Mystery Mountain (serial)

Mystery Mountain is a 1934 American Western serial film directed by Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason and starring Ken Maynard, Verna Hillie, Syd Saylor, Edward Earle, and Hooper Atchley.[1] Distributed by Mascot Pictures, the series was a remake of Mascot's film The Hurricane Express (1932). Mystery Mountain features the second film appearance by Gene Autry.[2]

Mystery Mountain
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
Music byLee Zahler
Edited byEarl Turner
Distributed byMascot Pictures
Release date
  • December 3, 1934 (1934-12-03) (U.S.)
Running time
223 minutes (12 chapters)
CountryUnited States


Ken Williams (Ken Maynard) is determined to discover the identity of a mysterious killer who preys upon railroads and transportation companies like the ones owned by Jane Corwin (Verna Hillie). Her railroad worker father (Lafe McKee) was the first victim of the murderous fiend known as The Rattler, who is especially difficult to catch because he makes himself appear as other people with a collection of masks, or he effects a strange disguise with eyeglasses, a fake nose, and a crepe-hair mustache. The Rattler — also known as "the Menace of the Mountain" — attempts to control the mountain and its hidden gold from his secret cave filled with strange electronic gadgets.



Filming and budget

Mystery Mountain was filmed in the fall of 1934. The film had an operating budget of $65,000 (equal to $1,217,376 today), and a negative cost of $80,000.[1]

Filming locations


According to the book The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury, Ken Maynard was doubled by Cliff Lyons in some scenes but performed many of his own stunts, especially riding, in others.[5] However, the later book In the Nick of Time states that Ken Maynard was doubled by his brother Kermit Maynard. The physical similarities between the two makes it difficult to spot the difference on screen between actor and stuntman.[6] Maynard's horse, Tarzan, had three doubles, one of which was blind.[5]

Future serial director William Witney, working as an assistant director, performed one stunt during this serial when the stuntman failed to show up to the location shoot. He rode a horse at speed across a bridge over a ravine with a moving train behind him.[7]

Special effects

Special effects were provided by J. Laurence Wickland.

Chapter titles

  1. The Rattler
  2. The Man Nobody Knows
  3. The Eye That Never Sleeps
  4. The Human Target
  5. Phantom Outlaws
  6. The Perfect Crime
  7. Tarzan the Cunning
  8. The Enemy's Stronghold
  9. The Fatal Warning
  10. The Secret of the Mountain
  11. Behind the Mask
  12. The Judgment of Tarzan[8]

See also


  1. Magers 2007, p. 19.
  2. "Mystery Mountain". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  3. "Full cast and crew for Mystery Mountain". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  4. Magers 2007, p. 20.
  5. Harmon 1972, p. 59.
  6. Cline 1997, p. 157.
  7. Witney 1995, pp. 44–45.
  8. Cline 1997, p. 211.
  • Cline, William C. (1997). In the Nick of Time: Motion Picture Sound Serials. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786404711.
  • George-Warren, Holly (2007). Public Cowboy no. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195177466.
  • Green, Douglas B. (2002). Singing in the Saddle: The History of the Singing Cowboy. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. ISBN 978-0826514127.
  • Harmon, Jim; Glut, Donald F. (1972). The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0385090797.
  • Witney, William (1995). In a Door, Into a Fight, Out a Door, Into a Chase. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786433131.
Preceded by
The Law of the Wild (1934)
Mascot Serial
Mystery Mountain (1934)
Succeeded by
The Phantom Empire (1935)
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