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Author Topic: Cowboys vs. Futuristic Invaders...Gene Autry and the Phantom Empire  (Read 529 times)
RJBowman
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« on: February 14, 2016, 11:36:47 pm »


That's someone else's photobucket image. If you can't see it try here:
http://s136.photobucket.com/user/sisario/media/phantomempire.jpg.html

Gene Autry and the Phantom Empire!

It's cheating a bit to call this steampunk, because it is a contemporary film serial produced in the 1930's, but it has a lot of the weird mixing of genres and elements that are common in steampunk works.

In the film, the famous singing cowboy of radio Gene Autry plays a famous singing cowboy radio star named Gene Autry. Gene owns  dud ranch called Radio Ranch, and broadcasts his radio show from the ranch. 20,000 feet below the ranch is a vast cavern containing the futuristic city of Murania; the last remaining outpost of the lost continent of Mu.

Government geologists are surveying the area for possible uranium deposits. The queen of Murania doesn't like this and is sending armored "Thunder Rider" horsemen to the surface to investigate the goings on on the surface. Tails of the Thunder Riders are told by local children, who have created their own Junior Thunder Riders club. Gangsters hide out on the ranch. Gene Autry discovers a secret entrance to Murania and infiltrates the city with his boy sidekick. Action ensues.

I think that all the chapters are available on internet video; if not, you can probably track down one of the many the DVD sets.

A great serial; George Lucas stole a few ideas for his first Star Wars film. Lots of inspiration for steampunk coolness.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 11:40:45 pm by RJBowman » Logged
Atterton
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 11:40:13 pm »

Is that a weaponized handmixer that guy is holding?
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MWBailey
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 11:45:58 pm »

Amovie, apparently about the above
https://youtu.be/szvovVigLQA
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 11:57:54 pm by MWBailey » Logged

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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 11:48:49 pm »

Yes. He is repelling Gene Autry's attack, which was carried out with giant eggs.

I found this:
Gene Autry - Men with Steel Faces (1940) Westerns Full Movies English

The serial edited down to a feature film, which might be easier to ingest in one sitting than a multi-chapter serial full of repetition and padding.
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Fairley B. Strange
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 04:07:43 am »

Is that a weaponized handmixer that guy is holding?

I believe the chap on the left stands ready to apply an emergency treatment to the young lady at top centre who has collapsed due to an acute bout of hysteria provoked by the sight of the shiny metallic Topper on the right.

   [Note: This plot synopsis not guaranteed accurate at time of publication.]
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RJBowman
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 04:41:08 am »

That's a Sir Walter Raleigh robot.
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Captain
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 07:45:42 pm »

The Phantom Empire is one of my favorite old serials.  The production just did not lice up to the potential of the story line.

There was an attempted reboot called The Secret Empire in 1979:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwCSVp4pFwk 

It could be done better someday. 
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-Karl
RJBowman
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 08:34:54 pm »

If they ever remake it again they need to make a deal with Gene Autry's estate to use his name and likeness.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 08:53:45 pm »

Look what I found:
Cliffhangers
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2016, 09:45:19 pm »

Is that a weaponized handmixer that guy is holding?

Definitely not.  It is obviously a giant lemon juicer!
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Quin
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2016, 09:51:39 pm »


There was an attempted reboot called The Secret Empire in 1979:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwCSVp4pFwk 

It could be done better someday. 

I used to watch Cliff Hangers, of which The Secret Empire was one of three serialized shows packed into an hour.  I watched them all but The Secret Empire was the only one I really liked.  Although Michael Nouri (in the Dracula segment) was nothing to sneeze at.  Grin
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2016, 10:19:48 pm »

King of the Rocket Men was a good serial as well.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2016, 02:28:06 am »

There were a lot of good serials, but Phantom Empire was everything but the kitchen sink, and I don't think that it was ever matched in terms of crazy mixing of elements.
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