|The Black Widow|
|Directed by||Spencer Gordon Bennet|
Fred C. Brannon
|Produced by||M. J. Frankovich|
|Written by||Franklin Adreon|
I. Stanford Jolley
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
|13 chapters / 180 minutes (serial)|
6 26½-minute episodes (TV)
100 minutes (TV film)
|Budget||$168,995 (negative cost: $186,314)|
The Black Widow (1947) is a thirteen-chapter Republic serial film.
The Editor of the Daily Clarion newspaper hires amateur criminologist Steve Colt to solve a series of murders, all involving venomous spider bites.
Meanwhile, King Hitomu has sent his daughter Sombra to the United States to fulfill his plan for global domination. There she poses as a fortune teller and, with a gang of henchmen, attempts to steal a prototype Atomic Rocket Engine using her uncanny ability to impersonate other women.
The Black Widow was budgeted at $168,995 although the final negative cost was $186,314 (a $17,319, or 10.2%, overspend). It was the most expensive Republic serial of 1947.
It was filmed between 11 April and 8 May 1947. The serial's production number was 1697.
It was one of only four 13-chapter serials to be released by Republic. Three of the four were released in 1947, the only original serials released in that year. The fourth serial of the year was a re-release of the 15-chapter, 1941 serial Jungle Girl. This marked the first time Republic had re-released a serial to add to their first run serial releases.
Created by the Lydecker brothers.
The Black Widow's official release date is 1 November 1947, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.
In the early 1950s, The Black Widow was one of fourteen Republic serials edited into a television series. It was broadcast in six 26½-minute episodes.
The Black Widow was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to Sombra, the Spider Woman. This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.