The Crimson Ghost

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The Crimson Ghost
The Crimson Ghost poster.jpg
Directed byFred C. Brannon
William Witney
Produced byRonald Davidson
Written byAlbert DeMond
Basil Dickey
Jesse Duffy
Sol Shor
StarringCharles Quigley
Linda Stirling
Clayton Moore
I. Stanford Jolley
Kenne Duncan
Forrest Taylor
Sam Flint
Joseph Forte
CinematographyBud Thackery
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release dates26 October 1946 (U.S.) (serial)[1]
U.S. Early 1950s (TV)[1]
U.S. 1966 (TV film)[1]
Running time12 chapters / 167 minutes (serial)[1]
6 26½-minute episodes (TV)[1]
100 minutes (TV film)[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$161,174
 
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The Crimson Ghost
The Crimson Ghost poster.jpg
Directed byFred C. Brannon
William Witney
Produced byRonald Davidson
Written byAlbert DeMond
Basil Dickey
Jesse Duffy
Sol Shor
StarringCharles Quigley
Linda Stirling
Clayton Moore
I. Stanford Jolley
Kenne Duncan
Forrest Taylor
Sam Flint
Joseph Forte
CinematographyBud Thackery
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release dates26 October 1946 (U.S.) (serial)[1]
U.S. Early 1950s (TV)[1]
U.S. 1966 (TV film)[1]
Running time12 chapters / 167 minutes (serial)[1]
6 26½-minute episodes (TV)[1]
100 minutes (TV film)[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$161,174

The Crimson Ghost (1946) is a Republic film serial directed by Fred C. Brannon and William Witney with Charles Quigley and Linda Stirling playing the leads. This was Witney's last serial, after a career that left him one of the most praised of all serial directors. The serial was re-released as a six-episode television series in the 1950s and as a television film called Cyclotrode "X" in 1966. In the 1990s The Crimson Ghost was one of only two Republic serials to be colorised. The villain of the serial, the Crimson Ghost of the title, is one of the most visually striking of the medium. The horror punk band Misfits adapted his visage as their skull logo, and he has appeared in the music video for the song "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden.

Plot[edit]

A mysterious villain, the eponymous Crimson Ghost, is determined to steal a counter atomic device known as Cyclotrode X, which can short out any electrical device.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The Crimson Ghost was budgeted at $137,912, although the final negative cost was $161,174 (a $23,262, or 16.9%, overspend). It was the most expensive Republic serial of 1946[1] It was filmed between 28 March and 24 April 1946 under the working title The Scarlet Shadow.[1] The serial's production number was 1597.[1]

In order to prevent the audience deducing the identity of the Crimson Ghost, the studio cast stunt-man Bud Geary to embody the villain while several actors supplied the voice, including I. Stanford Jolley. Jolley's role was minor but he received fourth-billing and was therefore highly suspect. When The Crimson Ghost was unmasked in the 12th and final chapter, he proved to be yet another actor entirely, Joseph Forte, who had played a character seemingly above suspicion at that point in the serial.

Television's future Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, played a rare villainous role in this serial as one of the Crimson Ghost's henchmen, a cold-hearted gangster named Ashe. This was director William Witney's last serial. His first was The Painted Stallion in 1937 and prior to this production had temporarily left the serial business to serve in World War II.

Stunts[edit]

Special effects[edit]

The special effects were produced by Republic's Lydecker brothers.

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

The Crimson Ghost's official release date is 26 October 1946, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.[1]

Television[edit]

In the early 1950s, The Crimson Ghost was one of fourteen Republic serials edited into a television series. It was broadcast in six 26½-minute episodes.[1] The Crimson Ghost was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to Cyclotrode "X". This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.[1] The Crimson Ghost was one of two Republic serials to be colorised in the 1990s.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Cline believes that the Crimson Ghost is the most striking and visually fascinating villain in any film serial.[2]

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. Atomic Peril (20 min)
  2. Thunderbolt (13min 20s)
  3. The Fatal Sacrifice (13min 20s)
  4. The Laughing Skull (13min 20s)
  5. Flaming Death (13min 20s)
  6. Mystery of the Mountain (13min 20s)
  7. Electrocution (13min 20s)
  8. The Slave Collar (13min 20s) - a re-cap chapter
  9. Blazing Fury (13min 20s)
  10. The Trap that Failed (13min 20s)
  11. Double Murder (13min 20s)
  12. The Invisible Trail (13min 20s)

Source:[1][3]

Influence[edit]

The poster for a March 28, 1979 show at Max's Kansas City, featured the first use of the Crimson Ghost [1] by the band Misfits. The cover art for their Horror Business EP, the band's third single, would be the first time that the character would appear on a release by the band. It would continue to be used as the band's mascot and its skull image continues to serve as the Misfits' logo.

Iron Maiden have also used the Crimson Ghost in their "The Number of the Beast" music video.

In the 2007 remake of Halloween, a little boy (Skyler Gisondo playing Tommy Doyle) is wearing a Crimson Ghost costume.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 94–95. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8. 
  2. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 
  3. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 244. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Daughter of Don Q (1946)
Republic Serial
The Crimson Ghost (1946)
Succeeded by
Son of Zorro (1947)