Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Action, Crime  |  13 December 1940 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 155 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 »
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Flash Gordon I (1936)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three earthlings visit the planet Mongo to thwart the evil schemes of Emperor Ming the Merciless.

Directors: Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Hired to investigate forged bonds, Charlie is thwarted by the murder of his undercover agent, but the arrival of son Lee helps him uncover the true culprits.

Directors: Lewis Seiler, Hamilton MacFadden
Stars: Warner Oland, Mary Brian, Thomas Beck
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After hapless pianist and ex-con John Elman is framed for murder, he is resurrected by a scientist after his execution.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn
Sci-Fi | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Crash Corrigan, a recent graduate of Annapolis, and Diana, a go-getting reporter, join Professor Norton for a search for the source of a string of earthquakes, Atlantis. They ride Prof. ... See full summary »

Directors: B. Reeves Eason, Joseph Kane
Stars: Ray Corrigan, Lois Wilde, Monte Blue
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A criminal mastermind known as The Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit all electrical current on the planet.

Directors: Fred C. Brannon, William Witney
Stars: Charles Quigley, Linda Stirling, Clayton Moore
Dr. Cyclops (1940)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mad scientist working in the South American jungle miniaturizes his colleagues when he feels his megalomania is threatened.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Albert Dekker, Thomas Coley, Janice Logan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An Egyptian high priest travels to America to reclaim the bodies of ancient Egyptian princess Ananka and her living guardian mummy Kharis. Learning that Ananka^Òs spirit has been ... See full summary »

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Robert Lowery
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava
Spy Smasher (1942)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Alan Armstrong, aka Spy Smasher, battles a Nazi villain known as The Mask, who heads a gang of saboteurs determined to spread destruction across America.

Director: William Witney
Stars: Kane Richmond, Marguerite Chapman, Sam Flint


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 »


Featured in Action Heroes of the Cliffhanger Serials (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is Copperhead bulletproof? Forgotten_Hero
Anyone know of a DVD release? shadow-otr
Discuss Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: