Sunday Matinee: Gang Busters

“Universal presents “Gang Busters”. Calling the police, calling the G-men, calling all America to war on the underworld. Gang Busters, with cooperation of law enforcement officers of the United States, presents a picture of the endless war of the police on the underworld, illustrating the clever operation of the law enforcement officers in the work of our citizens – the All-American crusade against crime!”

Universal studios brought a variety of licensed proprieties to the big screen for serials. Gang Busters was a popular radio program that told tales of unsolved crimes in the hopes that someone out there listening might be able to help solve it. It was sort of a early version of Unsolved Mysteries. When Universal made it into a thrilling action serial, they only kept the name.

Gang Busters (1942) is a crime story. A series of strange crimes have been committed across the city and it’s up to police detectives Bill Bannister (Kent Taylor) and Tim Nolan (Robert Armstrong) to solve the case. It turns out that they are fighting against the The League of Murdered Men. Ralph Morgan is the evil Professor Mortis, the leader of the League.

Considered by many critics to be one of Universal’s best serials, this is a fun, thrilling, action-packed movie. It was a hit for Universal and they would recycle several of the action scenes from the movie into later serials to save money.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.