This wraps up Zorro Rides Again. I hope you enjoyed the old popcorn movie chapter plays. I know I did when they originally came out.
Below is a wikipedia info on the movie for those interested in learning more.
Zorro Rides AgainFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zorro Rides AgainDirected byWilliam Witney
John EnglishProduced bySol C. SiegelWritten byFranklin Adreon
Johnston McCulley (original Zorro novel)StarringJohn Carroll
Noah Beery, Sr.
Richard AlexanderMusic byAlberto Colombo
Eddie Cherkose (aka Eddie Maxwell)
Lou HandmanCinematographyWilliam NoblesEdited byHelene Turner
Edward ToddDistributed byRepublic PicturesRelease dates
68 minutes (feature)
6 26½-minute episodes(TV)CountryUnited StatesLanguageEnglishBudget$98,110 (negative cost: $110,753)Zorro Rides Again (1937) is a 12-chapter Republic Pictures film serial. It was the eighth of the sixty-six Republic serials, the third with awestern theme (a third of Republic's serials were westerns) and the last produced in 1937. The serial was directed by William Witney & John English and starred John Carroll as a modern descendant of the original Zorro. The plot is a fairly standard western storyline about a villain attempting to illicitly take valuable land (in this case a new railroad). The setting is a hybrid of modern (1930s) and western elements that was used occasionally in B-Westerns (such as the western feature films also produced by Republic).
PlotIn contemporary (for the 1937 production) California, villain J. A. Marsden aims to take over the California-Yucatan Railroad with the aid of his henchman El Lobo. The rightful owners, Joyce and Phillip Andrews, naturally object. Their parter, Don Manuel Vega summons his nephew, James Vega, to help them as he is the great grandson of the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega. He is disappointed, however, to find that his nephew is a useless fop (presumably Don Manuel had not paid too much attention to his family history).
Nevertheless, James Vega installs himself in the original Zorro's hideout and adopts the Zorro identity to defeat Marsden and El Lobo. This Zorro uses twin pistols and (like the original Zorro) a whip as his main weapons of choice, rather than a more traditional sword.
It was shot in Bronson Canyon, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Angeles National Forest, and Chatsworth, Los Angeles.
StuntsIn the opinion of Cline, one of the most memorable stunt scenes in the history of film serials is shown in Zorro Rides Again. Stuntman Yakima Canutt plays Zorro as he gallops up to the cab of a moving truck and swings from the saddle to its running board. Even a small mistake during this sequence would have been lethal for Canutt.
ReleaseTheatricalZorro Rides Again's official release date is 20 November 1937, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges. A 68-minute feature film version, created by editing the serial footage together, was released on 22 September 1938 and re-released on 16 January 1959. The feature film had a working title of Mysterious Don Miguelbefore returning to the original name Zorro Rides Again. This was one of fourteen feature films Republic made from their serials.
TelevisionIn the early 1950s, Zorro Rides Again was one of fourteen Republic serials edited into a television series. It was broadcast in six 26½-minute episodes.
The California-Yucatan Railroad, being built for the good of Mexico, is under siege by a gang of terrorists hoping to force its sale; no one can prove their connection to profiteer Marsden....
Directors: John English, William Witney
Writers: Barry Shipman (original screenplay), John Rathmell (original screenplay)
Stars: John Carroll, Helen Christian, Reed Howes
Set in 1930s California, villainous profiteer J. A. Marsden aims to seize the California-Yucatan Railroad with the help of his henchman El Lobo.
Railroad co-owner Manuel Vega calls on his nephew James Vega, great-grandson of the original Zorro, but is disappointed to find his nephew is a foppish playboy more interested in his golf score. James surprises by rising to the occasion and riding to the rescue as Zorro!
Starring John Carroll as James Vega/Zorro, Helen Christian as Joyce Andrews, Reed Howes as Phillip Andrews, Duncan Renaldo as Renaldo, Noah Beery as J. A. Marsden and Richard Alexander as El Lobo.
Zorro, the cunning and sly fox, is always doing the right thing and either being threatened by explosions, fire, beheading, crushed, torn apart, shot, or whatever.
