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Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Action, Crime  |  13 December 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 153 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 5 critic

A mad scientist plots the domination of America and only the masked hero, The Copperhead, can stop him.


(original screenplay) (as Franklyn Adreon) , (original screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Doctor Satan (as Edward Ciannelli)
Bob Wayne / 'Copperhead'
William Newell ...
Speed Martin
C. Montague Shaw ...
Prof. Thomas Scott
Ella Neal ...
Lois Scott
Dorothy Herbert ...
Charles Trowbridge ...
Gov. Bronson [Ch. 1]
Police Chief Rand [Chs. 1, 4, 13]
Edwin Stanley ...
Col. Bevans
Joe McGuinn ...
Corbay [Ch. 1]
Archie Twitchell ...
Lynton Brent ...


A mad scientist named Dr. Satan plots to steal key pieces of technolgy to enable him to build an army of robots based on his prototype to conquer America. The only one standing in his way is Bob Wayne, who fights Satan as the enigmatic Copperhead. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CRAZED WITH THE LUST TO KILL! A power-mad maniac unleashes a lightning attack on an unsuspecting nation...And finds the Copperhaed thirsting for revenge! (original poster)


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Satan's Robot  »

Box Office


$147,381 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(15 episodes) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chapter Titles: 1. Return of the Copperhead 2. Thirteen Steps 3. Undersea Bomb 4. The Human Bomb 5. Doctor Satan's Man of Steel 6. Double Cross 7. The Monster Strikes 8. Highway of Death 9. Double Jeopardy 10. Bridge of Peril 11. Death Closes In 12. Crack-Up 13. Disguised 14. The Flaming Coffin 15. Doctor Satan Strikes See more »


Chapter thirteen: Bob is flying directly at Superstition Peak, bails out over an open field, yet the plane crashes into the Peak. See more »


Prof. Thomas Scott: Dr. Satan! What do you want with me?
Doctor Satan: I want a complete set of plans for your remote-control cell. If you care to be reasonable in the matter, you'll be handsomely rewarded.
Prof. Thomas Scott: I refuse to give them to you at any price!
Doctor Satan: You're testing that invention tonight on Turner's yacht. Your daughter is aboard that yacht. My men have wired explosives into the fuel tanks. The fuse is connected with the speed indicator. When the boat attains a speed of 25 knots, those charges will be fired.
Prof. Thomas Scott: I don't believe it! ...
See more »


Edited into Dr. Satan's Robot (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

If you never see another serial, be sure to screen this one!
22 August 2002 | by (Cary, North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Growing up in the 50's, I got to see the great--and not so great--cliffhangers every weekend (for only 10 cents!). King of the Rocketmen was always a fantastic hero, with his legendary flying suit. BUT that was before I got to see the Copperhead battle Dr. Satan on television every Sunday morning. This is one of the most well constructed serials that Republic ever produced. Cianelli, as Dr. Satan, is a consummate villain, one who has no vague motivations--this guy is evil from the word "go". Robert Wilcox as hero Bob Wayne is EXTREMELY capable in the role. Not only can he act--something very difficult with terse, action dominated serial scripts--but he is a fine athlete. Some of the acrobatic leaps and takedowns are the best ever put on film. The plot hangs together nicely, something that is unusual in 4 hour long marathons. But what really puts the icing on the cake is the terrific variety of cliffhanger chapter endings that Republic has employed in this serial. They are all superbly done, with plausible escapes that don't insult the viewer's intelligence. In fact, many of these were used in later serials as stock footage in order to save money (a real strength at Republic). Crisp, snappy direction by Witney and English puts the cap on a GREAT serial.

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