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. 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.
Theatrical release poster
|Music by||Lee Zahler|
|Edited by||Earl Turner|
|Distributed by||Mascot Pictures|
|223 minutes (12 chapters)|
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.
- Ken Maynard as Ken Williams, railroad detective
- Verna Hillie as Jane Corwin
- Syd Saylor as Breezy Baker
- Edward Earle as Frank Blayden
- Hooper Atchley as Dr Edwards
- Edward Hearn as Lake
- Al Bridge as Tom Henderson
- Bob Kortman as Hank, one of The Rattler's henchmen
- Lew Meehan as Red, one of The Rattler's henchmen
- George Chesebro as Anderson, one of The Rattler's henchmen
- Tom London as Morgan, one of The Rattler's henchmen
- Lynton Brent as Mathews, the telegrapher
- Tarzan as Tarzan (Ken Williams' horse)
- Gene Autry as Thomas, Lake Teamster (chapters 6,7,8,12) (uncredited)
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.
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. 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. Maynard's horse, Tarzan, had three doubles, one of which was blind.
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.
Special effects were provided by J. Laurence Wickland.
- 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.
The Law of the Wild (1934)
| Mascot Serial
Mystery Mountain (1934)
The Phantom Empire (1935)