The cool thing about the old matinee serials was basically that you got to sit on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what would happen next, munching on a box of popcorn and slurping a soda, while all your friends about you tossed spitballs at the villains on the screen, screamed and yelled when Zorro won the day and hissed and booed and yelled when the villain got the upperhand.
None of it was real, of course, but for a kid that larger than life screen propelled us into a fantasy that took us away from the fear of Atomic War and having our life turn into a heap of burned ashes on a sidewalk like those poor souls we did that to in Japan during World War Two.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Al sat on top the statue in a very untenable position, almost laughing. Samuel grinned. Al didn't take it all that seriously, though he was certain whoever had built it must have, or did now. It was the nature of all cults that they found themselves to be more important than anyone else, even though the truth was all people were equally as important to God.
"I think it's a good sign." Samuel said.
"Why you grinning?" Jimbo demanded.
"Let's just say it's an inside joke and leave it at that." Samuel said, then turned back the way they could go.
"Well. If this is heaven, it's definitely the wrong direction." Nanny sighed.
Jimbo put an arm around her shoulders. "Buck up, cowgirl, hell never had it this good."
Jimbo grinned at him and they began descending the spiral staircase that seemed to descend forever into the darkness below.
"I don't get it." Nanny finally said, no longer able to contain her curiosity.
"Here we are, maybe several miles beneath the earth..."
"Or Shasta." Jimbo pointed out.
"Or Shasta." Nanny went on. "And yet both of you act as if it were no big thing."
"Nanny." Sam said, pausing a moment in their descent to look at her. He could see fear tinging her expression and his words softened a bit. "It's like this, when you've been through as much as Jimbo and I, and seen as much as we have, there's not a lot anymore that can shake us."
"Except death, of course." Jimbo said with a snort.
"Well, yeah. There's that." Samuel agreed. "But even death is not so scary anymore. We've both seen dead and undead."
Nanny stopped him there with a finger to his lips. "Dead and undead? What in the hell is that?"
"Jimbo." Samuel said.
Jimbo sat down and pulled out a twinkie for everyone. "Might as well have a snack. This staircase ain't getting any shorter."
They ate for a moment in silence, then Nanny looked at Jimbo. He nodded. "It's like this. The dead are those that die and go into the Light. And the undead are those that refuse to do so."
"Either because they're afraid God is going to zap them with a destructo beam or send them to Hell." Samuel interjected.
"Or worse." Samuel continued. "Make them eat their shorts."
Nanny gave him a surprised look, then hit him on his shoulder with his fist. "Stop that! That's just...just..."
"Unholy?" Jimbo asked with a smirk.
"No. Stupid!" She finally said.
"Oh." Jimbo replied, giving Samuel a look for help.
Samuel finished his Twinkie, then licked his fingers. "Nanny. God has a plan for all of us, it's just that we also have a plan for all of us, and they often times clash and when that happens we bail heaven to stay on earth."
"Hence the Undead." Jimbo added.
"You mean people are still here on Earth...well under Earth in our case...and don't go to heaven?"
"There is no heaven." Jimbo said. "Or hell. Only what we make of our lives, which can be either one."
Nanny looked even more confused. Samuel put a hand on her arm and patted it gently. "Nanny, it's a lot to get a handle on if you don't have the background, but it's the truth. People don't really die, and yes some people stay earthbound. For the most part they're tormented souls trying to put that last piece of the puzzle of their life back together again, but some are horrible monsters, not in the sense that they're dragons and that sort of thing, but they use people...real, living people...to carry on their obsessison."
"Hence, the dead and the Undead." Jimbo finished.
Nanny shook her head and got up. "Too much information."
She began down the staircase, not looking back.
"I'm worried about her, Sammie." Jimbo said in a whisper.
Samuel looked at him and shook his head. "She's facing quite a few challenges." He saw M giving him a smile and shaking her head, then smiling again. "But I think her intuition is good and strong and she will figure it out. One way or the other."
Jimbo sighed and reslung his backpack. "I hope so. God only knows what we're going to find at the end of this rainbow...and I don't think it's the Wonderful City of Oz either."
Samuel stepped down beside him and descended with him. "You never know."
