, and Drums of Fu Manchu. And it lived up to all the hype.
Charles Quigley, David Sharpe and Bruce Bennett are great as the three circus daredevils who join the police in their efforts to stop the escaped convict who is known by the name 39013. The action and thrills are easily on a par with most of the SFX blockbusters today...and these old time SFX are pretty believable too. Just watch the motorcycle racing ahead of the water in the flooding tunnel!
This chapter play doesn't really fall into the ruts of many of the genre. The cliffhanger resolutions are all very believable, and there is only about a half a chapter of recap. The acting, beyond the three principals, is excellent. Carole Landis has a minor though pivotal role that really doesn't use her comic talents, but Charles Middleton plays the archtypical villain role that he became known for...especially after he took on the role of Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon.
There are few serials that I can recommend wholeheartedly. But Daredevils of the Red Circle has definitely joined that list!
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