THE MASKED RIDER Collector's Edition
90 years after its original release,
21 reels worth of footage from this serial printed on tinted nitrate stock, were discovered in the fall of 2003 in the home of a former theater projectionist and memorabilia collector whose estate has been liquidated. Episode numbers were hand-painted on the original metal cans--and the can for chapter 7 reveals the original owner's enthusiasm for the serial, which he no doubt projected and enjoyed in his youth. One reel of the film had decomposed to liquid and was discarded by those handling the estate. Other cans were marked Episodes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14,
The Masked Rider appears to have been the first great mystery-rider Western chapter play and the character may have served as a prototype for The Riddle Rider, The Lone Ranger, Zorro and all the great masked rider serials which followed it.
Harry Myers (1882-1938) began acting in 1908 and played the title character in the serial Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. He wrote and directed over 30 films between 1914 and 1917. He is best remembered for his performance as the rich alcoholic who alternately befriends and doesn't recognize Charlie Chaplin in City Lights. One of his final screen appearances was as an uncredited detective in The Spider's Web.
Ruth Stonehouse began acting at an early age and appeared in dozens of shorts, many of which she wrote/and or directed, then moved up to larger projects such as the serial The Master Mystery starring Harry Houdini. One of the first female film directors ever, she was the "S" of the silent film company Essanay.
Paul Panzer, born in Bavaria, began his career acting in silent Shakespearian films, and achieved notoriety as the villainous Koerner in The Perils of Pauline. He would later appear in other serials including The Exploits of Elaine, Jimmie Dale Alias the Gray Seal, The Mystery Mind, Hawk of the Hills, The Black Book, and Tarzan the Tiger. As it was with many silent stars, his career took a back seat to the new crowd when sound came in and though he appeared, often uncredited, in sound films (he can be glimpsed as a graveside mourner in Frankenstein) until the early 1950s, he never again was given a leading role.
Edna was daughter of prominent comic stage actor E. M. Holland who was well-known on Broadway in his day. After The Masked Rider, she returned to New York where she performed in many Broadway shows, then later returned to film and performed mostly small roles in movies and on TV until the 1960s.
Taber acted in other films produced by Patrick McGeeney at Shamrock Pictures in San Antonio and stopped acting shortly after filming The Masked Rider, when he married former co-star Anna Q. Nilsson.
Marie Treador as Ma Chadwick, Ruth's mother
Film and Transfer Quality: The original nitrate image is absolutely stunning in its detail and midtones. As you can see in the framegrabs there are scratches on the film but they do not detract. The finest professional (Cintel) transfer equipment available was used to create a digital version of this film. You may pledge to own a DVD copy of this transfer, which will include an entirely new original score composed especially for this presentation.
THE MASKED RIDER Vol. 1
VOLUME 1 Contents:
EPISODE 1: “The Hole in the Wall.” When Pancho, master of the Haciendo and cattle rustler, is blindfolded and tortured after a gunfight with Texas Rangers near the Burrel Ranch, and Bill Burrell is shot dead in his attempt to rescue his young daughter, Pancho swears to drive settlers from the border country, and a mysterious black-clad rider appears to take deadly vengeance. Re-created from the original script and filmed in Pennsylvania in 2008. Featuring ALLYSON MALANDRA as Ruth, ADAM NEMETH as Harry, RICK DEACON as Pancho, MELANIE WALTERS as Juanita, STEVEN MONACO as Rodriguez and WAYNE ALBERT as Bill Burrel. Final 2 Minutes: The only surviving footage from original Episode 1. 28:39
EPISODE 2: “In the Hands of Pancho.” Pancho's men take young Blanche Burrel across the border and decide to brand her with a "message in fire" the ranchers will never forget. Includes footage from original Episodes 2 and 3. BORIS KARLOFF appears in the Dance Hall at the opening, pulling his gun on a Texas Ranger by the bar. Original break point: The Masked Rider takes Blanche across the river. Final 5 Minutes: Re-created from the original script, featuring LEA BARATS as Blanche, HOWARD WALTERS as Captain Jack of the Rangers,
and COLIN GORDON, MATTHEW IMPARATO, JEFF MITCHELL and JEREMY
MIHALYO as Pancho's men. 28:22
EPISODE 3: "The Capture of Juanita" contains all original footage. A gunfight ensues when Harry and Captain Jack of the Rangers attempt to recover the kidnapped Blanche, and Ruth is pursued by the Masked Rider. Includes footage from original Episodes 4 and 5. Narrative footage was discovered complete for these episodes. Featuring BLANCHE GILLESPIE as Blanche Burrel. 31:56
Commentary on Episodes 1 and 2 by Eric Stedman, who supervised the restoration and directed the re-created sequences, is also included.