They continued in silence for what was at least another hour and then they noticed something. Jimbo first. He stopped and sniffed the air. "Cattle."
"What?" Nanny asked, running back up to them. "Cattle. Where?"
"Close." Jimbo said. "Real close."
"How can you tell?" Nanny asked.
Jimbo winked at her. "Because their crap smells a lot worse when you're on top of them."
Nanny punched him again.
Jimbo sighed and gave Samuel the look of a wounded man. "Sometimes, I don't know why I even bother."
Nanny laughed, then gave him a hug. "This is why, you big jerk."
He laughed and hugged her back.
They descended faster this time and the smell of Cattle grew stronger, and also the smell of...
"Water!" Jimbo said. "Definitely water."
The stairs suddenly banked to the right and they stood on the edge of an opening into a pasture of green and gold, with fleecy clouds flinging themselves across the ceiling of the sky above. Literally a ceiling.
Al and M stood beside Samuel and pointed.
He looked that way and saw a luminous city made of what looked like light from where they stood piercing the sky. "I think we've found our goal."
Jimbo looked that way. "A city under Shasta?"
Nanny gave a gasp of awe. "Then the rumors are all true."
She had no sooner spoken those words than a beautiful luminous craft sailed past overhead in the wide open area, sparkling lights spiraling around its exterior edge, giving it the shape of a saucer, but with a bit of a triangular shape.
"It's beautiful!" Nanny cried out.
"Look, your cattle." Samuel pointed to their left where a huge grazing area was being swept over by what appeared to be hundreds of beautiful white and gold cows.
Then they heard a rumbling sound.
Jimbo sniffed the air. "The water smell's gotten stronger. No, wait!"
He spun around as the rumbling grew louder, then a faint spray of water came down the spiraling staircase.
"Sammie, it's not a staircase! It's a water pipe." He yelled and flung them all from the opening to the left as a huge flood of water shot down like a cannon into the space they had stood in.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
The morning struck like a razor sharp icicle through the heart of the tent, causing everyone of them to awaken groaning. The ground was freezing, even with the campfire, which was blazing in the center of the tent, and even with their sleeping bags pulled tight about them. The window with the view of outside was covered with snow.
"Please tell me we're not buried under an avalanche of snow." Jimbo groaned, wanting to get out and stretch, but protecting his mouth and nose from the cold, cold air by having the bag draped over his face to his eyes.
"We're not." Samuel answered from the other side, but he didn't stir either. Also talking from beneath his sleeping bag cover.
Nina, however, was sitting up and stretching. "Think I'll go out for a snow bath."
"WHAT!" Jimbo and Samuel said at the same time.
She laughed. "Guys! It's only thirty below zero. Perfectly safe."
She got up, pulled, stretched again, then unzippered the tent. Immediately, she froze. "On second thought, maybe we are buried under an avalanche of snow."
Jimbo finally got up. He grabbed his rifle and poked at the snow. It made dents in it, but no light came through.
Samuel got up, shivering violently for a moment, then sighed. "Please God, no dead people in this snows."
He went to the snow and placed a hand on it. The interior of the tent went brighter than the sun for a moment as a bright illumination filled it from his glowing hands, then slowly the snow began to melt away, until the light of the morning sun, scant as it was, was able to come through.
Jimbo joined him and with mittens on his hands, began pulling the snow right and left, until a large enough hole was made for all of them to exit.
They crawled outside, then marveled at where they had slept. It was covered under about ten feet of snow.
"I don't think we're getting our tent back."
"No problem." Nina said, then went back inside. In a few moments she had the tent collapsed, rolled up and began shoving it and its framework outside. She crawled out and grinned. The snow is frozen like an igloo.
They grabbed the rest of their gear and Samuel looked to his left where Al and M were standing on a ledge, overlooking the valley below. Al looked back and smiled. "It's so beautiful." He mouthed.
Samuel nodded, then looked at the mountain behind them.
Al sighed, then he and M glided over the snow and along a narrow path of snow that towered in a narrow crevice against the mountain and the old path. Samuel began hiking along it, wary of disturbing the snow, for fear of tumbling it down on them, but it held and there were no accidents. There luck was holding so far.
