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Category:    Home > Reviews > Serial > Adventure > Teens > Scouts To The Rescue (1938/Serial/VCI/Universal)

Scouts To The Rescue (1938/Serial/VCI/Universal)


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



The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts used to be a great tradition, offering positive activities for young men and boys with some sense of moral center.  Until the 1970s, they were even a consistent viable franchise with comics, collectibles, books and even action figures from Kenner with saluting action!  In 1938, this also included a trailer starring child actor Jackie Cooper entitled Scouts To The Rescue, a 12-chapter affair from Universal.


The story deals with counterfeiting, but also with “Killer Indians” and evil adults up to no good.  As an aside, we learn about conformity and its virtues, along with essentially how to be square.  The serial dates badly with substandard cliffhangers, though the prominence of teens in it seems unusual and the price seems to be propaganda about trusting adults too much and that it is hip to be square.  These were innocent times, especially for the Scouts, before they took an ultra-Right Wing stand with homophobic policies that have put them more out of favor than ever.  This becomes a document of the “good old days” for those lucky enough to have enjoyed them and is never mean-spirited.


The 1.33 X 1 black and white image is soft from what looks like second-generation materials, but it is watchable and of course, little can be done about the condition of the stock footage commonly used in such productions.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age with limited fidelity and background hiss, as well as the limits of dialogue recoding of the time.  Extras include text bios of the two directors and Cooper, plus trailers for four other serials.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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