After trying writing up a radio script, preparing illustrations, and even considering shadow puppets and other methods of re-creating the lost Chapter 1, in which much crucial action takes place on which the rest of the serial is based, we finally decided the easiest and most effective way to re-present the missing material was simply to assemble a cast of interested actors and re-shoot it!
DIRECTOR Eric Stedman
"I loved the music score, both your title stuff and the mid-episode work. You'll like the fact that I didn't even KNOW there was restored footage in the episode . . . Very slick . . .That's how seamless it was to me . . . a great job" -- Hank Davis, author of CLASSIC CLIFFHANGERS
THE MASKED RIDER VOl 2
There is nothing like this amazing and influential serial, which preceded the screen versions of both Zorro and the Lone Ranger and is wilder and more hard-hitting and realistic than either one. It commands your complete attention and never lets go. No stunt men here -- all the actors do their own riding, shooting, cliff-climbing and everything else. Shot on location at the Shamrock Photoplay Corporation studio in San Antonio, on the Medina river in Texas, and in Sabinas, Mexico.
VOLUME 2 CONTENTS:
EPISODE 4: “The Death Trap.” Ruth, disguised as a shepherd, tries to rescue Blanche from Pancho’s clutches but is interrupted by a raid conducted by Pancho's enemy Terrazas and his bandit army. The episode ends with Pancho's order to blow up all the entrances to Cache Valley and Ruth in mortal danger. Contains footage from original episodes 5 and 6, THE DEATH TRAP and PANCHO PLANS REVENGE. 32:21
EPISODE 5: “The Fight on the Dam.” Pancho decides to revenge himself on the Ranchers whom he believes responsible for crushing his hands by planning to blow up Medina Dam and flood the entire border region. The episode ends with a thrilling confrontation between Pancho and his men, the Burrel Bunch and the Masked Rider atop the dam. Contains recap footage from original Episode 6 and then the complete contents of original Episode 7, THE FIGHT ON THE DAM. 33:08
EPISODE 6: “The Conspirators Foiled.” During the night, the father of the bandit Terrazas, who was killed in Episode 4, raises an army to ride against Pancho while Captain Jack and Harry penetrate the labyrinth of rock near the river to try and find Ruth. As the episode concludes, the Masked Rider offers Harry a truce. Contains footage from original Episode 8. 23:11
A fantastic restoration, including an unprecedented accurately re-created originally-missing chapter, commentary, and action, mystery, and thrills galore!
"Kudos go to Eric Stedman of The Serial Squadron website who has recreated the missing Ch. 1 and is offering the remastered serial, including an excellent all new musical score with sound effects, in nine chapters. . . . an amazing silent serial discovery." -- Boyd Magers, WESTERN CLIPPINGS.COM
THE MASKED RIDER Vol. 3
VOLUME 3 CONTENTS:
EPISODE 7: The Exchange of Prisoners / Harry’s Perilous Leap
Scheduled for release in August 2014
THE MASKED RIDER Book
To include a massive amount of ultra-rare supplementary material related to the serial, including stills from the collection of the original cameraman, background on all the actors and shooting locations, text of the original scripts for incomplete episodes, thorough plot summaries and annotations, and more!
To be released at the same time as THE MASKED RIDER DVD Vol. 3 and recommended for purchase at the same time as that volume so you can read about what will essentially be “deleted scenes.”
The product of over 5 years work by Eric Stedman, with contributions by Tom McGeeney and supplemental research by David Sorochty.