Hop Harrigan (1946)

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Like Captain Midnight before him, Hop Harrigan came to the serial screens courtesy of Columbia Pictures; and, also like the captain, Harrigan had appeared in both radio and the pages of comic strips before becoming a screen star in the guise of fresh-faced William Bakewell. But there the similarity ended; whereas Captain Midnight had been a uniformed super-crusader, Hop was merely an ex-serviceman, just like so many of his fans. Along with pudgy Tank Tinker (Sumner Getchell) and pretty Gail Nolan (Jennifer Holt), Hop attempts to rescue an eccentric inventor, Dr. Tobor (John Merton), from a gang headed by the mysterious Chief Pilot. As it turns out, Dr. Tobor is not quite sane and plans to destroy the world with his newest invention, and only Hop and his friends stand in the way. It might have taken them 14 chapters to get there, but in the 15th and final chapter, grandly entitled "The Fate of the World," Hop and company get rid of the insane professor once and for all. Leading lady Jennifer Holt, one of the prettiest B-film ingénues of the 1940s, was the daughter of action star Jack Holt.