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Linda Stirling




Republic, 1946.  Directed by Fred Brannon, William Witney.  Camera:  Bud Thackery.  With Charles Quigley, Linda Stirling, Clayton Moore, I. Stanford Jolley, Kenne Duncan, Forrest Taylor, Tom Steele, Rex Lease, Bud Geary.

Created in 1946, The Crimson Ghost was among the last of the major serials created by Republic Studios.  Like most serials, it has a formula plot that tends to be uneven from episode to episode, but in many respects Ghost proves not only entertaining but quite influential as well.

A scientist has developed a machine capable of neutralizing electricity.  The "cyclotrode" is quickly targeted by a master criminal known as "the Crimson Ghost," an entity that hides behind a skull mask and flowing robes.  Needless to say, fights, thefts, torture, kidnapping, and murder are soon the order of the day.

While the story line occasionally falters (one episode consists of the characters recalling incidents from previous chapters), The Crimson Ghost sets a fairly smart pace and the art designs are enjoyable, particularly the cyclotrode, remote control collars, and various other gizmos.  The single most appealing thing about the show, however, is actress Linda Stirling.  In an era in which most serial heroines still screamed and fainted, Stirling got into fights, jumped out of cars, and quite often took on the bad guys on equal terms.  Her roles seldom allowed her to fully challenge the male leads, but you never doubt that she could have done so—and it is quite refreshing to see.



Chapter Titles


01 - Atomic Peril
02 - Thunderbolt
03 - The Fatal Sacrifice
04 - The Laughing Skull
05 - Flaming Death
06 - Mystery of the Mountain


07 - Electrocution
08 - The Slave Collar
09 - Blazing Fury
10 - The Trap That Failed
11 - Double Murder
12 - The Invisible Trail


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