Mystery Mountain (serial)

Mystery Mountain is a 1934 American Western serial film directed by Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason and starring Ken Maynard, Verna Hillie, Syd Saylor, Edward Earle, and Hooper Atchley.[1] Distributed by Mascot Pictures, Mystery Mountain features the second ever film appearance by Gene Autry.[2]

Mystery Mountain
Mystery Mountain FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written by
Produced by
Edited byEarl Turner
Music byLee Zahler
Distributed byMascot Pictures
Release date
  • December 3, 1934 (1934-12-03) (U.S.)
Running time
223 minutes (12 chapters)
CountryUnited States


Ken Williams (Ken Maynard) is determined to discover the identity of a mysterious killer who preys upon railroads and transportation companies like the ones owned by Jane Corwin (Verna Hillie). Her railroad worker father (Lafe McKee) was the first victim of the murderous fiend known as the Rattler, who is especially difficult to catch because he makes himself appear as other people with a collection of masks, or he effects a strange disguise with eyeglasses, a fake nose, and a crepe-hair mustache. The Rattler — also known as "the Menace of the Mountain" — attempts to control the mountain and its hidden gold from his secret cave filled with strange electronic gadgets.[3]


Lobby card


Filming and budgetEdit

Mystery Mountain was filmed in the fall of 1934. The film had an operating budget of $65,000 (equal to $1,257,475 today), and a negative cost of $80,000.[1]

Filming locationsEdit


According to the book The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury, Ken Maynard was doubled by Cliff Lyons in some scenes but performed many of his own stunts, especially riding, in others.[6] However, the later book In the Nick of Time states that Ken Maynard was doubled by his brother Kermit Maynard. The physical similarities between the two makes it difficult to spot the difference on screen between actor and stuntman.[7] Maynard's horse, Tarzan, had three doubles, one of which was blind.[6]

Future serial director William Witney, working as an assistant director, performed one stunt during this serial when the stuntman failed to show up to the location shoot. He rode a horse at speed across a bridge over a ravine with a moving train behind him.[8]

Special effectsEdit

Special effects were provided by J. Laurence Wickland.

Chapter titlesEdit

  1. The Rattler
  2. The Man Nobody Knows
  3. The Eye That Never Sleeps
  4. The Human Target
  5. Phantom Outlaws
  6. The Perfect Crime
  7. Tarzan the Cunning
  8. The Enemy's Stronghold
  9. The Fatal Warning
  10. The Secret of the Mountain
  11. Behind the Mask
  12. The Judgment of Tarzan[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Magers 2007, p. 19.
  2. ^ "Mystery Mountain". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 292. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  4. ^ a b "Full cast and crew for Mystery Mountain". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  5. ^ Magers 2007, p. 20.
  6. ^ a b Harmon 1972, p. 59.
  7. ^ Cline 1997, p. 157.
  8. ^ Witney 1995, pp. 44–45.
  9. ^ Cline 1997, p. 211.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Mascot Serial
Mystery Mountain (1934)
Succeeded by