Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Serial > Adventure > The Master Key (1945 Serial/VCI)

The Master Key (1945 Serial/VCI)


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



There has been much discussion about foreign powers buying up U.S. ports recently, but it was a plot point over 60 years ago in Universal Pictures Action Serial The Master Key (1945) from co-directors Ray Taylor and Lewis D. Collins.  It takes place in 1938 when a “fourth column” kind of Nazi spy ring works on a plot to buy out American power by buying its industries.  The Nazis intend to do this as soon as they can, but the pulp twist is that they need to steal a machine that turns lead into gold.  Well, so much for realism.


For that matter, these cardboard cutout Nazis are also aged and politically incorrect, with none of them doing a phony German accent.  With that said, a fed (Milburn Stone) and detective (Dennis Moore) team up to stop them and a beautiful reporter (Jan Wiley) might even be able to help too.  Obviously, the plot and faux Nazis add age to the 13 chapters, but it still has some good comic book dialogue, fights and cliffhangers in one of the studio’s more ambitious productions.  It may be muddy at times, but is enjoyable enough.


The 1.33 X 1 image is a few generations down in prints struck later, but plays back just fine for that, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is in better shape.  This results in solid-enough playback.  Extras include trailers for this and three other VCI Serial sets, plus text biographies of the principles.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com