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original film frames from the 9.5mm Pathéscope release)

T.9758 (6 reel 9.5mm sound release by Pathéscope October 1955) 
"CRASHING THRU"                    USA 1939   Director: Elmer Clifton
-------------------                    A Criterion Pictures Production
65mins B/W Cert "U"                    Produced by: Philip N. Krasne
(Approx 50mins on 9.5)        
Western                                Distributed by: Monogram
Screenplay by: Sherman Lowe
Based on "Renfrew Rides The Range" (1935) by: Laurie York Erskine
Songs by: Betty Laidlaw & Robert Lively, Jack Brooks & Jules Loman
Photographed by: Eddie Linden
Assistant Director: Herman E. Webber   Film Editor: Roy Luby
        James Newill ............ Sergeant Renfrew
        Warren Hull ............. Constable Kelly
        Jean Carmen ............. Ann Miller 
        Milburn Stone ........... Harrington
        Walter Byron ............ McClasky
        Stanley Blystone ........ LaMonte
        Dave O'Brian ............ Fred
        Robert Frazier .......... Dexter
        Joseph Girard ........... Captain
        Earl Douglas ............ Slant Eye
        Ted Adams ............... Eskimo Pete
        Roy Barcroft ............ Green
        Iron Eyes Cody .......... 
        Horace Murphy ........... 
        Wally West .............. 
        Harry Semels ............ 

Mounties Renfrew and Kelly are returning to their post on a riverboat when a gang loots the gold shipment aboard. The robbers double cross each other and Kelly is badly wounded in the ensuing chase. Renfrew continues the pursuit and tracks down a crooked mine owner who has cheated the heroine out of the property. (Maurice Trace - 9.5mm sound film catalogue)

A freighter carrying the Harrington Mining Company's gold shipment upriver is ambushed by bandits who steal the precious cargo while Sergeant Renfrew and Constable Kelly are locked in the ship's hold. When the Mounties break out, they discover that the robbery is part of a much, larger conspiracy. Following the trail of the thieves, Renfrew and Kelly are caught in a shoot-out that leaves the constable critically wounded and fighting for his life. Now, Sergeant Renfrew must fight the thugs alone.

The Renfrew of the Royal Mounted series lasted through eight exciting, scenic Canadian adventures. Jim Newill stars as Sergeant Renfrew, who adds an occasional operatic voice to his hard-riding, hard-hitting bravado. His is ably assisted here by his partner, Constable Kelly, played by Warren Hull. "Crashing Thru" (1938) was the fourth action packed installment, but in the very next Renfrew film the role of Kelly was given to Dave O'Brien, already seen on the series as an extra, who carried on the part for the remaining four Royal Mounted films. In 1942, Newill and O'Brien re-teamed in the first of the fifteen popular Texas Ranger films. - Ed Hulse (

Pathéscope Gazette magazine Oct/Nov 1955


     1. Douglas Renfrew is a character created by Laurie Yorke Erskine in 1922 and featured in books
         and on radio for many years. There was also a syndicated newspaper comic strip. Renfrew, a
         former Royal Flying Corps officer, joined the Mounties and became the hero of ten novels and
         seventeen short stories. In 1937 Criterion Pictures starred James Newill in a film series
         which ran to eight titles. Grand National released the first two but when that company folded,
         Monogram took up the rights. "Crashing Thru" was the first of the Monogram Six - three others
         are also on 9.5mm sound.
     2. During the fifties a Renfrew TV series was made. There were 13 episodes with Newill again in 
         the lead and footage from the cinema films ws widely utilised.
     3. Songs include "Mounted Men" (sung over the credits), "Crimson Sunset" and "Easy On The Eyes" - 
         all performed by James Newill. The last song is missing from the Pathéscope print.        
     4. Renfrew's sidekick, Constable Kelly, is played here for the only time by Warren Hull. In 
         later movies, the part went to Dave O'Brian, who in "Crashing Thru" portrays the heroine's
         brother. In the second film of the series ("Renfrew On The Great White Trail"), Robert 
         Terry had a similar role as Sergeant Kelly. Warren Hull returned to the series for a
         support role in "Yukon Flight". 

     5. The film is not to be confused with the 1949 "Crashing Thru", another Monogram western, but
         this time with Whip Wilson and Andy Clyde. 

     6. Jean Carmen also played under the name of Julia Thayer.
     7. The excellent horse-fall for the hero towards the end was doubled by top stuntman David Sharpe.
     8, Elmer Clifton had been a distinguished actor in silent films, starting in 1914 with "John
         Barleycorn". He also had good roles in D.W. Griffith movies "The Birth Of A Nation" (1915)
         and "Intolerance" (1916). Clifton's directing career began in 1917 ("Her Official Fathers"
         starring Dorothy Gish). With the coming of sound he mainly made cheap Westerns. Elmer died
         in 1950, shortly before starting work on "The Vicious Years".
     9. Iron Eyes Cody played Indians (good and bad) in many Westerns of the Thirties and Forties.
         In the Seventies he was portrayed as a prominent Native American in some famous "Keep
         America Beautiful|" public service adverts when he sheds a tear on seeing a polluted river.
         However it now appears all is not what it seems - Iron Eyes was not an Oklahoma-born 
         Cherokee as claimed, but one Espera De Corti - the son of Italian immigrants!
    10. Four of the "Renfrew Of The Mounties" series were released on 9.5mm sound in the UK by
         Pathéscope. The other titles were: "Fighting Mad", "Murder On The Yukon" & "Sky Bandits".
         In fact they had announced a fifth "Yukon Flight" but this was never released on 9.5mm.
(Info edited from gln, Maurice Trace & the film main titles)       30.06.2016

Watch "Crashing Thru" on YouTube:


Available in USA on Alpha DVD (Region 0 - so playable everywhere)


Created 30Jun2016 ...... Last updated: 03 July 2016 ...... 95flmcatt9758.htm ......©MMX1V Grahame L. Newnham