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Tom's association with Victory was brief, and Katzman replaced him with Tim McCoy, a western star with a bigger name who was on the downhill side of his career.

But Victory Pictures would soon fold, and Katzman would join Monogram where he brought us the East Side Kids (who later became the Bowery Boys) and various other programmers.  In the mid 1940s, Sam went to work for Columbia, producing the JUNGLE JIM series and a bunch of chapterplays.  Katzman, who passed away in 1973, was a prolific producer of B grade films, and during the 1950s and 1960s, he did various sci-fi and rock 'n' roll features.

Back to Tom Tyler.  When no other starring work was offered, Tyler toured with the Wallace Brothers Circus in 1937. Apparently, circus life was not pleasant for proud Tom, for he had done some remarkably good screen work such as playing sympathetic baddie 'Sundown Saunders' in RKO's all-star POWDERSMOKE RANGE (RKO, 1935), a Three Mesquiteers story with Harry Carey, Bob Steele, Hoot Gibson, and many other cowboy well-knowns.  And a similar bad-guy role followed in THE LAST OUTLAW (RKO, 1936), again with Carey and Hooter.

But things would change ... for the better.

In the role of 'Luke Plummer', Tom was the perfect steely-eyed foil for rifle totin' John Wayne in the epic STAGECOACH (1939), and his saloon death scene is a classic.

His talents and availability brought some more supporting roles and bit parts in DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939), GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), CHEROKEE STRIP (1940), THE WESTERNER (1940), and the Abbott and Costello comedy, BUCK PRIVATES (1941). Tyler even portrayed 'Kharis', the gauze wrapped Egyptian mummy, in Universal's THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940).

Unable to complete negotiations for screen rights to Superman, Republic's cliffhanger organization secured the rights to another comic superhero, Captain Marvel.

In his late thirties, but still of slim waist and muscular physique, Tyler was contracted to portray the titled crusader at $250 per week for four weeks work.

Released in 1941, (THE ADVENTURES OF) CAPTAIN MARVEL represents one of Republic's finest achievements with excellent direction from William Witney and John English, astonishing special effects (at least for 1941), and spectacular stuntwork from Dave Sharpe who was doubling Tyler.

(From Old Corral collection)

Tyler with a pair of sixguns and a steely eyed stance as good / bad gunslinger 'Sundown Saunders' in RKO's POWDERSMOKE RANGE (RKO, 1935).

Above - screen capture of Joe Rickson, Vester Pegg, and Tom Tyler as the Plummer brothers ... in the saloon ... having some alcohol refreshments to soothe their nerves ... and waiting for the 'Ringo Kid' to show up in director John Ford's STAGECOACH (United Artists, 1939).

(Courtesy of Calvin Castine)

1937 was a significant year for TOM TYLER. He and actress Jeanne Martel married in September, 1937. And after wrapping up his eight film series for Sam Katzman's Victory Pictures, Tom signed on with the Wallace Brothers circus and tradepapers indicate his first appearance with the show was in Tomahawk, Wisconsin in July, 1937. Above are Tom and his trusty palomino during his Wallace Bros. tour in 1937.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Tyler as 'Kharis' in THE MUMMY'S HAND (Universal, 1940).

(From Old Corral collection)
Left - Gene Autry and Tyler (in his Captain Marvel costume) on the Republic backlot.

On the far left is director Lew Landers (real name: Lewis Friedlander). Note the height of Tyler.

Below - publicity still of Tyler as Captain Marvel.

(From Old Corral collection)

Captain Marvel first appeared in WHIZ COMICS #1 (1940) which was published by Fawcett. Captain Marvel is owned and copyrighted © by DC Comics Inc., 1700 Broadway, 7th Fl., New York, NY, and information on DC Comics and the Captain Marvel character is available at the DC Comics website:

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