Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc

Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. (1949) is a 12-episode black-and-white film serial produced by Republic Pictures during July 1948 and released in January 1949, an original screenplay written collaboratively by Royal K. Cole, Basil Dickey, William Lively and Sol Shor as a crime story with elements of "the mysterious Orient" incorporated in the plot.

Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc.
Directed byFred C. Brannon
Produced byFranklin Adreon
Written byRoyal K Cole
Basil Dickey
William Lively
Sol Shor
StarringKirk Alyn
Rosemary La Planche
Roy Barcroft
Carol Forman
Music byStanley Wilson
CinematographyJohn MacBurnie
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • January 29, 1949 (1949-01-29) (U.S. serial)[1]
Running time
12 chapters / 167 minutes (serial)[1]
100 minutes (TV)[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$156,120 (negative cost: $155,807)[1]


Nila (Carol Forman), an Abistahnian criminal, and Spade Gordon (Roy Barcroft), an American gangster, conspire to form a super-mob dubbed Underworld, Incorporated, funded by the treasure of Kurigal I of Abistahn, instructions for the location of which are contained in hieroglyphics written on two golden statues in the shape of hands, found in Kurigal's tomb. When the professor in charge of the tomb's dig disappears under mysterious circumstances while translating the writing on one of the hands back at his American office, a team of special government agents led by David Worth (Kirk Alyn) and his aide Steve Evans, assisted by the professor's aide Laura Keith (Rosemary La Planche), set out to find the professor and the now-missing hands. The criminals manage to get possession of one of the Hands, but they need both of them to recreate the treasure map.



Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. was budgeted at $156,120 although the final negative cost was $155,807 (a $313, or 0.2%, under spend). It was the cheapest Republic serial of 1949.[1]

It was filmed between 6 July and 27 July 1948 under the working title Crime Fighters vs. Underworld, Inc.[1] The serial's production number was 1701.[1]


  • Tom Steele as Inspector David Worth/Spade Gordon/Frank Chambers (doubling Kirk Alyn, Roy Barcroft & Tristram Coffin)
  • Dale Van Sickel as Inspector David Worth/Prof Paul Williams (doubling Kirk Alyn & Bruce Edwards)
  • John Daheim as Agent Steve Evans (doubling James Dale)

Special Effects

The special effects in this serial were created by the Howard & Theodore Lydecker, Republic's in-house effect team.



Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc.'s official release date is January 29, 1949, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.[1]


Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to Golden Hands of Kurigal. This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.[1]

Chapter titles

  1. The Golden Hands (20min)
  2. Criminals' Lair (13min 20s)
  3. Death in Disguise (13min 20s)
  4. Fatal Evidence (13min 20s)
  5. The Trapped Conspirator (13min 20s)
  6. Wheels of Disaster (13min 20s)
  7. The Hidden Key (13min 20s)
  8. The Enemy's Mouthpiece (13min 20s)
  9. The Stolen Hand (13min 20s)
  10. Unmasked (13min 20s)- a re-cap chapter
  11. Tombs of the Ancients (13min 20s)
  12. The Curse of Kurigal (13min 20s)


See also


  1. Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 108–109. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8.
  2. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 248. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded by
Adventures of Frank and Jesse James (1948)
Republic Serial
Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. (1949)
Succeeded by
Ghost of Zorro (1949)
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