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Sign of the Wolf (Serial) (1931)

Rex Lease , Virginia Browne Faire , Forrest Sheldon , Harry Webb  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rex Lease, Virginia Browne Faire, Harry Todd, Jack Mower, Joe Bonomo
  • Directors: Forrest Sheldon, Harry Webb
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Hermitage Hill Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 193 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013CT9WY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sign of the Wolf (Serial)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"Your days are numbered if you do not return the secret of the jewels to its rightful owners." So reads one of the many warnings in this early sound serial from an independent studio called Metropolitan. The sought-for secret? Radioactive chains that change ordinary sand into fine jewels. An eccentric explorer discovers the chains in India, where he also acquires a puppy apparently marked by the Sign of the Wolf. Years later, with the setting now the American West, the finder of the chains and his daughter are endangered by criminals who, for obvious reasons, would like to get their hands on the valuable chains. An equally interested party is a religious sect to whom the chains are sacred. Were it not for two helpful cowboys, Tom and Bud, the beleaguered Farnums would have little chance against double competition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sign of the Wolf March 4, 2008
This early Independent 10 chapter serial leaves a lot to be desired. It is, in fact, not very good as far as acting and story go. But it is unintentionally hilarious, especially when Edmund Cobb shoots a warning message through the hero's window, breaking the glass--every chapter! Kinda makes you wonder why they didn't just leave the window open after a chapter or two?

The story concerns mystic chains that can turn sand into jewels. A crazy old guy has the chains and a crook wants them. The chains actually belong to Cobb, who keeps sending those messages wanting the chains back. Again, you might wonder why he doesn't just go knock on the old man's door and say "give me back those chains". There again, it's a serial so you have to be willing to suspend some disbelief.

The best thing about all this is the Serial Squadron/Hermitage Hill DVD of this film looks fantastic. There's an option to watch it with a music track--as all early serials the only music is in the opening credits--which helps make it seem more entertaining that it really is. The print is also as good a print of this as you'll ever see. The Serial Squadron has done a wonderful job restoring SIGN OF THE WOLF and made it much better than it previously has been. So if you're a diehard serial buff and want to see every one ever made, this release of this one is the one you'll definitely want to see.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe a little over-restored August 15, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD edition from The Serial Squadron / Hermitage Hill is quite good, though some of the processing left questions as to how close it was to the original. The film holds interest better than the description of the plot would suggest, probably due to the subtle humor with which it was made. It was compelling enough that I had to get a copy of VCI's edition on VHS for comparison purposes.

"The Sign of the Wolf" is an early sound film made in a style not assimilated as easily as the later ones by most serial movie fans, so this DVD edition added some features thought to be helpful. The transfer was made with great care, providing a good image and generally clear sound. The additions consist of added music to fill the many sections where none was provided in the original and to enhance the action scenes, and the film has been tinted which is supposed to assist with the atmosphere. Fortunately, for those who like their films as they were, these "improvements" can be bypassed.

The "Cliffhanger Music" is of a type that might have been used in a mid-1930's sound serial, but it is uncharacteristic for anything from 1931. Further, if the opening section is supposed to be in India, "Scheherazade" is an odd accompaniment. But if not desired the added music can be deselected through the main menu.

The tinting isn't likely to have been done on a serial of this era from Metropolitan, and the colors are a bit gaudy. I find them distracting, but they can be avoided by using the component-TV "Y" output of the DVD player or with the "color" level control on the TV, if it has enough range.

The picture is mostly quite decent, sharper and with better gray scale than VCI's edition, made from the same print.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
VCI Entertainment and Metropolitan Pictures present..."Sign of the Wolf" (1931) (Dolby digitally remastered), with 10 Chapters of vintage serial episodes jam packed with thrilling action sequences and stunts that will keep you on the edge of your seat...story line has the local outlaws after two small chains that turn sand into jewels thus the "Secret of the Jewels" , as darts with messages fly through the air in every episode...will John Farnum (Harry Todd) twart the villains with the aid of Tom Lanning (Rex Lease), Bud (Joe Bonomo) and the wonder dog King (Muro-the dog)...what part does Ruth Farnum (Virginia Brown Faire), Pearl (Josephine Hull), Clyde Winslow (Al Ferguson) and Prince Kuva (Edmund Cobb) play in this 10 chapter thriller with each episode better than the first.....can this Metropolitan Serial keep the action, daring stunt-work and an exciting cliffhanger going the entire serial.....but don't leave the theater until the final chapter is over and done with "The Lost Secret"....just remember double thrills, chills, mystery and suspense...hitting the bull's eye with excitement...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 Harry Webb and Forrest Sheldon, producer F.E. Douglas, original story by Carl Krusada...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two-pint heads in ten-gallon hats November 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I haven't seen this particular video release, but I have seen the serial itself. Every time I think of it I start to shake my head and chuckle - it must be the stupidest thing I've ever seen!
The hats are enormous, and most guys have guns but only use them to shoot people off horses at long range (without hurting them!). I suppose they think their punches are more lethal, but not on this evidence - when they're not frantically riding back and forth between locations they are brawling, only to get on their horses and ride some more.
The plot itself is astonishingly stupid - the heroine's father steals a couple of little chains which, when thrown into a pot with some sand will change the sand into gems. That's not the stupid part. It becomes stupid when he decides to SELL the chains, and his daughter and her boyfriend approve his decision! As if that isn't stupid enough the would-be buyer tells his flunkies to steal the chains whilst they are being delivered to him! Why would you break the law to get them when they're about to become yours legally?
Then there is the mysterious stranger, sent by the robbed temple owners to recover the chains. He sends messages to the hero by wrapping a note around a blowdart and puffing it through the loungeroom window (breaking the glass every time), whilst the hero, heroine and sidekick are in the room. They don't think to go to the window until (I think) episode ten! They could at least learn to leave the window open! And why isn't the glass still broken from last time?
If this serial wasn't so stupid it would be deadly boring, but instead it is fun, at least in small doses.
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