The Sky Ranger
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Directed byGeorge B. Seitz
Produced byGeorge B. Seitz
Written byFrank Leon Smith (scenario)
StarringGeorge B. Seitz
June Caprice
Production
company
George B. Seitz Productions
Distributed byPathé Exchange
Release date
  • May 1, 1921 (1921-05-01) (first chapter)
Running time
15 episodes/chapters
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Sky Ranger (aka The Man Who Stole the Moon) is a 1921 American 15-episode/chapter silent film serial.[1] Directed by George B. Seitz who also starred with June Caprice, the film serial was an adventure film with locales as exotic as Tibet. The plot staple of an inventor of aviation technology having to contend with conspirators who wish to steal the invention, often appeared in aviation films. [N 1] The Sky Ranger is considered to be lost.[3]

Plot

George Rockwell (George B. Seitz) is young and adventurous. He meets June (June Caprice), a beautiful young girl on the road and decides she will be his wife. But Professor Elliott (Frank Redman), June's father, has him thrown out the door. George does not give up and saves the Professor from his cousin Murdock (Joe Cuny), who was trying to kill him. Professor Elliott has made a number of important inventions, including developing a fast, silent aircraft. His latest work concerns a new, powerful light, which is the object of those criminals who want to steal the invention.

On the day of their engagement, George and June are abducted on an aircraft which takes them to Tibet. Dr. Santro (Harry Semels), Murdock's accomplice is the culprit. He and his wife Tharen (Peggy Shanor) leave the two in the hands of angry Tibetans. The two lovers are locked into a box with only a tiny hole in it through which they can see some food that is out of their reach. As if that was not enough suffering, one of the abductors decides to shoot them through the box.

George miraculously opens the box with a rock he had picked up before. As he tries to capture two horses, June is taken away in the desert by a Tibetan. George follows the traces left by his horse and rescues June in time.

Chapter titles

Lobby card for episode 3-In Hostile Hands
Lobby card for episode 3-In Hostile Hands
Lobby card for episode 6-The Crystal Prism
Lobby card for episode 6-The Crystal Prism
  1. Out of the Clouds
  2. The Sinister Signal
  3. In Hostile Hands
  4. Desert Law
  5. Mid-Air
  6. The Crystal Prism
  7. Danger's Doorway
  8. Dropped from the Clouds
  9. The House on the Roof
  10. Trapped
  11. The Seething Pool
  12. The Whirling Menace
  13. At the Last Minute
  14. Liquid Fire
  15. The Last Raid

Cast

Production

The Sky Ranger was not to be confused on the 1928 short film based on the popular "Russ Farrell" magazine stories and the film series, Russ Farrell, Aviator that stars Reed Howes as the dashing, devil-may-care flyboy hero.[4]

Reception

When The Sky Ranger was released as a film serial with the first chapter playing on May 1, 1921, a decision was made to rename the serial to The Man Who Stole the Moon.[5] The new title was a way to market the production as more of a science fiction film, capitalizing on interest in this genre. The Man Who Stole the Moon was compared to a similar film, A Message from Mars, a 1921 American silent fantasy comedy film released by Metro Pictures on April 11, 1921.[6]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ The idea of creating a "silent" or stealthy aircraft was a familiar theme in aviation films of the period, including The Silent Flier (1926) ,Eagle of the Night (1928) and Trapped in the Sky (1939).[2]

Citations

  1. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 327.
  2. ^ Farmer 1984, pp. 303, 325, 333
  3. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: 'The Sky Ranger'." silentera.com, 2019. Retrieved: July 26, 2019.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Review: 'The Sky Ranger'." Allmovie.com, 2019. Retrieved: July 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Flynn 2005, p. 186.
  6. ^ "Details: 'A Message from Mars'." afi.com, 2019. Retrieved: July 26, 2019.

Bibliography

  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Tab Books Inc., 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Flynn, John L. War of the Worlds: From Wells to Spielberg. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2005. ISBN 978-0-97694-000-5.