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Classic Cliffhangers: Volume 1, 1914-1940 Paperback – May 31, 2007
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An enjoyable book for devotees of all kinds of classic cinema and pop culture, not just serial fans --Eric Stedman. Serial Squadron
A loving recollection of a more innocent yesteryear. Brimming with humor and intelligence. --Len Brown, KOOP-FM Austin, Texas
About the Author
HANK DAVIS is a professor of psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, with an interest in evolutionary psychology and popular culture. He became hooked on movie serials when he was a kid growing up in New York. Hank has also written extensively about music and produced more than 100 boxed-sets and reissue albums of 1950s music, from Hank Williams to Sun Records stars like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich. A lifetime baseball fan, Hank is also the author of Small-Town Heroes, a critically acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at minor league baseball, published by Bison Books. These two Volumes of Classic Cliffhangers are his first books about film.
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For serial and nostaligia fans, Hank Davis provides an opportunity to select which serials you want to see and what to watch for in each. One criticsm, the author is very focused on political correctness about every possible minority (Blacks, Irish, disabled, oriental, southern, slow witted, overweight, etc.) it becomes a bothersome distraction. We all know of the differences in today's standards, but way too much sensitivity and criticism of likeable charcters like Smiley Burnette.
Virtually no deep background information on many of the most important serials, the actors or special effects. Hello?
The Lydecker bothers? Bare lip service to two of the best fx guys ever?. The author spends part of the
time cracking tired comical observations. Way overprices. Very disappointed.
Not every serial made is covered here, but a hundred or so are in the two volumes that comprise the set. Both the great and the terrible are given fair shake, making this a well represented overview of the genre. Most entries run about 4 to 6 pages and carry background info, plot summary and lots of trivia and personal comments. This is a highly entertaining read, informative and fun to boot!
MIDNIGHT MARQUEE PRESS' efforts are also to be commended. This is a good looking book with colorful covers and a well illustrated interior. The photos are sharp and clear. Everything just clicks, making this one of my best purchases in recent years.
Buy both volumes.