Old Movies That Had Their "Roots" in OTR

Several old-time movies were based on characters in or episodes of various old-time radio shows. Some of the movies were "singles", the others serials. Here is a list of some of them.

Radio ShowMovie Title
Amos 'n' AndyCheck and Double Check
BatmanBatman (Columbia, 1943) w/ Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft
Batman & Robin (Columbia, 1949) w/ Robert Lowery & Johnny Duncan
Bergen & McCarthyCharlie McCarthy, Detective
Big TownBig Town After Dark
I Cover Big Town
Buck RogersBuck Rogers (Universal, 1939) w/ Buster Crabbe
Captain MidnightCaptain Midnight (Columbia, 1942) w/ Dave O'Brien
ChanduReturn of Chandu (Principal, 1934) w/ Bela Lugosi
Charlie ChanCharlie Chan ...
Chick Carter, DetectiveChick Carter, Detective (Columbia, 1946) w/ Lyle Talbot
Crime DoctorCrime Doctor's Strongest Case
Crime Doctor's Warning
Dick TracyDick Tracy (Republic, 1937) w/ Ralph Byrd
Dick Tracy Returns (Republic, 1938) w/ Ralph Byrd
Dick Tracy's G-Men (Republic, 1939) w/ Ralph Byrd
Dick Tracy vs Crime, Inc. (Republic, 1941) w/ Ralph Byrd
Don Winslow of the NavyDon Winslow of the Navy (Universal, 1942) w/ Don Terry
Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (Universal, 1943) w/ Don Terry
Fat Man, TheThe Fat Man
Fibber McGee & MollyHeavenly Days
Here We Go Again
Look Who's Laughing
Flash GordonFlash Gordon (Universal, 1936) w/ Buster Crabbe
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (Universal, 1938) w/ Buster Crabbe
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (Universal, 1940) w/ Buster Crabbe
Fu Manchu (The Collier Hour, The Shadow of Fu Manchu)Drums of Fu Manchu (Republic, 1940) w/ Henry Brandon
GangbustersGang Busters (Universal, 1942) w/ Kent Taylor
Gene Autry Show, TheSeveral Gene Autry movies
Great Gildersleeve, TheThe Great Gildersleeve
Gildersleeve's Bad Day
Gildersleeve on Broadway
Gildersleeve's Ghost
Goldbergs, TheMolly
Green Hornet, TheThe Green Hornet (Universal, 1940) w/ Gordon Jones
The Green Hornet Strikes Again (Universal, 1940) w/ Warren Hull
Henry Aldrich FamilyHenry Aldrich, Editor
Hop HarriganHop Harrigan (Columbia, 1946) w/ William Bakewell
Hopalong CassidySeveral Hopalong Cassidy movies with Bill Boyd
I Love a MysteryThe Devil's Mask
I Love a Mystery
The Unknown
Jack ArmstrongJack Armstron (Columbia, 1946) w/ John Hart
Jack Benny Buck Benny Rides Again
The Horn Blows at Midnight
Jack Benny & Fred Allen Love Thy Neighbor
Jungle JimJungle Jim (Universal, 1937) w/ Grant Withers
Lone Ranger, TheThe Lone Ranger (Republic, 1938) w/ Lee Powell
The Lone Ranger Rides Again (Republic, 1939) w/ Bob Livingston
The Lone Ranger (Warner Bros, 1956)
The Legend of the Lone Ranger - ITC/Wrather Productions, 1981
Lum and Abner Dreaming Out Loud
Goin' To Town
Lum & Abner Abroad
Partners in Time
So This Is Washington
The Bashful Bachelor
Two Weeks To Live
Mandrake the MagicianMandrake the Magician
Our Miss BrooksOur Miss Brooks
Ozzie and Harriet Here Come the Nelsons
Red RyderAdventures of Red Ryder (Republic, 1940) w/ Don "Red" Barry
Red Ryder series (1944-1947) starring Bill Elliott and Allan "Rocky" Lane.
Rin Tin Tin Rin Tin Tin
Sea Hound, TheThe Sea Hound (Columbia, 1947) w/ Buster Crabbe
Sam SpadeThe Maltese Falcon movies (1930 and 1941) predated the radio show (1946).
Shadow, TheThe Shadow (Columbia, 1940) w/ Victor Jory
Smilin' JackAdventures of Smilin' Jack (Universal, 1943) w/ Tom Brown
Story of Dr Kildare, The '49 - '53Dr Kildare (MGM,1938-47)
Roy RogersSeveral movies
SupermanSuperman (Columbia, 1948) w/ Kirk Alyn
Atom Man vs Superman (Columbia, 1950) w/ Kirk Alyn
TarzanTarzan, the Fearless (Principal, 1933) w/ Buster Crabbe
New Adventures of Tarzan (Dearholt, 1935) w/ Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett)
Tarzan series with Johnny Weismuller (MGM & RKO)
Terry & The PiratesTerry and the Pirates (Columbia, 1940) w/ William Tracy

Here is a partial list of fictional detectives that appeared in both OTR and old time movies:
  • Boston Blackie
  • Dick Tracy
  • Ellery Queen
  • Falcon, The
  • John J. Malone
  • Michael Shayne
  • Nero Wolfe
  • Philip Marlowe
  • Philo Vance
  • Saint, The
  • Shadow, The
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Thin Man, The

Thanks to Pete Greco (pgreco@ix.netcom.com) and Chuck Anderson (AndersonCK@aol.com) for most of the material!