The past week in the Prozac Nation has seen its share of strange happenings. Nazis complaining of censorship and persecution; Manospherians defending divorce and domestic violence against Christians; and citizens running terrified from people in clown suits. Always in America; something new and novel, but never predictable.
Add into the mix the depressing 2016 Elections and Obama's humiliating defeat in the Middle East; and what we men and women of goodwill really need for a weekend's entertainment recommendation is a healthy dose of brain bleach. Watching good men doing good things; with loveable heroines, plenty of adventure, and great and engaging story. So we have found such a choice: a little-known, but exceptionally good film serial from 1944 called The Great Alaskan Mystery.
The Great Alaskan Mystery was produced by Universal Studios in 13 chapters. It is a remarkable production in that it has a non-formula plot, well-drawn characters, a few back-stories, and is free from the repetitiveness that hampers many serials. What makes it unique is the back-story, which we will describe presently, which causes the plot to be driven more by the villains' intrigues than anything else. Such is the way things often work in real life.
The story's hero is Jim Hudson, recently discharged from the Marine Corps after being wounded and decorated for valor at Guadalcanal. Hudson returns home to Seattle (yes, that city once produced war heroes) to marry his sweetheart (yes, that city once had heterosexuals living there). Hudson's girlfriend is a vivacious brunette named Ruth Miller. Her widowed father, who's had to raise her alone is a Professor of Physics who is working on a secret machine he calls the Paratron. The Paratron is designed to carry physical objects via light-waves.
Dr. Miller is searching for a particular radioactive ore strong enough to make the Paratron work. But unbeknownst to him, his assistant, Dr. Hauss, is a Gestapo agent who has been passing on Miller's to the Nazis. The Nazis are working on a project of their own from these copies---and have discovered its secret. However, the ore required to make the Paratron work is a rare element found only in Alaska. So they enlist some traitors and Nazi sympathizers in Alaska to steal the ore from a mine owned by Hudson's father and smuggle it to Germany.
After Hudson foils an attempt to steal the Paratron, he suggests that the Millers accompany him to his father's place in Alaska where Dr. Miller can work on the Paratron unmolested. The Nazis believe that they have discovered the ore and their criminal activities---and so the fun begins. The story unfolds as a mystery as well as an adventure, as Hudson sets out to discover who is after the Paratron and why.
Hudson's character is a great study in the type of American men who typified the 1940s. As we might expect from a 1940s ex-Marine who survived Guadalcanal, Hudson is fearless, determined, and with a strong sense of duty and the ability to think on his feet. His toughness is softened and his good character really brought out by his love interest, Ruth. Ruth's character is very typical of an average American girl of the 1940s. Always supportive and standing by her man, in one episode she risks her life to search for missing Hudson during an Alaska blizzard.
The Great Alaskan Mystery is 4 1/2 hours of unalloyed enjoyment guaranteed to cleanse the toxic effects of exposure to postmodernist cultural rot from the human brain (a use for the Paratron that its inventors hadn't foreseen). The series is available free on Youtube and Dailymotion, although the DVD has a better quality download. As an interesting side note, the actor who played Jim Hudson was more famous in his 'Golden Years' portraying the equally heroic and duty-bound town doctor on television's Gunsmoke.