Hop Harrigan (serial)

Hop Harrigan (aka Hop Harrigan America's Ace of the Airways) (1946) is a Columbia film serial, based on the Hop Harrigan comic books by DC Comics.[1] The serial comprised 15 two-reel chapters with Derwin Abrahams as the director, and Sam Katzman, the producer.[2] Columbia Pictures was one of the last Hollywood studios to continue in postwar years with the serial format. By 1947, Universal Pictures discontinued their serials, with only Republic Pictures and Columbia continuing with serials. The last serial was Columbia's Blazing the Overland Trail (1956).[3]

Hop Harrigan
Directed byDerwin Abrahams
Produced bySam Katzman
Written byJon L. Blummer (adapted from the comic strip by)
Ande Lamb (original screenplay)
George H. Plympton (original screenplay)
Based on
Hop Harrigan comic strip
  • Jon L. Blummer
StarringWilliam Bakewell
Jennifer Holt
Robert "Buzz" Henry
Sumner Getchell
Music byLee Zahler
CinematographyIra H. Morgan
Edited byEarl Turner
Sam Katzman Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • March 28, 1946 (1946-03-28)
Running time
2 reels: 30 minutes (15 chapter serial)
CountryUnited States


Hop Harrigan (William Bakewell), a top Air Corps pilot, leaves the military and he and his mechanic, "Tank" Tinker (Sumner Getchell), open up a small charter air service. They are hired by J. Westly Arnold (Emmett Vogan) to fly an inventor, Dr. Tabor (John Merton), to his secret laboratory, where he is working on a new and powerful energy machine.

A mysterious villain named "The Chief Pilot" (Wheeler Oakman), however, is also determined to have the new energy machine for his own purposes. He uses a destructive raygun to cripple Hop's aircraft and kidnaps Dr. Tabor. Hop and Tank, aided by Gail Nolan (Jennifer Holt) and her younger brother, Jackie (Robert "Buzz" Henry), finally overcome the criminals only find a bigger threat to them all within their group.

Dr. Tabor is insane and has a hideous plan to destroy the earth. Only Hop can stop him.

Chapter titles

  1. A Mad Mission
  2. The Secret Ray
  3. The Mystery Plane
  4. Plunging Peril
  5. Betrayed by a Madman
  6. A Flaming Trap
  7. One Chance for Life
  8. White Fumes of Fate
  9. Dr. Tobor's Revenge
  10. Juggernaut of Fate
  11. Flying to Oblivion
  12. Lost in the Skies
  13. No Escape
  14. The Chute that Failed
  15. The Fate of the World[4]



Hop Harrigan was based on Jon l. Blummer's All-American Comics and associated radio series.[5] The serial featured location shooting at an airport, but relied heavily on studio sets.[6] The aircraft in Hop Harrigan included a Boeing-Stearman Kaydet, Bellanca Cruisair and a Stinson Junior.[7]


Author and film critic, Andrew C. Cline wrote in In the Nick of Time (1984) that Hop Harrigan is "... a fairly action-filled cliffhanger...[and the] action was well paced, making this chapterplay as convincing and successful as it was meant to be."[5]

See also



  1. Bakewell is older than the character he is playing, but a "convincing enough hero."[5]


  1. Farmer 1984, p. 315.
  2. Rainey 2010, p. 114. Retrieved: April 26, 2018.
  3. Weiss and Gooddold 1973, p. III.
  4. Cline 1984, p. 243.
  5. Cline 1984, p. 31.
  6. Weiss and Gooddold 1973, p. 257.
  7. "Hop Harrigan Chapter 01: A Mad Mission -- ComicWeb Serial Cliffhanger Theater." dailymotion.com, 2019. Retrieved: July 7, 2019.


  • Cline, William C. "Chapter 3. The Six Faces of Adventure", In the Nick of Time. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1984, ISBN 978-0-89950-101-7.
  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation (1st ed.). Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: TAB Books 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Rainey, Buck. Serials and Series: A World Filmography, 1912–1956. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010. ISBN 978-1-47660-448-0.
  • Weiss, Ken and Ed Goodgold. To be Continued ...: A Complete Guide to Motion Picture Serials. New York: Bonanza Books, 1973. ISBN 0-517-166259.
Preceded by
Who's Guilty? (1945)
Columbia Serial
Hop Harrigan (1946)
Succeeded by
Chick Carter, Detective (1946)
Real Fact Comics series was debuted. See Real Fact Comics for more info and the previous timeline. Timeline of DC Comics (1940s)
The Batboat was debuted by David Clough Cameron and Win Mortimer. See Batboat for more info and next timeline. →
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