Republic, 1948. Directed by
Fred C. Brannon, Yakima Canutt. Camera: John MacBurnie. With
Clayton Moore, Roy Barcroft, Ramsay Ames, Gil Frye, Tom Steele, Dale Van
Sickel, Edmund Cobb, Stanley Price, Jack O'Shea, Barry Brooks, Douglas
Aylesworth, Frank O'Connor, Dian Fauntelle, Eddie Acuff, Ken Terrell, Robert
Baron, John Crawford, John Daheim, Arvon Dale, George Douglas, Duke Green,
James Lin, Carey Loftin, George Magrill, Tom McDonough, Tom Monroe, Gil
Perkins, Charles Regan, Matty Roubert, David Sharpe, Charles Sullivan, Glenn
Turner, Phil Warren, Russell Whitman, Robert J. Wilkie, Bud
"G-Men Never Forget" is another exciting
serial from the serial factory, Republic Pictures. It was
co-directed by Fred C. Brannon and veteran stunt man Yakima Canutt.
With Canutt directing the fight scenes, we get to see Republic's
stunt men performing at the top of their game.
This serial gives Republic's busiest villain, Roy Barcroft a dual
role, one on either side of the law. It also stars Clayton
Moore as G-Man Ted O'Hara just a year before he donned the mask of
The Lone Ranger for TV.
The story has racketeer Vic Murkland (Barcroft) escaping prison.
He goes to the Benson Sanitarium where his cohort Doc Benson
(Stanley Price) performs plastic surgery on his face to make him
look identical to Police Commissioner Cameron (Barcroft again).
Murkland's henchmen led by Duke Graham—played by Gil Frye (credited
as Drew Allen)—kidnap Cameron, allowing Murkland to take his place
at police headquarters. From there he directs his protection
Federal agent Ted O'Hara (Moore) has been trying to re-capture
Murkland but is unaware of Murkland's masquerade. Police
Sergeant Frances Blake (Ramsay Ames) is assigned to assist O'Hara.
After surviving the stock serial cliff hanger chapter endings,
O'Hara and Blake discover an information leak in the Commissioner's
Republic's three top stunt men, Tom Steele, Dale Van Sickel, and
David Sharpe are evident in all of the picture's action sequences—in
fact they appear in one or more small parts as Murkland henchmen.
As in most serials of the period, this one borrows heavily from
stock footage. For example, the tunnel sequence and the
motorcycle over the cliff sequence are taken from the 1939 serial
"Daredevils of the Red Circle." And yes, that shot of the edge
of a cliff just before the vehicle goes over is in there too.
And nobody could jump out of a speeding car or roll out of danger in
the nick of time better than Clayton Moore.
Others in the cast are Edmund Cobb as industrialist R.J. Cook, Jack
O'Shea as Benson's assistant, and Eddie Acuff as Fiddler the car
dealer. And watch for the brief early appearance of Robert J.
Wilke as a phony cop.
The official release date of G-Men Never Forget was January 31,
1948, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made
available to film exchanges. It was filmed between July
16 and August 7, 1947. The serial's production number was 1698.
G-Men Never Forget was one of twenty-six Republic serials
re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film
was changed to Code 645. This version was cut down to 100-minutes
01 - Death Rides the Torrent
02 - The Flaming Doll
03 - Code Six-Four-Five
04 - Shipyard Saboteurs
05 - The Dead Man Speaks
06 - Marked Money/Marked
07 - Hot Cargo
08 - The Fatal Letter
09 - The Death Wind
10 - The Innocent Victim
11 - Counter-Plot
12 - Exposed
Never Forget was budgeted at
$151,061 although the final negative
cost was $151,554 (a $493, or 0.3%,
overspend). It was the most
expensive Republic serial of 1948.