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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon November 26, 2005
VCI Entertainment and Mascot Pictures present "Mystery Mountain" (1934) (Dolby digitally remastered), with 12 Chapters of vintage serial episodes jam packed with hard riding and thrilling action sequences and stunts that will keep you on the edge of your seat...story opens with Ken Williams (Ken Maynard) working undercover to discover the real identity of the mysterious and stop at nothing villain known as "The Rattler"....is Jane Corwin (Verna Hillie) in danger of losing her transportation company along with the railroads right of way through Mystery Mountain...will the Rattler (Menace of the Mountain) be able to keep those disguises intact throwing off our hero and the crew of railroad workers...is there a cave where the rattler hides with his gang protecting the secret gold that lie beneath the mountain...has Breezy (Syd Saylor) snapped a picture of the Rattler which will expose his true identity, can Ken Williams impersonate the Rattler and fool his men and gain the information to break this serial wide open...can this Mascot Serial keep the action, daring stunt-work and an exciting cliffhanger going the entire serial....don't leave the theater until the final chapter is over and done with "The Judgement of Tarzan"....just remember double thrills, chills, mystery and suspense hitting the bull's eye with excitement everytime...don't miss a single spine thrilling episode..return next week to this local theater for another episode of action and adventure that will keep you thrilled until the next chapter.

Under director's Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason, producer Nat Levine, supervising editor Wyndham Gittens, Original story by Sherman Lowe, Ben Cohn, Barney Sarecky and Breezy Eason, musical score by Lee Zahler...the cast includes Ken Maynard (Ken Williams), Tarzan ( Tarzan-Ken's horse), Verna Hillie (Jane Corwin), Syd Saylor (Breezy Baker), Edward Earle (Frank Blayden), Hooper Hatchley (Dr. Edwards), Edward Hearn (Lake), Al Bridge (Tom Henderson), Lafe McKee (Jim Corwin), Gene Autry (Thomas, Lake teamster), Smiley Burnette (Lake teamster), Edmund Cobb (The Rattler when masked), Bob Kortman (Hank-rattler henchman), George Chesebro (Anderson-rattler henchman), Tom London (Morgan-rattler henchman), Lew Meehan (Red-rattler henchman), Lynton Brent (Matthews), Carmencita Johnson (Little Jane Corwin), Wally Wales (Corwin Company board member), Jack Rockwell (Corwin Company board member), William Gould (Corwin Company board member), Phila McCullough (Chase), Art Mix (henchman), Dick Dickinson (henchman), Al Haskell (henchman), Pascale Perry (henchman), Jack Kirk (henchman)....special footnote, this is a cast of veteran character actors from the "Who's Who B-Western Library", with Al Bridge, George Chesbro, Edmund Cobb, Edward Earle, Hooper Hatchley, Edward Hearn, Jack Kirk, Bob Kortman, Tom London, Lafe McKee, Lew Meehan, Jack Rockwell and Wally Wales the list could go on with decades of films under their belt...and how about radio star Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy and his comical sidekick Smiley Burnette appearing in the early cliffhanger "The Phantom Empire" (1935), this was the beginning of a beautiful partnership between Autry and Burnette....meanwhile back to our Mascot Serial which is always good till the last drop and this serial is no exception...there is a great deal of entertainment here for the cliffhanger fans out there...all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features.

CHAPTER TITLES:

1. The Rattler

2. The Man Nobody Knows

3. The Eye That Never Sleeps

4. The Human Target

5. Phantom Outlaws

6. The Perfect Crime

7. Tarzan the Cunning

8. The Enemy's Stronghold

9. The Fatal Warning

10.The Secret of the Mountain

11.Behind the Mask

12.The Judgement of Tarzan

BIOS:

1. Ken Maynard

Birth Date: 7/21/1895 - Vevay, Indiana

Died: 3/23/1973 - Woodland Hills, California

2. Verna Hillie

Birth Date: 5/05/1914 - Hancock, Michigan

Died: 10/03/1997 - Fairfield, Connecticut,

3. Syd Saylor

Birth Date: 3/24/1895 - Chicago, Illinois

Died: 12/21/1962 - Hollywood, California

4. B. Reeves Eason (Director)

Birth Date: 10/02/1886 - New York, New York

Died: 6/09/1956 - Sherman Oaks, California,

5. Otto Brower (Director)

Birth Date: 12/02/1895 - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Died: 1/25/1946 - Hollywood, California

If you're into vintage serials as I am, why not pick up a copy of the following titles from VCI Home Video:

VCI CLIFFHANGER TRAILERS:

