The Vanishing Legion

A History of Mascot Pictures, 1927–1935


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About the Book

This beautifully written book is a definitive record of the players and productions of a film company that specialized in chapter plays and “B” movies and that became highly influential in winning an ever-widening public for the kind of films it innovated such as the musical Western. Cinema history at its best—written with careful attention to detail, and based on thorough research and exhaustive personal interviews—The Vanishing Legion offers critical treatment of every serial and feature produced by Mascot during its nine years of operation. Tom Mix, Gene Autry, John Wayne, Rin-Tin-Tin and other Western heroes ride and bark again through the pages of this fascinating book.
Appendices list cast and technical credits (plus chapter titles) for all Mascot serials and features. Comprehensive index. Several dozen seldom- or never-seen ads and stills are reproduced.

About the Author(s)

Jon Tuska is the author of numerous books on film history and American culture. In 1969–1971 he produced “They Went Thataway,” a series of ten half-hour programs on the American Western cinema. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Bibliographic Details

Jon Tuska
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, index
Copyright Date: 1999 [1982]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0749-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      vii

1. The Lurking Peril      1

2. The Gambler      8

3. The Voice Speaks      24

4. The Lightning Warrior      41

5. Painted Faces      53

[16 pages of plates, 57-72]

6. Shieks in Bedlam      83

7. The Lost Jungle      98

8. Laughing at Life      106

9. Mystery Mountain      121

[16 pages of plates, 137-152]

10. Miracles and Music      156

11. Tom Mix Rides Again      168

12. The End of the Trail      180

Appendix I: The Mascot Serials      191

Appendix II: The Mascot Features      201

Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

“lively and informative…fine collection of stills…recommended”—Choice; “enticing”—Booklist; “a valuable record”—Classic Images; “Jon Tuska has written an insightful, detailed history of Mascot Pictures…for the true fan of movie serials, this book is sure to thrill you right to the very end!”—; “a definitive record…elaborate appendices”—Film & History; “the definitive work on Mascot Pictures”—Cliffhanger; “interesting and informative…well worth reading”—Wrangler’s Roost; “very compelling…important for its history of a generally overlooked part of the filmmaking story…get this book”—Nostalgia Westerns; “the definitive work on Mascot Pictures in paperback. If you are a serial buff or a fan of the B movies of the smaller studios, this book should be in your library”—Under Western Skies; “a fresh perspective”—The Silents Majority On-Line Journal; “earnest, brave, and informative…a healthy antidote for those who have long tired of the wholesale whitewash so often daubed onto western films’ lore…a completely absorbing work.”—American Classic Screen.