COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL the THE cosmos (1953) Blu-ray Directors: Fred C. Brannon, harry Keller, Franklin Adreon Olive films
Charming, laffy TV/serial hybrid. Olive films has exit COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL that THE UNIVERSE, the 1953 sci-fi TV series/big-screen serial originally developed by Republic Pictures, and starring Judd Holdren, Aline Towne, william Schallert, Richard Crane, Gregory Gaye, Craig Kelly, Peter Brocco, Lyle Talbot, Mauritz Hugo, joanne Jordan, and Gloria Pall together the hubba hubba “Moon Girl” (“Now give us a ¾ profile—that’s it, sweetheart!”). Initially conceived together a 12-episode TV prequel reboot the Republic’s RADAR males OF THE MOON, COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL the THE UNIVERSE’s production was temporarily halted while the suits tried to number out precisely what to execute with it, prior to they ultimately completed and released it an initial to theatre (in faux-serial form)...before completing the circle and dumping it onto the tube a couple of years later. So-called “controversy” aside regarding its suitable genus group (add my two cents here: “Who cares?”), COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL that THE world is still quite a little bit of primitive Cold war sci-fi fun, through no-nonsense Dick and also Jane storylines, cardboard sets and also heroes, and, from our now-distant, nostalgic vantage point, an included atmosphere of watch innocent, unconcerned confidence, obscuring the moviemakers’ initial hardscrabble calculations. No extras, unfortunately; however, the complete 30 minute (each) MPEG-4 AVC video encoded 1080p 1.33:1 (on an anamorphic platform) black and also white move look squarejawed and masculinely solid. at the top mystery Cody Laboratories (which offers convenient curbside parking 5 yards away because that the assorted spies that openly reconnoiter the place 24/7), prospective employees cock Preston (William Schallert, THE computer WORE TENNIS SHOES, COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT) and also Joan Gilbert (Aline Towne, HIGHWAY 301, trust GIRL) fulfill with Commissioner Henderson (Craig Kelly, DIRTY HARRY, DIRTY MARY, crazy LARRY), the head cheese for all U.S. Room Operations. After ~ a cursory glance at your resumes, Henderson okays hiring them as aides for “Commando Cody” (Judd Holdren, FRANCIS, THE talk MULE, CAPTAIN VIDEO: grasp OF THE STRATOSPHERE), one alias for the previous WWII commando-turned-scientist and adventurer who has been appointed sky Marshal of the universe (talk about a large beat because that one cop...). The team’s job? To help adapt atomic power for rocket propulsion. Why? because the big money for the military/industrial complex is in government contracts. Due to the fact that Henderson demands Cody increase in the stratosphere to find out that is attack the planet with deadly missiles. Cody, forever masked to defend his identity, needs to build a rocket quick to counter the unknown extraterrestrial menace, a hazard slowed rather by Cody’s invention of a cosmic dust “blanket” the envelops the earth, prevent anything that enters the atmosphere (in clinical terms: the fluorocarbon equivalence the 10 trillion spent White Rain hair spray aerosol cans). Soon, Commando Cody discovers The leader (Gregory Gaye, CHARLIE CHAN in ~ THE OPERA, HITLER), a super-intelligent gift from one more world, intent on dominating the cosmos one heartbeat in ~ a time, has actually the assist of human traitors Dr. Varney (Peter Brocco, THE 3 STOOGES IN ORBIT, OUR male FLINT) and later, Baylor and Mason (Lyle Talbot, THE STOOGES go WEST, ATOM guy VS. SUPERMAN, and Mauritz Hugo, PISTOL HARVEST, CAPTIVE the BILLY THE KID). Have the right to Commando Cody, with brand-new age weaponry like a jet pack and also ray guns and freeze rays and...um, other varieties of rays, alongside great ‘ol fashioned red-blooded American fisticuffs, prevent this insidious treachery and save the planet? I have actually a relatively general background on the topic of old-timey studio serials, for this reason I had actually to look up the production background of COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL that THE UNIVERSE. It’s a tangled one. Through 1953, serial production had all yet ceased in Hollywood, as their key consumers—kids at Saturday matinees—increasingly started staying residence to clock the same kind that programming for cost-free on television. Constantly struggling Republic had, two years prior, started selling off TV broadcast legal rights to their big library the B Westerns, mysteries, and also actioners, a move—along v renting the end their backlot and also studios come TV producers—that maintained the financially strapped studio afloat. As soon as the executives realized the ratings were fairly high because that these Bs (titles the studio mostly thought were already “one and also done” in regards to monetizing), they made decision to cut out the middleman and craft a new “serial” made especially for the TV collection framework (a main story arc, no cliffhangers, and an broadened half-hour-to-25 minute runtime). A decision was made come reboot their unrelated “Rocketman” title (KING that THE ROCKET MEN, RADAR men FROM THE MOON) for tv with a direct prequel to RADAR, featuring that serial’s hero, Commando Cody. Since a sequel come RADAR was already being readied come shoot (ZOMBIES the THE STRATOSPHERE), Republic executives thought a last-minute name readjust for ZOMBIES’s Cody character was necessary, therefore as no to compete at the exact same time v the TV pilot and also cause possible confusion v audiences (CODY had Cody conference Joan Gilbert and also Dick Preston for the an initial time). Zombie was put on hold, and also the very first three