A 15-episode serial in which our hero, Jim Dorn helps hide Jean McNain from a man she can implicate in a murder.
Episode 02: The Web Tangles
Real-life flying ace Frank Hawks stars in the 15-chapter Columbia serial The Mysterious Pilot. Running the gamut of emotions from A to B, Hawks is cast as Jim Dorn, mapmaker for the Royal Canadian Air Force. With his sidekicks, a mountie named Kansas (Rex Lease) and an Indian named Luke (Yakima Canuttt), Jim shields Jean McNain (Dorothy Sebastian) from the villainous machinations of her former fiance Carter Snowden (Kenneth Harlan). It is difficult to determine Snowden’s motives, though it can’t be denied that he’s one of the most resourceful villains in serial history. Mysterious Pilot is capped by an offbeat climax wherein the hero is rescued by the heroine!
The second of Columbia’s serials (between “Jungle Menace” and “The Secret of Treasure Island”), and all of the first three were outside productions from Louis Weiss, with the remaining 54 serials being in-house assigned to various Columbia contractee producers. While this one is basically filled with canoes chasing canoes down the river, and air-plane crashes galore (at least 10 times in 15 chapters), it is heads and shoulders above the three serials Weiss produced for Stage and Screen Distribution in 1935-36. All three of the Weiss-produced serials for Columbia, while padded beyond the needs of the story line, make more sense logically than the majority of the Larry Darmour serials directed by James W. Horne. Nowhere near as much fun to watch, though. While it had been over two years since the Weiss-Merrick crew had made a serial, they still managed to populate this cast with nearly every player that had appeared in their “Stage and Screen” serials…
Cast and Crew:
Frank Hawks, Dorothy Sebastian and Esther Ralston
Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet
Production Company: Weiss Productions
Audio/Visual: mono, black & white
Date Release: 1937
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Filed Under: Mysterious Pilot