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Category:    Home > Reviews > Serial > Adventure > Tim Tylerís Luck (1937 Serial/VCI)

Tim Tylerís Luck (1937 Serial/VCI)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Chapters: B-



Many remember and enjoy the opening sequence of the third Indiana Jones film The Last Crusade with River Phoenix as a young Indy battling for what is right and the relationship with his father in both his youth and adulthood.Much of the inspiration for the early sequence and what happens subsequently can be found in Tim Tylerís Luck, the 1937 Universal serial based on the King Features Syndicate (now Hearst Corporation) character.


Tom is a precocious adventurer who is well-spoken, educated for his age, resourceful and always wanting to get into the thick of things (like Jack Armstrong, also on DVD from VCI and reviewed elsewhere on this site) finding himself trying to get to Africa to find his missing scientist father.The action begins on a boat, one that the captain does not want any youngsters on of any kind.Of course, he gets there, along with some thieves and an interesting, beautiful young lady (Frances Robinson) looking for a missing person of her own, but for different reasons.It adds up to a minor classic of the serial period and one that resonates nicely in lieu of the catch all Indiana Jones character.Tylerís father even has a leather-bound diary that looks like that ofÖ well, you know.


As for Frankie Thomas, he is very good in the role and manages to carry the chapters, especially with the man actors who are also good, but would be more interchangeable in these productions.Tyler is an original character and now an archetype for later young male adventurers like Johnny Quest and the many bad childish child heroes we have seen since the 1980s.The use of comic strips at the beginning of each sequel chapter is a nice touch, while the cliffhangers are not bad.


The 1.33 X 1 image is on the soft side as the prints used are a generation or so down, but they are watchable.It is shot by Jerome Ash, A.S.C., as usual.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a tad clearer than expected, which is nice.Extras include trailers for this and three other serials, plus an interview with child star Frankie Thomas from 2005.He discusses how he went from films, to radio drama, to TV and to writing books.He had played Tom Corbett Ė Space Cadet, but is very coherent here and runs 18:48 total.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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