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Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island

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Title: Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island  
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Subject: List of film serials by studio, Selmer Jackson, Lloyd Whitlock, Fred Toones, Dick Tracy's G-Men
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Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island

Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island
Directed by Ray Taylor
Mack V. Wright
Produced by Nat Levine
Sol C. Siegel
Written by Morgan Cox
Maurice Geraghty
Barry Shipman
Starring Ray Mala
Mamo Clark
Herbert Rawlinson
William Newell
John Ward
John Dilson
Selmer Jackson
John Picorri
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld
Cinematography Edgar Lyons
William Nobles
Edited by Helene Turner
William Witney
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release dates 14 November 1936 (serial)[1]
15 January 1937 (feature)[1]
Early 1950s (TV)[1]
1966 (TV movie)[1]
Running time 14 chapters (256 minutes (serial)[1]
71 minutes (feature)[1]
6 26½-minute episodes (TV)[1] 100 minutes (TV movie)[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $106,779 (negative cost: $111,848)[1]

Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island (1936) is a Republic Movie serial starring Ray Mala. It was the fourth of the sixty-six serials produced by Republic and the last (of four) to be released in 1936. Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island is notable for being the first Republic serial to contain another common aspect of serials - a Re-Cap Chapter, similar to a clipshow in modern television where the events of the previous chapters are repeated via clips (in order to save money). This, contrary to popular belief was not the invention of the concept, which had been routinely used in serial production before the release of this serial. The serial was edited into the film Robinson Crusoe of Mystery Island, which was released in 1966.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Special effects 3.1
  • Chapter titles 4
  • Cliffhangers 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Agent Mala, an intelligence operative, investigates sabotage on the remote Clipper Island. A gang of spies causes the eruption of a volcano, for which Mala is blamed. He convinces the native Princess Melani of his innocence and helps her ward off a takeover by rival High Priest and spy collaborator Porotu and discover the identity of spy ringleader H.K...


  • Ray Mala as Mala, operative of the United States Intelligence Department undercover as a Pacific Dirigible Airlines radio operator. Mala was a rare non-Caucasian hero in serials.[2]
  • Rex the Wonder Horse
  • Buck the Dog
  • Mamo Clark as Princess Melani, Princess and ruler of the Komatoans
  • Herbert Rawlinson as Grant Jackson
  • William Newell as Hank McGlaurie, Agent Mala's partner
  • John Ward as Anthony Tupper, English Novelist accompanying Agent Mala
  • John Dilson as E. G. Ellsworth, joint owner of Pacific Dirigible Airlines with Canfield
  • Selmer Jackson as Canfield, joint owner of Pacific Dirigible Airlines with E. G. Ellsworth, alias H.K


Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island was budgeted at $106,779 although the final negative cost was $111,848 (a $5,069, or 4.7%, overspend).[1] It was filmed between 31 August and 25 September 1936 under the working title Robinson Crusoe.[1] The serial's production number was 419.[1] This serial has very little to do with Robinson Crusoe.[2]

Special effects

The special effects were created by John T. Coyle and the Lydecker brothers.

Chapter titles

Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island is the only 14-chapter sound serial.[1][3]

  1. The Mysterious Island (31 min 21s)
  2. Flaming Danger (20 min 46s)
  3. Fathoms Below (18 min 03s)
  4. Into the Enemy's Camp (17 min 27s)
  5. Danger in the Air (17 min 41s)
  6. The God of the Volcano (17 min 19s)
  7. Trail's End (15 min 41s)
  8. The Jaws of the Beast (16 min 17s)
  9. The Cave of the Winds (17 min 22s)
  10. Wings of Fury (16 min 29s)
  11. Agents of Disaster (16 min 22s) -- Re-Cap Chapter
  12. The Sea Trap (16 min 41s)
  13. Mutiny (18 min 35s)
  14. Thunder Mountain (16 min 21s)



  1. The burning mainmast of the Tuloa falls on Mala.
  2. Mala is captured by natives and forced to fall into a volcano.
  3. While diving, and with the ship above being shelled by a submarine, Mala begins to suffocate.
  4. Mala and Lamar are caught in the explosion of an overheated boiler.
  5. The plane carrying Mala crashes into the Pacific Ocean.
  6. Mala and Melani are caught in a landslide caused by an earthquake.
  7. While escaping from aggressive natives, Mala and Melani slip off a cliff.
  8. With his vine cut, Mala falls into Alligator infested water.
  9. While scaling a cliff, Mala is shot at and falls.
  10. Struggling with the pilot of a biplane causes it to crash into the Pacific Ocean.
  11. Mala's car is forced off the road and over an embankment.
  12. Mala and Melani, escaping in a motorboat, are shot at by a cannon.
  13. Mala is caught by gas aboard an Airship, which begins to crash.

Note: Many of the solutions to these cliffhangers are "cheats" - they change or obviously do not match the events shown in the preceding cliffhanger.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 18–19.  
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 37.  
  4. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 216.  

External links

Preceded by
The Vigilantes Are Coming (1936)
Republic Serial
Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island (1936)
Succeeded by
Dick Tracy (1937)
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