John Wayne & the Mascot Serials

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    & 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.

    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

    Edited 22 times, last by ethanedwards ().