1. Adventures of Red Ryder (Don "Red" Barry)

2. Adventures of the Flying Cadets (Bobby Jordan)

3. Buck Rogers (Buster Crabbe)

4. Captain Midnight (Dave O'Brien)

5. Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere (Judd Holdren & I. Stanford Jolley)

6. Dick Tracy's G-Men (Ralph Byrd)

7. Don Winslow of the Navy (Don Terry)

8. Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (Don Terry)

9. Drums of Fu Manchu (Henry Brandon)

10.Fighting Kit Carson (Johnny Mack Brown)

11.Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (Buster Crabbe)

12.The Green Archer (Victory Jory)

13.Jungle Girl (Frances Gifford)

14.Jungle Jim (Grant Withers & Raymond Hatton)

15.Lost City of the Jungle (Russell Hayden & Keye Luke)

16.Mandrake the Magician (Warren Hull & Dick Curtis)

17.Miracle Rider (Tom Mix & Tony Jr)

18.The Painted Stallion (Ray "Crash" Corrigan)

19.The Phantom (Tom Tyler)

20.The Return of Chandu (Bela Lugosi)

21.Riders of Death Valley (Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo & Buck Jones)

22.Secret Agent X-9 (1937) (Scott Kolk & Henry Brandon)

23.Secret Agent X-9 (1945) (Lloyd Bridges & Keye Luke)

24.Sky Raiders (Donald Woods & Billy Halop)

25.Undersea Kingdom (Ray "Crash" Corrigan)

26.Winners of the West (Dick Foran, Harry Woods, Roy Barcroft & Charles Stevens)

27.Zane Greys "King of the Royal Mounted" (Allan "Rocky" Lane)

28.Zorro's Cliffhanger Collection (Reed Hadley, John Carroll & Linda Stirling)

Coming soon January 2006 from VCI Home Video on DVD..."FLAMING FRONTIERS" (1938), Universal Serial with 15 chapters, featuring Johnny Mack Brown, Eleanor Hansen, John Archer, James Blaine and Ralph Bowman..."OREGON TRAIL" (1939), another Universal Serial with 15 exciting chapters featuring Johnny Mack Brown, Fuzzy Knight, Roy Barcoft and Charles King..."THE TALL TEXAN" (1953), full length feature starring Lloyd Bridges, Lee J Cobb, Luther Adler and Marie Windsor...watch for more details on VCI Entertainment and Amazon your two favorite sites for serials and B-Westerns.

Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing "The Overland Mail" (1942), the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '30s, '40s & '50s...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment where there are plenty of copies available on VHS, stay tuned once again for top notch action mixed with deadly adventure from the "King of Serials" VCI...just the way we like 'em

Total Time: 223 mins ~ VCI Entertainment 1739 ~ (11/01/2000)
0Comment14 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon May 29, 2008
That was the tagline for this engaging Ken Maynard serial. Co-starring the magnificent Tarzan the Wonder Horse, "Mystery Mountain" provides 12 chapters of terrific stunts, hard-riding chases and stylish camera work. If the combative Western star had been more agreeable, he could have carved a niche in the cliffhanging genre. Instead, Mascot producer Nat Levine replaced the difficult Maynard with Gene Autry in 1935's "The Phantom Empire," thereby launching the singing cowboy's movie career.
0Comment4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 7, 2003
Ken Maynard, the star of this serial, took a hand in both the producing and directing of "Mystery Mountain". He rounded up every available cowboy actor he could find to staff it. Even Gene Autry and superstar comedy-singing-sidekick Smiley Burnett have small roles. If you fancy yourself an expert on the old black & white matinee westerns, I'll bet you can identify 20 to 30 of the men who played the bad men, stage drivers, and cowhands in hundreds of the wonderful old films.
A few of the good guys are good guys include Jim Carey, Al Bridge, Hal Telifino, Jack Rockwell, Gene Autry, and Smiley Burnett. The homely outlaws include Bob Kortman, Lou Meehan, Tom London, George Chesebro, and many more.
Ken Maynard combined the charm and good looks of John Wayne with the stunt riding ability of Yakima Canutt (the best ever cowboy stuntman). Maynard was a professional stunt rider before becoming a silent movie star, and easily made the transition to talkies. Only Maynard was able to compete on equal terms with both Tom Mix in the silents and John Wayne in the talkies. Ken was so muscular and bowlegged, and had such damaged knees that he could hardly run.
The beautiful Verna Hille plays second fiddle to Ken Maynard's only true love, his horse Tarzan. Modern movie goers remember Trigger, but Tarzan was certainly the most talented horse in the movies and the most loved by his owner, Ken Maynard.
This was the highest grossing western serial ever released. It was meant for matinee audiences, which were mostly kids. So expect a kids' film.
I see than Amazon also carries "Six Shootin' Sheriff." It was one of Ken's last pictures and a favorite of mine. Ken has to clean out 3 tough outlaw gangs and makes the supreme sacrifice. He has to pass of a piece of pie made by his girl, Miss Mollie. He's afraid it'll slow him down too much, because bad man Earl Dwire is waiting to gun him down in front of the saloon.
"Two Gun Man" is another great Maynard movie. If you're a handgun shooter, you'll love the insane way Ken's partner teaches some cowhands how to shoot. Don't miss this one.
"In Old Santa Fe." is also not only real good but real famous. Maynard is teamed with Gabbie Hayes; and Gene Autry and Smiley Burnett make their first singing appearance in the movies. This wasn't the first western with a song or two but it was the western that paved the way for Gene, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, and all the rest
0Comment5 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 3, 2015
This is an interesting old 1930s serial, starring Ken Maynard and his wonder horse Tarzan. As Ken Williams, a detective, Maynard seeks to solve the continuing series of murders connected with the building of a railroad through a mountain, with a mysterious phantom styling himself "The Rattler" being the chief suspect, having left messages propelled by an arrow-like device that plunges into door frames, etc., when least expected.

