Tag Archives: The Guillotine

Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941, John English and William Witney), Chapter 2: The Guillotine

The Guillotine does not open with a satisfying cliffhanger resolution. It’s only Captain Marvel’s second chapter, which probably ought to have a satisfying cliffhanger resolution; it’s mildly concerning it does not.

After that lackluster resolution, the story moves back to the United States. Turns out the evil Scorpion has followed the team because, yes, he’s a member of the team. He tells his chief henchman (Kenne Duncan) all about being on the team.

The henchmen kidnap one of the other team members and hold him hostage to get his piece of the gold-making Scorpion device. Louise Currie is supposed to deliver it by herself, but intrepid Frank Coghlan Jr. convinces her to let he and William ‘Billy’ Benedict tag along to take on the bad guys.

Neither Coghlan nor Benedict are rugged fellows and it’s cool to see them try to save the day. When the going gets tough, however, Coghlan says the magic word and becomes Tom Tyler. Bullet-proof, flying Tyler easily takes on the bad guys before a chase sequence leading to the cliffhanger.

No one seems surprised by Tyler, who’s in an outlandish outfit, is bulletproof, and can fly. Maybe because they somehow know he’ll crumple when it’s time for the cliffhanger.

Coghlan’s affable, Duncan’s a solid villain, Tyler’s effective. Even if he doesn’t get any lines.

Good stunt work and special effects, even on the lacking opener.

CREDITS

Directed by John English and William Witney; screenplay by Ronald Davidson, Norman S. Hall, Arch Heath, Joseph F. Poland, and Sol Shor, based on the comic book by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker; director of photography, William Nobles; edited by William P. Thompson and Edward Todd; music by Cy Feuer; released by Republic Pictures.

Starring Frank Coghlan Jr. (Billy Batson), Tom Tyler (Captain Marvel), William ‘Billy’ Benedict (Whitey Murphy), Louise Currie (Betty Wallace), Kenne Duncan (Barnett), Robert Strange (John Malcolm), Harry Worth (Prof. Luther Bentley), Bryant Washburn (Henry Carlyle), John Davidson (Tal Chotali), George Pembroke (Dr. Stephen Lang), and George Lynn (Prof. Dwight Fisher).


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