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Captain America (1944)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 5 February 1944 (USA)
Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain called The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations.

Writers:

Royal K. Cole (original screenplay) (as Royal Cole), Ronald Davidson (original screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Purcell ... Captain America / Grant Gardner
Lorna Gray ... Gail Richards
Lionel Atwill ... Cyrus Maldor
Charles Trowbridge ... Dryden
Russell Hicks ... Randolph
George J. Lewis ... Bart Matson
John Davidson ... Gruber
Norman Nesbitt Norman Nesbitt ... Newscaster
Frank Reicher ... Lyman [Ch. 1]
Hugh Sothern ... Eldon Dodge [Chs. 2-5]
Tom Chatterton ... J.C. Henley [Chs. 6-8]
Robert Frazer ... Clinton Lyman [Chs. 10-12]
John Hamilton ... G.F. Hillman [Chs. 13-14]
Crane Whitley Crane Whitley ... Dirk [Chs. 11-12]
Edward Keane ... Agent 33 [Ch. 15]
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Storyline

Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain called The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BLAZING ACROSS THE SCREEN IN A SERIAL OF REAL LIFE ADVENTURES! (original print ad-all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of Captain America See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$222,906 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 chapters)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a 1974 magazine interview, Lorna Gray (I) said there was a trident shield early in production, which was very heavy and difficult to use. Stuntman Dale Van Sickel injured another stuntman when he accidentally hit him in the face with it. Gray that one of the strips on the shield kept coming apart, so the studio just discontinued using it. See more »

Goofs

The Mayan Treasure Map was described as being on two halves of a copper plate. But in the foreword in chapter 14 it is described as being on a bronze plaque. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Scarab: This is the voice of the Scarab, Wilson. I command you to drive your car over the cliff!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad: TwiGH School Musical/Avenger Time (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Any resemblance to source material purely coincidental.
10 July 2005 | by redryan64See all my reviews

There have been countless film adaptations of comic strip, comic book and pulp magazine adventures. This has been true for the last 60 years or so. Hence, we have seen FLASH GORDON,BUCK ROGERS,TIM TYLER'S LUCK, JUNGLE JIM,THE SHADOW,THE SPIDER,SUPERMAN,CAPTAIN MARVEL,BATMAN and even such minor leaguers as CONGO BILL,TEX GRANGER and THE VIGILANTE (among many others)were seen on the silver screen matinée bill.

In the 30's,40's and 50's most of these were not produced as feature films, but rather in the form of the serial, AKA the chapter-play or cliffhanger. This was before the arrival of Television as the dominant media. All of the studios involved in sound serials at the time (Republic, Universal and Columbia)acquired rights to do some of these features as part of their serial output.

In 1944 Republic brought us the adventures of CAPTAIN America. One can only imagine that the juvenile audience of that time were highly excited in the expectation of CAPTAIN America being on the screen, as well in comic books published by Timley Publications (later known as Atlas and still later Marvel Comics).

Indeed, CAPTAIN America was the first Timley/Atlas/Marvel feature to be so adapted, but what happened? We all knew that C.A. was in reality Army Private Steve Rogers, a former 4F recruit who was transformed into a man of great physical power and physique (tho not super powered).Steve Rogers was to be the proto type, the first of an army of former 4F's. He had been a sort of human guinea pig for a kind of super vitamin injected into him (later accounts said a pill was used), in order to make him into the type of red-blooded fighting man we needed for World War II. (Did this foreshadow the emergence of anabolic steroids two decades later?) He wore a colorful costume, based on the American Flag. He had a juvenile assistant,"Bucky" (Bucky Barnes),who was much like Batman's Robin. He sported a shield, which functioned as a sort of giant boomerang-like weapon, as well as affording protection against enemy fire power.

He fought the Axis agents, 5th Column Sabateurs and soldiers from Nazi Germany,Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. He actually existed because of WWII, and other than the familiar figure of Uncle Sam on the recruiting posters or maybe Lady Columbia, no symbol was more representative of the USA than Captain America.

So, what of the serial from Republic? Other than the title, there is very little in common with the comic page version. His identity in the film is District Attorney Grant Gardner. He has no connection to the military.He had no Bucky, no wings on cowl and a plain .38 caliber pistol instead of the multi-purpose shield. For that matter, you'd think that there was no war going on in this story line.

This might have been okay as a serial if it was made in the pre-war years. It really should have been given a different title.


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