Verna Hillie is Maynard's leading lady as Jane Corwin, owner of a wagon transport company started by her father. He was the first victim of the Rattler, and she is determined to find the unknown, deadly perpetrator and bring him to justice. And Syd Saylor as Breezy Baker, a caricature of an old-time reporter-photographer, provides the comic relief.

Which brings me to a problem I had with the film. It has plenty of good action (Maynard usually did his own stunts), and the cinematography is fine. But the director gave WAY too much screen time to Saylor, showing us every single minute of the various "comical" scrapes he gets into -- including getting knocked out by bad guys so many times that I lost count. I didn't keep track, but I suspect that Saylor had more minutes on screen than did Maynard himself. Comic relief should not be permitted to take over a good Western. Allowed to hog too much of the action, the funny stuff just becomes padding, useful only in making the movie longer.

But, "Mystery Mountain" certainly has its moments. Some of the more intriguing ones are just slightly over half-way through, when Maynard approaches a wagon being driven toward him by two teamsters. When Maynard speaks to the men, and the one on the viewer's right answers, the voice sounds strangely familiar. Then when the director cuts to a close-up of the two men, lo and behold, it's Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette! They had made their initial screen appearance just shortly before in the Maynard Western "In Old Santa Fe," singing and playing in a party scene half-way through that film. In "Mystery Mountain" they actually have a few lines -- although no screen credits. But then, only 12 of the numerous actors who appear in the film are listed by name.

All in all, the serial "Mystery Mountain" is worth watching. But a good part of Syd Saylor's footage is dross. Tighter editing might have convinced me to give it five stars.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon November 4, 2005
VCI Entertainment and Mascot Pictures present "Mystery Mountain" (1934) (Dolby digitally remastered), with 12 Chapters of vintage serial episodes jam packed with hard riding and thrilling action sequences and stunts that will keep you on the edge of your seat...story opens with Ken Williams (Ken Maynard) working undercover to discover the real identity of the mysterious and stop at nothing villain known as "The Rattler"....is Jane Corwin (Verna Hillie) in danger of losing her transportation company along with the railroads right of way through Mystery Mountain...will the Rattler (Menace of the Mountain) be able to keep those disguises intact throwing off our hero and the crew of railroad workers...is there a cave where the rattler hides with his gang protecting the secret gold that lie beneath the mountain...has Breezy (Syd Saylor) snapped a picture of the Rattler which will expose his true identity, can Ken Williams impersonate the Rattler and fool his men and gain the information to break this serial wide open...can this Mascot Serial keep the action, daring stunt-work and an exciting cliffhanger going the entire serial....don't leave the theater until the final chapter is over and done with "The Judgement of Tarzan"....just remember double thrills, chills, mystery and suspense hitting the bull's eye with excitement everytime...don't miss a single spine thrilling episode..return next week to this local theater for another episode of action and adventure that will keep you thrilled until the next chapter.

