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El Shaitan is a fictional character in ("The Three Musketeers") 1933 series. An Arab terrorist, he plots against the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. He was portrayed by Robert Frazer.

Character Edit

El Shaitan (named after The Devil in the Qu'ran) is nicknamed the Devil of the Desert,[1][2] a human vulture who plots death and destructive schemes[3]. He plots a conspiracy against local French authorities, and as an evil mastemind he has an army of accomplices, a secret society, a merciless desert cult[4] and a rendezvous place called Devil's Circle, where all his lieutanants gather after they hear the Drumms of El Shaitan.[5] He builds his power on violence and dread, so people are frightened even to spell his name, and that one who violates El Shaitan's order will die as quickly as he opens his mouth. El Shaitan kills Armand Corday just as Tom Wayne arrives to confront him.[6] His ordinary methods include intimidation, blackmail, planting evidences, etc.

Nobody knows his real identity, because nobody sees his face, so Tom Wayne and his friends oftenly mistakenly recognize him in other prominent figures: El Kadur, local noble Arab and Colonel Duval, FFL Regiment Commander. At first, even Tom Wayne was suspected to be El Shaitan, after Armand Corday's mysterious death and gun running incident. Finally it turns out that even local government officials were involved in his net, and under the name El Shaitan acted Major Booth from U.S. Secret Service, who tries to destroy the French Foreign Legion. His evil plans are foiled by lieutanant Tom Wayne, and his sidekicks, Clancy, Renard and Schmidt.

Trivia Edit

  • The voice of El Shaitan was supplied by Wilfred Lucas (uncredited).
  • El Shaitan is impersonated by Yakima Canutt, Robert Frazer, and Gordon De Main — who all have other roles - and by Wilfred Lucas[6].
  • In fact, the dubbing was so much improved, it was used to further obfuscate the real identity of El Shaitan[8]
  • Robert Frazer, who played Major Booth in the cast, posed for all the lobby cards in the El Shaitan outfit and in the course of the serial both Frazer and Gordon De Main, portraying Colonel Duval, would occasionally disguise themselves as El Shaitan[8].
  • Robert Frazer was a master at keeping the audience guessing with his glowering expressions and menacing voice[9].
  • Arabs are seen in The Three Musketeers as the North African equivalent to American Indians, a people incapable of self-government. And anyone who inflamed anticolonial sentiments was exactly what the name El Shaitan imlied - "the Devil"[10].

Sources for further reading Edit

  • Alan G. Barbour "Days of thrills and adventure". London : Macmillan, 1970 - 168 p. OCLC Number: 213796582 (Pages 12,151)
  • (French) "Ecran", № 65–69, 1978. Paris : Editions de l'Atlante, 1978. Periodical. OCLC Number: 3265542 (Page 27)
  • William K. Everson "The bad guys: a pictorial history of the movie villain". New York : Citadel Press, 1964 - 241 p. OCLC Number: 224853072 (Pages 45,162)
  • Anthony L. Fletcher "Don't Dare Miss the Next Thrilling Chapter" Mill City Press, Inc., 2009 - 256 p. ISBN 193610718X, 9781936107186 (Page 145)
  • John Howard Reid "Best Western Movies: Winning Pictures, Favorite Films and Hollywood "B" Entries". Morrisville, NC : Lulu Press, 2006 - 240 p. ISBN 1847281818, 9781847281814 (Pages 174,175)
  • Views & reviews, vol. 3–5. Milwaukee, Wisc.: Views & Reviews Productions, 1971. Periodical. ISSN: 0042-5923 (Pages 61,62,66,84)
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References Edit

  1. Ken Weiss, Edwin Goodgold "To be continued ...", NY: Bonanza Books, 1972 - 341 p. ISBN 0517166259 9780517166253 (P.43)
  2. Buck Rainey "Serial film stars: a biographical dictionary, 1912-1956" McFarland, 2005 - 851 p. ISBN 0786420103, 9780786420100 (Page 542)
  3. Mark Ricci, Boris Zmijewsky, Steve Zmijewsky "The films of John Wayne". New York : Citadel Press, 1970 - 285 p. ISBN 0806502223, 9780806502229 (Page 53)
  4. Jim Harmon, Donald F. Glut "The great movie serials: their sound and fury"‎, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1972 - 384 p. ISBN 038509079X 9780385090797 (p.326)
  5. Jack G. Shaheen "Reel bad Arabs: how Hollywood vilifies a people", NY: Olive Branch Press, 2001 - 574 p. ISBN 1566563887, 9781566563888‎ (P.488)
  6. 6.0 6.1 George Turner, Michael H. Price "Forgotten horrors: early talkie chillers from Poverty Row". A. S. Barnes, 1979 - 216 p. ISBN 049802136X, 9780498021367 (Page 86,87)
  7. Jon Tuska "A variable harvest: essays and reviews of film and literature". McFarland & Co., 1990 - 371 p. ISBN 089950454X, 9780899504544 (Page 100)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jon Tuska "The Vanishing Legion" - 1999 - Performing Arts. ISBN 0-7864-0749-2 (page 94)
  9. William C. Cline "In the nick of time: motion picture sound serials". McFarland, 1997 - 281 p. ISBN 078640471X, 9780786404711 (Page 143)
  10. Randy Roberts, James Stuart Olson "John Wayne: American". University of Nebraska Press, 1997 - 738 p. ISBN 0803289707, 9780803289703 (Page 111)

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