A criminal mastermind known as The Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit all electrical current on the planet.
The Crimson Ghost
Chapter 11: Double Murder
Somehow, Duncan escapes again. Yes, again. He wakes up in the Crimson Ghost’s laboratory, surrounded by flames and smoke. He leaps out of the way of a giant explosion and then inexplicably meanders out of the lab (But how? They never show us. I guess even the director is bored with Duncan continually escaping at the last second. Two more episodes to go and they’re already phoning it in…). Back at the lab, Duncan informs the professors that he has brought back pieces from the Crimson Ghost’s secret hideout, and that he’s going to get fingerprints off of the equipment to reveal the Crimson Ghost’s identity. But alas, it’s just another trick! Duncan suspects one of the professors being aligned with the Crimson Ghost and hopes to catch the guilty party at the warehouse. On the way there, Duncan and Diana are ambushed by Ash and his funky shotgun. Gun play erupts between Duncan and Ash, but after he empties his chamber, Ash makes another escape. And unfortunately, Duncan’s car is stuck in the mud. But luckily, they can simply walk the half-mile to the warehouse. And when they finally arrive, they catch Professor Van Wyck trying to steal the truck loaded with the Crimson Ghost’s equipment. Busted! As Duncan is confronting Van Wyck, the real Crimson Ghost arrives, gun in hand. And as Van Wyck tries to pull his piece, Ash lets him have it with a slug of his own. Gun fire again breaks out in the warehouse, and it it there that the unthinkable happens. Duncan shoots Ash. And it is at this moment that I officially hate Duncan’s guts. But the show must go on, and Duncan and the Crimson Ghost keep firing at each other. Diana and the wounded Professor Van Wyck climb into the delivery truck and try to make their escape. The Crimson Ghost then fires a shot into the windshield, causing the truck to go out of control. It crashes through the back wall of the warehouse and plunges into the sea!
One of the most entertaining serials to be released by Republic Pictures, this mystery employed yet another inscrutable invention, a counter atomic device known as Cyclotrode X, sought after by yet another cloaked villain, The Crimson Ghost of the title. But just like the well-known criminologist Duncan Richards (Charles Quigley) and his lovely assistant Diana Farnsworth (Linda Stirling), the Saturday Matinee kids had a tough job spotting the person hiding behind the hideous disguise. The studio took no chances this time and ingeniously cast stunt-man Bud Geary to embody the villain while several actors supplied the voice, including I. Stanford Jolley, whose role was minor but who received fourth-billing and was therefore highly suspect. When The Crimson Ghost was unmasked in the 12th and final chapter, he proved to be yet another actor, Joseph Forte, who had enacted a character seemingly above suspicion. Instead of feeling cheated, however, the young target audience subconsciously enjoyed the above-average writing and fine direction by the talented William Witney and Fred C. Brannon, and no one complained. Quigley and Stirling were at the top of their serial game, and to the bemused surprise of more recent viewers, television’s Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, played one of the master villain’s henchmen, a cold-hearted gangster. The Crimson Ghost was also released in an edited feature version, retitled Cyclotrode. In 1966, yet another edited version was given the title Cyclotrode X.
Cast and Crew:
* Charles Quigley
* Linda Stirling
* Clayton Moore
# Writers: Albert DeMond, Basil Dickey
# Director: Fred C. Brannon, William Witney
Production Company: Republic Pictures
Original Air Date: 1946
Audio & Video: Mono – Released in Black and White (Colorized version)
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Filed Under: The Crimson Ghost