John Wayne & the Mascot Serials

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    There is 1 reply in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • John Wayne & the Mascot Serials

      & the

      It was in 1932 that Duke was to be fired from his dismal time
      at Columbia, a tenure that brought huge disappointment,
      with bit parts, handed out by studio boss Harry Cohn
      who disliked Duke, fabricating stories of drinking and womanising.
      The biggest insult being when Cohn cast Duke
      as a corpse in the 1931 film The Deceiver.

      Duke was finally offered a job by Mascot Pictures
      near the bottom of the Poverty Row studios

      For more information
      please see:-
      Mascot Pictures

      Nat Levine
      Headed by Nat Levine, Mascot made cheap action features and serials
      (long adventure films that played in weekly instalments in secondary theatres)

      Nat Levine

      Levine was impressed that Duke
      had been under contract for Fox and Columbia
      and saw it as a chance to pick up a young actor
      with a familiar name for little money.

      Notoriously tight with the dollar the Mascot head informed
      Duke's agent Al Kingston, that he would be willing to pay
      Duke $100 per week, less than half that Duke earned at Columbia

      Desperate for work and feeling like a failure,
      Duke accepted the terms, knowing that the work would be of marginal quality

      Nat Levine assigned Duke to play the lead
      in three successive serials of 12 episodes each

      The Shadow of the Eagle (1932) (Ford Beebe)
      The Hurricane Express (1932) (J.P McGowan/Armand Schaefer)
      The Three Musketeers (1932) (Armand Schaefer/Colbert Clark)

      (For individual movie profiles and reviews
      please click on the above links)

      Levine's schedule was for fast moving action, tightly budgeted
      with all 12 chapters to be completed within 21 working days!
      His crews put in a six day week and two directors were assigned to each serial

      Yakima Canutt
      It is on the making of The Shadow of the Eagle
      where Duke was to meet regular Mascot stuntman Yakima Canutt
      it was from here that the two would become kindred spirits
      and lifelong friends, whilst at the same time
      perfecting the art of stunts and fight scenes

      For more information
      please see:-
      Yakima Canutt

      Duke looked back on his three Mascot serials
      as a valuable training ground, where he began to develop his unique style.

      Phyicality remained his major asset but the rudiments
      of a natural easy going screen persona, began to
      crystalize during the making of the three serials.

      Duke wrote:

      We didn't have hell of a lot of dialogue, and we didn't fool around with retakes,
      the first take was usually the one we printed
      Duke learned how to learn lines quickly and how to
      handle himself in vivid action scenes.

      By the time his contract with Levine ended
      Duke had taken strides to becoming a professional movie actor

      However Duke's career was not going to get any better
      and after a couple of contracted out pictures
      Lady and Gent (1932) (Paramount) and
      His Private Secretary (1932) (Showmans Pictures)

      Duke embarked upon the equally unrewarding series for Warner Bros.
      John Wayne & Duke (The Wonder Horse)
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 22 times, last by ethanedwards ().