Fred C. Brannon

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Birthday: Apr 26, 1901
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Fred C. Brannon enjoyed an unusual directorial career across an eight-year period at Republic Pictures. From 1945 until his death in 1953 just a few weeks short of his 52nd birthday, Brannon directed ten Western movies but also directed or co-directed two-dozen serials, including some of the best of the studio's postwar science fiction-oriented chapter plays. Working in tandem with Spencer Gordon Bennet, he made his debut on The Purple Monster Strikes (1945), while with William Witney he was responsible for The Crimson Ghost (1946), both among the most popular sci-fi serials of their period; with Thomas Carr he made Jesse James Rides Again (1947), and with Yakima Canutt he directed G-Men Never Forget (1948), the latter a rare vehicle for actor Roy Barcoft in a benevolent role. It was on a trio of serials that Brannon directed by himself -- King of the Rocket Men (1949), Radar Men From the Moon (1952), and Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) -- that he made his biggest mark on movies, however. Those three serials introduced and elaborated upon the character of the bullet-helmeted, jet-pack-wearing rocket man, known variously as Jeff King, Larry Martin, or Commando Cody. The last original hero of the serials, the Rocket Man was also among the most compelling, depicted by Brannon and his crew in spectacular flying sequences and other stunts. (King of the Rocket Men has a truly amazing mid-air chase in one of its early chapters, ending with a startlingly realistic piece of stunt work as the rocket man flies in pursuit of a plane.) Brannon also directed episodes of the Commando Cody television series.

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Jungle Drums of Africa Director 1953
No Score Yet Radar Men from the Moon Director 1952
No Score Yet Zombies of the Stratosphere Director 1952
No Score Yet Government Agents vs. Phantom Legion Director 1951
No Score Yet Flying Disc Man from Mars Director 1950
No Score Yet The Invisible Monster Director 1950
No Score Yet James Brothers of Missouri Director 1950
No Score Yet Desperadoes of the West Director 1950
No Score Yet King of the Rocket Men Director 1949
No Score Yet Radar Patrol vs. Spy King Director 1949
No Score Yet Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. Director 1949
No Score Yet Bandit King of Texas Director 1949
No Score Yet G-Men Never Forget Director 1948
No Score Yet The Adventures of Frank and Jesse James Director 1948
No Score Yet Jesse James Rides Again Director 1947
No Score Yet The Black Widow Actor Director 1947
No Score Yet Son of Zorro Director 1947
No Score Yet The Crimson Ghost Director Actor 1946
No Score Yet The Phantom Rider Director 1946
No Score Yet Daughter of Don Q Director 1946
No Score Yet King of the Forest Rangers Director 1946
No Score Yet The Purple Monster Strikes Director 1945

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