Badass Digest has dug up the very first appearance of Buck Rogers on the movie screen in a short film produced for the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair that you can now view in all its rough-hewn glory.
Here we see Doctor Huer, musing at some (interminable) length about the mystery behind the attack of the Tiger Men of Mars.
I think there may be a couple of mistakes in the accompanying text – for example, the Just Imagine rocket ship was reused in the Flash Gordon serials, and I can’t think of any sets or miniatures from that film that showed up in Buck Rogers. Though admittedly, I might also be wrong. It’s certainly true that all of these serials recycled some of the same sets and costumes that were warehoused and rented out after the collapse of the silent epics of the twenties.
It’s the space battle that really stands out here: I was amused to find the same grinding propeller sound effects for the rockets that we heard a few years later in the serial – or was that Doctor Huer’s cosmic television tuner? – but all in all they didn’t do badly for a low budget effort from 1933.
[tags]buck rogers in the 25th century, film, serial, chicago worlds fair, science fiction[/tags]