Spider's Web (1938)
Based on a series of popular pulp-magazine stories, the 15-chapter Columbia serial The Spider's Web stars Warren Hull as one of the busiest heroes in movie history. Whenever crime threatens the city, criminologist Richard Wentworth dispatches underworld stoolie Blinky McQuade to ferret out information, whereupon the masked do-gooder The Spider swings into action. Thing of it is, Wentworth, Blinky and The Spider are all the same person, all played by the peripatetic Warren Hull. On this occasion, the disguise-happy protagonist aims his sights at The Octopus, a mysterious underworld leader who hopes to cripple the nation's transportation systems, thereby giving himself free reign for a spectacular crime spree. Before Wentworth can embark upon his oft-delayed honeymoon with his sweetheart Nina Van Sloan (Iris Meredith), he must rid the world of the Octopus once and for all. Codirector James W. Horne handles the action sequences as if he were still directing Laurel & Hardy comedies, and the effect is incongruously hilarious. … More
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