Heroes of the Flames

Heroes of the Flames is a 1931 American Universal movie serial. Although once considered to be lost, it has survived and was preserved by Universal in 2016. It stars Tim McCoy (in a break from his usual cowboy roles) as a firefighter who's developing a new kind of flame retardant, but his work is constantly being disrupted by a rival (Gayne Whitman) who wants the formula for himself (as well as the leading lady, played by Marion Shockley). Fittingly, seven of the 11 cliffhangers involve burning buildings with at least one principal trapped inside.

Heroes of the Flames
Directed byRobert F. Hill
Produced byHenry MacRae
Written byHenry MacRae
George H. Plympton
Basil Dickey
George Morgan
Ella O'Neill
CinematographyJohn Hickson
Edited byAlvin Todd
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 23, 1931 (1931-03-23)
Running time
12 chapters (220 minutes)
CountryUnited States

It is unusual for the manner in which chapter recaps are handled: A reporter at a local newspaper repeats a summary of the previous episode as he takes it down from a witness on the phone. It also has no music at all--the opening titles are accompanied by sound effects (sirens, bells ringing, fire crackling, etc.). It's also the first film role for future star Bruce Cabot in an uncredited bit part.


Chapter titles

  1. The Red Peril
  2. Flaming Hate
  3. The Fire Trap
  4. Death's Chariot
  5. The Avalanche
  6. The Jaws of Death
  7. Forest of Fire
  8. Blank Cartridges
  9. The House of Terror (aka The House of Horror)
  10. The Depths of Doom
  11. A Flaming Death
  12. The Last Alarm

See also


    Preceded by
    Finger Prints (1930)
    Universal Serial
    Heroes of the Flames (1931)
    Succeeded by
    Danger Island (1931)

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