They climbed silently for what seemed like hours, and it became steadily colder, even with the sun climbing in the sky. A light snow flurry began swirling about them as they climbed. Finally, Samuel couldn't take it any more. He closed his eyes and pressed his hand to the mountain side.
Inside his vision a door opened up and he could see a narrow opening about fifty yards to their right and about a hundred yards straight up. He groaned. They didn't have any ropes for that, which meant climbing hand over hand and that was dangerous with everything so frozen and icy.
He looked at the others, who gave him appraising looks. "Our both is that direction." He pointed straight up.
Jimbo shook his head. "I knew I should have stayed home to play with my hounds."
Nanny jabbed him with an elbow in his side. He gave her a sharp look.
"A big hunk like you should have no trouble navigating a few hundred feet vertically."
"Shows what you know, Ranger." He growled, not liking her jibe.
She gave him a surprising hug. "Just kidding, Jimmy."
Jimbo's face lit up. No one had called him Jimmy since his last real love. He became all gooey and melty eyed when he looked at her. She smiled and didn't look away.
"Look, this love fest has to become a bit more grounded." Samuel said, interrutping their kumbaya moment.
Jimbo looked over at him. "We don't have any gear for this."
"Don't need it. Get out the rope you have stashed."
Jimbo obliged him, pulling out about a hundred yards of triple wrapped nylon steel reinforced rope. Samuel slung it over his shoulder, then nodded to Al, who began climbing, albeit in a floaty kind of way. Al would stop periodically to point out a place for Samuel to step, or grab onto. M would do the same.
To both Nanny and Jimbo's surprise, Samuel made the climb in about thirty minutes. He reached a small ledge, checked the opening and then waved back at them. He dropped the rope, then went into the opening. Even though the light cut off about ten feet back, the whole interior was lit up like a Christmas tree with various mosses casting glows of green, blue and yellow. He finally found a spur of rock strong enough to secure the rope and tied it off again and again, making sure it was strong enough, then he looped it over his arm and went back to the edge, and signaled to Nanny. "You first!" He yelled.
A rumbling sound came from behind him when he did so. He looked up just as some snow began to loosen up. It moved several yards, then stopped.
He looked over at Al, who shrugged his shoulders.
"Samuel made a hurry it up motion and held onto the rope as Nanny began climbing it to the ledge. She made it in twenty, but breathing hard. Her face was red as a beet and her eyes wide. "That was harder than it looked."
"Always is." Samuel agreed, then gave her a portion of the rope. "Help me anchor, Jimbo."
She shouldered a portion and they leaned back after Samuel waved at Jimbo.
Jimbo began pulling himself up. He made it in ten, but as he reached the ledge, it broke away for about a foot of it and he began to tumble down. He let out a roar like an elephant in pain. The rumbling of before grew again, but this time more furious and loud.
"Haul! Haul!" Cursed Samuel as he and Nina struggled to help Jimbo get back up, even as an avalanche poured down the moutainside, gaining momentum and weight as it tumbled, growing louder and louder, larger and larger.
Jimbo saw the wave of death tumbling down and redoubled his efforts. He reached the new ledge and Samuel and Nina practically threw him into the cave opening as they themselves dove in after him.
Jimbo rolled over and looked as tons of snow fell past the cave opening. Samuel helped his friend to his feet.
"Indiana Jones has nothing on us, Sammie."
"I'll second that." Nanny grunted, then froze.
They turned around and were silent. Nothing. Nothing, then the ground beneath their feet began to rise and fall, at first gently, then rougher and rougher, almost tumbling them to the ground.
"Run!" Samuel hollered.
He caused his right fist to light up like a flashlight and they ran down the pathway of the cave, dodging falling rocks and dirt and some stones shaped like spears. And soon they actually were spears, then blades shot from the walls on their left and right.
Samuel saw them coming even before they left their hidden spaces, and steered them to safety, but one blade caught him slighly on his right thigh and he almost died then and there, if Nanny had not grabbed him and jerked him away in time.
They all froze in place. No more blades and falling spears.
"I think we're safe now." Jimbo uttered.
"Jimbo!" Samuel almost screeched.
"Sorry." Jimbo muttered as the walls began to rumble loudly and starting closing in on them.