Under director's Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason, producer Nat Levine, supervising editor Wyndham Gittens, Original story by Sherman Lowe, Ben Cohn, Barney Sarecky and Breezy Eason, musical score by Lee Zahler...the cast includes Ken Maynard (Ken Williams), Tarzan ( Tarzan-Ken's horse), Verna Hillie (Jane Corwin), Syd Saylor (Breezy Baker), Edward Earle (Frank Blayden), Hooper Hatchley (Dr. Edwards), Edward Hearn (Lake), Al Bridge (Tom Henderson), Lafe McKee (Jim Corwin), Gene Autry (Thomas, Lake teamster), Smiley Burnette (Lake teamster), Edmund Cobb (The Rattler when masked), Bob Kortman (Hank-rattler henchman), George Chesebro (Anderson-rattler henchman), Tom London (Morgan-rattler henchman), Lew Meehan (Red-rattler henchman), Lynton Brent (Matthews), Carmencita Johnson (Little Jane Corwin), Wally Wales (Corwin Company board member), Jack Rockwell (Corwin Company board member), William Gould (Corwin Company board member), Phila McCullough (Chase), Art Mix (henchman), Dick Dickinson (henchman), Al Haskell (henchman), Pascale Perry (henchman), Jack Kirk (henchman)....special footnote, this is a cast of veteran character actors from the "Who's Who B-Western Library", with Al Bridge, George Chesbro, Edmund Cobb, Edward Earle, Hooper Hatchley, Edward Hearn, Jack Kirk, Bob Kortman, Tom London, Lafe McKee, Lew Meehan, Jack Rockwell and Wally Wales the list could go on with decades of films under their belt...and how about radio star Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy and his comical sidekick Smiley Burnette appearing in the early cliffhanger "The Phantom Empire" (1935), this was the beginning of a beautiful partnership between Autry and Burnette....meanwhile back to our Mascot Serial which is always good till the last drop and this serial is no exception...there is a great deal of entertainment here for the cliffhanger fans out there...all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features.

CHAPTER TITLES:

1. The Rattler

2. The Man Nobody Knows

3. The Eye That Never Sleeps

4. The Human Target

5. Phantom Outlaws

6. The Perfect Crime

7. Tarzan the Cunning

8. The Enemy's Stronghold

9. The Fatal Warning

10.The Secret of the Mountain

11.Behind the Mask

12.The Judgement of Tarzan

BIOS:

1. Ken Maynard

Birth Date: 7/21/1895 - Vevay, Indiana

Died: 3/23/1973 - Woodland Hills, California

2. Verna Hillie

Birth Date: 5/05/1914 - Hancock, Michigan

Died: 10/03/1997 - Fairfield, Connecticut,

3. Syd Saylor

Birth Date: 3/24/1895 - Chicago, Illinois

Died: 12/21/1962 - Hollywood, California

4. B. Reeves Eason (Director)

Birth Date: 10/02/1886 - New York, New York

Died: 6/09/1956 - Sherman Oaks, California,

5. Otto Brower (Director)

Birth Date: 12/02/1895 - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Died: 1/25/1946 - Hollywood, California

If you're into vintage serials as I am, why not pick up a copy of the following titles from VCI Home Video:

VCI CLIFFHANGER TRAILERS:

1. Buck Rogers (Buster Crabbe)

2. Adventures of the Flying Cadets (Bobby Jordan)

3. Drums of Fu Manchu (Henry Brandon)

4. Jungle Girl (Frances Gifford)

5. The Phantom (Tom Tyler)

6. Zane Greys "King of the Royal Mounted" (Allan "Rocky" Lane)

7. Secret Agent X-9 (1945) (Lloyd Bridges & Keye Luke)

8. Adventures of Red Ryder (Don "Red" Barry)

9. Secret Agent X-9 (1937) (Scott Kolk & Henry Brandon)

10.Zorro's Cliffhanger Collection (Reed Hadley, John Carroll & Linda Stirling)

11.Dick Tracy's G-Men (Ralph Byrd)

12.Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (Buster Crabbe)

13.Jungle Jim (Grant Withers & Raymond Hatton)

14.Miracle Rider (Tom Mix & Tony Jr)

If you crave action, drama and plenty of adventure then this is the place for all of the above...check out another release from VCI Entertainment and Republic Pictures present Zane Grey's "King of the Royal Mounted" (1940) (digitally remastered), 12 Chapters of vintage serial loaded with action sequences...is there a discovered substance called "Compound X", which may cure infantile paralysis...has Tom Merritt stumbled on such a rare find...is there a war between Canada and sources known later as the "Father Land".....get out there as they're going fast, this is the one you've been waiting for.

Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing "Mystery Mountain" (1934), the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '30s, '40s & '50s...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment where there are plenty of copies available on VHS, stay tuned once again for top notch action mixed with deadly adventure from the "King of Serials" VCI...just the way we like 'em

Total Time: 223 mins on 2 VHS ~ VCI Entertainment 1739 ~ (11/01/2000)
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on January 7, 2003
Ken Maynard, the star of this serial, took a hand in both the producing and directing of "Mystery Mountain". He rounded up every available cowboy actor he could find to staff it. Even Gene Autry and superstar comedy-singing-sidekick Smiley Burnett have small roles. If you fancy yourself an expert on the old black & white matinee westerns, I'll bet you can identify 20 to 30 of the men who played the bad men, stage drivers, and cowhands in hundreds of the wonderful old films.
A few of the good guys are good guys include Jim Carey, Al Bridge, Hal Telifino, Jack Rockwell, Gene Autry, and Smiley Burnett. The homely outlaws include Bob Kortman, Lou Meehan, Tom London, George Chesebro, and many more.
Ken Maynard combined the charm and good looks of John Wayne with the stunt riding ability of Yakima Canutt (the best ever cowboy stuntman). Maynard was a professional stunt rider before becoming a silent movie star, and easily made the transition to talkies. Only Maynard was able to compete on equal terms with both Tom Mix in the silents and John Wayne in the talkies. Ken was so muscular and bowlegged, and had such damaged knees that he could hardly run.
The beautiful Verna Hille plays second fiddle to Ken Maynard's only true love, his horse Tarzan. Modern movie goers remember Trigger, but Tarzan was certainly the most talented horse in the movies and the most loved by his owner, Ken Maynard.
This was the highest grossing western serial ever released. It was meant for matinee audiences, which were mostly kids. So expect a kids' film.
I see than Amazon also carries "Six Shootin' Sheriff." It was one of Ken's last pictures and a favorite of mine. Ken has to clean out 3 tough outlaw gangs and makes the supreme sacrifice. He has to pass of a piece of pie made by his girl, Miss Mollie. He's afraid it'll slow him down too much, because bad man Earl Dwire is waiting to gun him down in front of the saloon.
"Two Gun Man" is another great Maynard movie. If you're a handgun shooter, you'll love the insane way Ken's partner teaches some cowhands how to shoot. Don't miss this one.
"In Old Santa Fe." is also not only real good but real famous. Maynard is teamed with Gabbie Hayes; and Gene Autry and Smiley Burnett make their first singing appearance in the movies. This wasn't the first western with a song or two but it was the western that paved the way for Gene, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, and all the rest
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 29, 2009
Mystery Mountain is a 12 episode Mascot Pictures serial where silent movie cowboy star Ken Maynard is trying to track down a nefarious criminal called the 'Rattler'.

Former silent western star Ken Maynard is the main interest in this good effort from Mascot Pictures. He plays a railroad detective, out to find the villian who's causing trouble for a railroad builder. The bad guy, known as the "Rattler", uses disguises, masks of other members of the cast. You may remember this "idea" from John Wayne's "Hurricane Express - another interesting serial of the era.

As Maynard tries to find out the identity of the "Rattler", the "Rattler" is busy trying to get a feud going between the railroad and a freight wagon outfit that's owned by leading lady Verna Hillie. The identity of the "Rattler" is finally revealed in the end by a somewhat unusual method... no spoilers here...

I found it interesting that many people my dad's age (including my dad) remembered this serial and spoke of it with the same fondness as the Gene Autry westerns that were their favorites.

Be careful when buying this item - many of the listings are for single tapes of multi-tape sets. You will need all 4 volumes of the multi-tape set for the complete serial. Read the comments section of each sellers listing - some are selling the ENTIRE SET instead of a single tape under the single tape listings - there is no current listing for the entire multi- tape set. When buying the entire set, this really helps lower the shipping cost.
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VINE VOICEon December 26, 2002
Actually, I shoulda known better than to buy a serial after seeing a trailer for it that started with HEY, BOY & GIRLS! This was very obviously aimed at kids with little attempt to entertain their parents. The mystery element (Who's the mysterious and sinister "Rattler"?) is rather ho-hum. The element where the bad guy is successfully disguising himself as other characters using rubber masks is laughable. The continuing antics of Ken Maynard's sidekick are rather tiring. The chapter endings are nothing to write home about. Mascot has done better western serials such as "The Vanishing Legion" and "The Lightening Warrior".
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on February 24, 2014
Who remembers Ken Maynard? Not many I'd bet. Everybody remembers Roy and Gene, but not many remember Ken Maynard. This was one of his classic movies...a bit corny in spots but full of action and adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on July 4, 2015
Plot, etc., is as expected. Picture quality is a gamble with old oaters. Good enough for me.
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