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Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Action, Crime  |  13 December 1940 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 152 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 5 critic

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

Writers:

(original screenplay) (as Franklyn Adreon) , (original screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Doctor Satan (as Edward Ciannelli)
Robert Wilcox ...
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]
Jack Mulhall ...
Police Chief Rand [Chs. 1, 4, 13]
Edwin Stanley ...
Col. Bevans
...
Stoner
Joe McGuinn ...
Gort
Bud Geary ...
Hallett
Paul Marion ...
Corbay [Ch. 1]
Archie Twitchell ...
Ross
Lynton Brent ...
Edit

Storyline

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 <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Satan's Robot  »

Box Office

Budget:

$147,381 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 episodes) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When this serial was being written, it was intended to be a series that utilized Superman as the main hero. The owners of Superman decided they didn't want to let the studio use the character. Instead of scraping the project altogether, the writers replaced Superman with a character of their own creation, called The Copperhead. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Edited into Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
All Copays are due at start of New Chapter
29 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

PLEASE CORRECT US if we are wrong, but if we're not mistaken, this is one of the very few stories, film or otherwise, which has the (Hiss!Boo!)Villain as the main character, being given top billing and having his name in the title. The only other ones that come to mind are those many novels and movies that feature Sax Rohmer's DR. FU MANCHU. (Hey, Schultz, since they're both Doctors, why not open a Practice together? Rememmber where you heard it first, friend reader!)

AS FOR THE story/screenplay/scenario, it has been said to have been a reworking of a script intended by Republic Pictures to be used for SUPERMAN'S Live Action screen debut of the Man of Steel. It seemed that Detective Comics,inc., Superman's copyright owners, for whatever reason balked at the idea of having that studio do the serial.*

THE 'GOOD' DR, Satan is as powerful and evil as he is mysterious. The casting of Italian-born , Opera Trained Actor Eduardo Cianelli, as the lead and villain extrodinaire is right up there with Universal Pictures bring us Charles B. Middleton as Emperor Ming, the Merciless in the three FLASH GORDON Serials.

IN THE PERSON of the Copperhead, we see a rather talented journeyman actor and sometimes Leading Man in some "B" Movies, Robert Wilcox. His portrayal of the very Batman-like masked crime fighter was excellent and quite believable. (His secret identity was even given as BOB WAYNE!) In the story, there had been a Copperhead before (we think it was his Father), as the first chapter is titled: The Return of the Copperhead.

THE CHOICE OF the very name of Copperhead is curious; as it is both a common name for a poisonous snake native to the United States, as well as a name given to Northern Democrat sympathizers to the Confederate cause in the War Between The States.

THE SERIAL FEATURED plenty of top-notch action, great stunts and the sort of story that ignored the looming entrance of America into the hostilities of World War II. They even gave us that great mechanical monster of the Post Steam Age, a 'living and breathing' Robot!

ALTHOUGH WE DO own a video copy of this one now, we remember first seeing it on the local TV Show on Channel 7, the ABC wholly owned affiliate, WBKB (now WLS). This was circa 1957.We really dug it then and find so much of that innocent, child-like enthusiasm for it now.

AS A MATTER OF fact, both Schultz and myself rate this MYSTERIOUS DR. Satan right up there with the best chapter-plays of that period; those being: HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS, THE ADVENTURES OD CAPTAIN MARVEL, ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGION, SPY SMASHER and THE MASKED MARVEL.

NOTE: * Perhaps the publishers of SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS had second thoughts about granting license to Republic because of their track record in revisionism displayed in their adaptations. As examples, see the four DICK TRACY Serials, SPY SMASHER (giving him a twin brother) and especially CAPTAIN America; which was surgically changed, leaving only the name in the title.


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