Combustible Celluloid
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With: Gene Autry, Frankie Darro, Betsy King Ross, Dorothy Christy, Wheeler Oakman, Charles K. French, Warner Richmond, Frank Glendon, Lester 'Smiley' Burnett, William Moore, Edward Peil Sr., Jack Carlyle
Written by: Wallace MacDonald, Gerald Geraghty, Hy Freedman, John Rathmell, Armand Schaefer
Directed by: Otto Brower, B. Reeves Eason
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 240
Date: 02/23/1935

The Phantom Empire (1935)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Radium Days

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This bizarre sci-fi, Western, musical serial wavers between chintzy and spectacular. Gene Autry stars as Gene Autry, a signing cowboy who, along with his two young sidekicks, discovers an underground city, meets its queen, and clashes with a bad guy who wants the city's rich radium deposits. The acting is pretty awful, but the sets, costumes and robots (stolen from the 1933 film Dancing Lady) are spectacular. You have to admire the barrage of ideas that have been somehow collected into a single story. VCI Entertainment has released the film on a new 2008 DVD with several featurettes.

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