Panther Girl of the Kongo

Panther Girl of the Kongo is a 1955 Republic movie serial. It used a lot of stock footage from the 1941 Republic serial Jungle Girl. This was the penultimate (sixty-fifth of sixty-six) serial produced by Republic.

Panther Girl of the Kongo
Directed byFranklin Adreon
Produced byFranklin Adreon
Written byRonald Davidson
StarringPhyllis Coates
Myron Healey
Arthur Space
John Daheim
Mike Ragan
Morris Buchanan
Roy Glenn
CinematographyBud Thackery
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • January 3, 1955 (1955-01-03) (U.S. serial)[1]
Running time
12 chapters (167 minutes (serial)[1]
100 minutes (TV)[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$172,793 (negative cost: $179,341)[1]

Panther Girl of the Kongo mixes several stock serial plots including the "land grab", exotic location, jungle girl and mad scientist. Phyllis Coates played the Panther Girl.


Mad Scientist Morgan wants sole access to secret diamond mines in the local area of Africa. In order to accomplish this he breeds giant crayfish ("Claw Monsters") to scare away any other inhabitants. Jean Evans, the Panther Girl, and friend Larry Sanders encounter this plot while on a photo safari in the region.



Panther Girl of the Kongo was budgeted at $172,793 although the final negative cost was $179,341 (a $6,548, or 3.8%, overspend). It was the most expensive Republic serial of 1955.[1]

It was filmed between 16 August and 4 September 1954 under the working title Panther Woman of the Kongo.[1] The serial's production number was 1939.[1]

In order to make it possible to use significant stock footage from the earlier Jungle Girl, and cheaply pad out Panther Girl of the Kongo, a duplicate costume was used. As a result, Republic's last female lead wore the same costume as its first.[2][3]


  • Tom Steele as Larry Sanders (doubling Myron Healey)
  • Helen Thurston as Jean Evans/Panther Girl (doubling Phyllis Coates)
  • David Sharpe as Panther Girl (doubling Phyllis Coates via stock footage from Jungle Girl)
  • Fred Graham as Nick Burgass

Special Effects

Special effects created by the Lydecker brothers.



Panther Girl of the Kongo's official release date is January 3, 1955, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.[1]

This was followed by a re-release of Jesse James Rides Again instead of a new serial. The last new serial, King of the Carnival, followed in the summer.[1]


Panther Girl of the Kongo was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966 as part of Republic's Century 66 package. The title of the film was changed to The Claw Monsters. This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.[1]

Critical reception

Cline believes that the greatest problem that faced the writers was how to lead the heroine from one piece of stock footage to the next.[4]

Chapter titles

  1. The Claw Monster (20min)
  2. Jungle Ambush (13min 20s)
  3. The Killer Beast (13min 20s)
  4. Sands of Doom (13min 20s)
  5. Test of Terror (13min 20s)
  6. High Peril (13min 20s)
  7. Timber Trap/Double Trap (Double Trap is the title shown on screen in chapter 7 and at the end of chapter 6) (13min 20s)[5]
  8. Crater of Flame (13min 20s)
  9. River of Death (13min 20s)
  10. Blasted Evidence (13min 20s) - a re-cap chapter
  11. Double Danger (13min 20s)
  12. House of Doom (13min 20s)


See also


  1. Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 140–141. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8.
  2. Stedman, Raymond William (1971). "5. Shazam and Good-by". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5.
  3. Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "1. The Girls "Who Is That Girl in the Buzz Saw?"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  4. Cline, William C. (1984). "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 38. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  5. "Timber Trap" is recorded as the title of the seventh chapter in William C. Cline’s ‘‘In the Nick of Time’‘ while "Double Trap" is recorded as the title in Jack Mathis’ ‘‘Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement’‘.
  6. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 256. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded by
Man with the Steel Whip (1954)
Republic Serial
Panther Girl of the Kongo (1955)
Succeeded by
King of the Carnival (1955)
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