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(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from IN OLD SANTA FE (Mascot, 1934). Tarzan is prominently mentioned and also note the reference in the center to:
and
GENE AUTRY
"Cowboy Idol of the Air"



There were two more stops to make before really hitting the skids. The first was with producer Nat Levine and Mascot Pictures.

There, Maynard would do the feature IN OLD SANTA FE (Mascot, 1934) as well as MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934), a twelve chapter serial. Both are now remembered more as the debut films of Gene Autry (and his sidekick Lester Alvin 'Smiley' Burnette).  However, at the time they were made, Autry and Burnette were newcomers to the film business.

Levine knew that Ken Maynard was still a drawing card for the Saturday matinee crowd and his pay at Mascot for doing MYSTERY MOUNTAIN was big money, about $40,000 ($10,000 per week). Scuttlebutt was that Maynard was also under consideration as the star of another chapterplay being planned by Levine, THE PHANTOM EMPIRE.

But Maynard began meddling into production details, suggesting changes, etc., and there were temper tantrums and interludes of profanity ... and purportedly, a few minutes of Maynard's tirades on the set were filmed and shown to Levine. None of this endeared him to the thrifty boss/owner of Mascot. The end result --- Maynard was done at Mascot.

As to THE PHANTOM EMPIRE cliffhanger, Levine cast Autry in the lead and had Gene do a bunch of tunes from "Radio Ranch".  The antagonists were the underground civilization of Murania and it's "Thunder Riders".



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Jack Rockwell, H. B. Warner, William (Bill) McCall, Ken Maynard, Evalyn Knapp and Kenneth Thomson.  IN OLD SANTA FE (Mascot, 1934) was one of Ken Maynard's better westerns and he did sing ... I mean he lip synched. Ken was dubbed by none other than Bob Nolan of Sons Of The Pioneer fame. Just listen to the tune at the beginning of the film with Maynard ridin' Tarzan, strummin' on a guitar, and singing "... can't steal my heart .... as long as I have my dog ...".



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Maynard, Tarzan and George Hayes in IN OLD SANTA FE (Mascot, 1934). The film takes place on a dude ranch.  There's a superb horse race. Hayes, who plays Ken's sidekick 'Cactus', makes a bet with the no-goods and loses Tarzan to them. The director of IN OLD SANTA FE was David Howard (1896-1941). He co-directed two Mascot cliffhangers, MYSTERY SQUADRON (1933) and THE LOST JUNGLE (1934). But he's probably best remembered for his long association with muscular George O'Brien. Howard's first with O'Brien was THE RAINBOW TRAIL (Fox, 1932), the sequel to THE RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE. He and O'Brien collaborated on a total of 25 films, including George's last series western, TRIPLE JUSTICE (RKO, 1940). When O'Brien retired, Howard helmed the initial entries in the Tim Holt series at RKO.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Ken Maynard and Tarzan versus the 'Rattler' in the twelve chapter cliffhanger, MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934).  Above is the title lobby card for Chapter Two. Note the "with his Wonder Horse, Tarzan" billing which was commonplace in Maynard's films. The serial was directed by Otto Brower and B. Reeves "Breezy" Eason.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Syd Saylor, Ken Maynard and Verna Hillie in a scene from the cliffhanger MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934).



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