Desert Hawk (1944)

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Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein

A 15 chapter Columbia serial, The Desert Hawk employed camels instead of horses and bedouins rather than cowboys, but remained a "Western" at heart. Gilbert Roland played Kasim, the honorable Caliph of Abad who is kidnapped by his evil identical twin, Hasson (also Roland). Kasim manages to get away from his captors and returns to the capital, where his brother now rules in his name. To regain the throne, the frustrated former Caliph assumes the identity of The Desert Hawk, finding an ally along the way in Hasson's bride-to-be, Princess Azala (Mona Maris) . Well-known serial villain Frank Lackteen, who hailed from Lebanon in the Middle East, played Faud, one of Hasson's henchmen. A rare visitor to the serial genre, Gilbert Roland had assumed the dual role of Kasim and Hasson when the serial's original leading man, Western star James Ellison, suffered an accident while filming episode one, "The Twin Brothers."