episodes of COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL of THE world were shot, prior to production was suddenly halted. Reports vary, yet several factors seemed to have weighed in top top the stoppage, including a decision through Republic to reduced their loses v the dice serial form and edit together those an initial three episodes together a function release, and also a potential problem with the cast and also crew union members gift asked to shoot a TV collection (at this time, TV to be still taken into consideration the mortal enemy of Hollywood moviemaking, and also a threat to union employment). Zombies was for this reason put into production (it was released in the summer that 1952), before shooting on the last nine illustration of COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL of THE world was resumed (the extended delay saw an unavailable wilhelm Schallert replaced by Richard Crane). Risk of union action against the collection (as fine as part entangled contractual obligations) forced Republic to relax COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL the THE UNIVERSE an initial to theaters, whereby it failed v exhibitors and the continuing to be serial fans, in component because it to be structured less like a classic cliffhanging serial, and an ext like 12 loosely-connected long-form quick subjects. COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL of THE cosmos did at some point wind up on tv two years after that NBC’s 1955 summer schedule, to be it do no an ext impact than it had in theater (NBC certainly didn’t ask for any much more episodes).
In mine research, I also found the end there’s a little bit of heated debate over whether or no COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL the THE UNIVERSE should be classified together a true serial...which of course beggars the question: that the hell now is arguing about serials, because that god’s sake? My eyes glaze over at that kind of meaningless noodling. Mine younger kids didn’t even know what a serial was as soon as they watched some of COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL that THE UNIVERSE. They simply responded come it...with a surprising, if short-lived, little of interest. Probably it to be the impressive primitiveness of it. Whatever is so absent bottom and cheap, that it takes on this wonderfully surreal tone. As soon as they saw the “control panel” for Cody’s rocket fit (three knobs for “On/Off” “Up/Down” and “Slow/Fast”), castle laughed, however in an appreciative way—it was prefer they yes, really were watching something from another planet. so I suppose that anything native sixtysome-odd years earlier that can gain an appreciative nod from a bunch that jaded kids carried up ~ above CGI and HD gaming, can be classified together “successful” in its long-forgotten aims (they also thought the flying scenes, through the dummies on the wires, were fine done). I’m constantly fascinated as soon as I hear rather assert—or as soon as I capture myself stating—that there were “more chaste times,” once something favor COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL the THE UNIVERSE, for instance, was being shown in theaters. Certainly, the tendency popular culture may have actually been more innocuous (by rigorous design), yet the times to be no an ext innocent than today’s (as an example, CODY was released simply as the bloody, grinding korean “conflict” to be winding down). Even in between the present of this inoffensive little chapter play have the right to be heard grown-up recommendations to all-too acquainted modern, or more accurately “timeless,” difficulties (Cody nods, “Of course,” once his boss matter-of-factly tells him the federal government has been lying to the public about the source of missiles hitting the planet’s atmosphere). The men making COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL of THE UNIVERSE sure didn’t watch this serial as some type of good-will gesture aimed at upholding the morals the 1950s youths. It was a task for them, a cheaply-budgeted product that had actually to it is in ground out prefer hamburger in a ridiculously quick time, or lock wouldn’t gain their paychecks. however in the haste born out of cramped, penny-pinching budgeting...quite a couple of amusing moments crop up. Simply to store things moving, you deserve to count ~ above a fistfight every ten minutes or therefore in COMMANDO CODY: skies MARSHAL the THE UNIVERSE. Gunfights below don’t need reloading at any kind of time. If Cody demands to “moonwalk” exterior his rocket, weightlessness doesn’t exist together he loudly scrabbles across the plywood (good point he’s holding onto that steed rope). And also if the cutting-edge atomic rocket engines overheat...why simply unplug those vents by jamming a sawed-off broom handle over and also over again right into a hole. My youngsters didn’t stick roughly for most of that—repetition is the greatest killer with these later serials—but what they watched, they enjoyed, with surprisingly innocent pleasure. all 12 illustration of COMMANDO CODY: sky MARSHAL the THE cosmos run 30 minutes and also change; in various other words, these room the initial theatrical releases, not the later shortened TV versions. The MPEG-4 AVC video clip encoded 1080p 1.33:1 black and white move look an extremely sharp and clean, through a creamy grayscale, kind blacks, reasonably tight grain, improved picture fine detail, and a sensibly bright snapshot (it look at miles and miles over anything we experienced as children on the tube). The DTS-HD master audio break-up mono English monitor is serviceable and also neat, with small or no hiss and crisp dialogue. English subtitles are available.
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No extras...pity, that. (Paul Mavis)