Spencer Gordon Bennet

Spencer Gordon Bennet (January 5, 1893 – October 8, 1987) was an American film producer and director. Known as the "King of Serial Directors", he directed more film serials than any other director.

Spencer Gordon Bennet
Born(1893-01-05)January 5, 1893
Brooklyn, New York, United States
DiedOctober 8, 1987(1987-10-08) (aged 94)
OccupationFilm director, film producer
Years active1921–1974

BiographyEdit

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bennet first entered show business as a stunt man, when he answered a newspaper ad to jump from the Palisades of the Hudson River while wearing a suit for the serial film Hurricane Hutch (1921). The gig at that time paid $1 per foot he had to fall.

He made his directorial debut in 1921's Behold the Man but made his serial directorial debut in 1925 with Sunken Silver. He would keep making serials, as well as B-Western features, until the very end of the genre, directing the last two serials made in the United States, Blazing the Overland Trail (1956) and Perils of the Wilderness (1956). After the serials ended he directed a handful of features, his final directorial credit being 1965's The Bounty Killer, which was also the final film to feature pioneering cowboy star Broncho Billy Anderson. When he died in 1987,he was buried at the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, his tombstone was engraved "His Final Chapter".

Over his long career Bennet directed over 100 serials, including the Superman serials Superman and Atom Man vs. Superman both starring Kirk Alyn; The Masked Marvel; G-Men vs. the Black Dragon and Secret Service in Darkest Africa both starring Rod Cameron as agent Rex Bennett; the second Batman serial Batman and Robin; The Purple Monster Strikes; the Adventures of Sir Galahad; The Tiger Woman; Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere; Zorro's Black Whip, and numerous western serials.

Among his "B" features were four for the Jungle Jim series starring Johnny Weismuller and two for the Red Ryder series, featuring Wild Bill Elliott and Allan "Rocky" Lane. He also directed eight episodes of the Ramar of the Jungle TV series.

PreservationEdit

The Academy Film Archive preserved two of Spencer Gordon Bennet's films, "Hawk of the Hills" and "Snowed In."[1][2]

Selected filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Linwood Dunn Collection". Academy Film Archive.
  2. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.

External linksEdit