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Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Passed  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  28 March 1941 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 641 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 10 critic

To protect a magic talisman from being used for evil, a boy is given the power to become an adult superhero with a single magic word.

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Tyler ...
Frank Coghlan Jr. ...
William 'Billy' Benedict ...
Whitey Murphy (as William Benedict)
Louise Currie ...
Robert Strange ...
Harry Worth ...
Prof. Luther Bentley
...
Henry Carlyle [Ch. 1-3]
John Davidson ...
George Pembroke ...
Dr. Stephen Lang [Ch. 1-9]
George Lynn ...
Prof. Dwight Fisher [Ch. 1-6] (as Peter George Lynn)
Reed Hadley ...
Rahman Bar [Ch. 1,11-12]
Jack Mulhall ...
James Howell [Ch. 1]
Kenne Duncan ...
Barnett - Chief Henchman [Ch. 2-10] (as Kenneth Duncan)
Nigel De Brulier ...
John Bagni ...
Henchman Cowan [Ch. 2-10]
Edit

Storyline

On a scientific expedition to Siam young Billy Batson is given the ability to change himself into the super-powered Captain Marvel by the wizard Shazam, who tells him his powers will last only as long as the Golden Scorpion idol is threatened. Finding the idol, the scientists realize it could be the most powerful weapon in the world and remove the lenses that energize it, distributing them among themselves so that no one would be able to use the idol by himself. Back in the US, Billy Batson, as Captain Marvel, wages a battle against an evil, hooded figure, the Scorpion, who hopes to accumulate all five lenses, thereby gaining control of the super-powerful weapon. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN CARTOONLAND BECOMES THE STRONGEST MAN ON THE SCREEN! All others pale in the light of this human fortress who finds no barrier too great in his amazing fight for justice. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Marvel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$145,588 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Captain Marvel's costume, which is red in comic books, was actually blue/gray in order to photograph better in black and white See more »

Goofs

While a prisoner of the Scorpion, Betty manages to grab a gun and fire a shot that creases the villain's hand. Informed of this, Billy manipulates the expedition's members into showing their hands, and only one man's hand shows an injury. However, subsequent events prove he is not the Scorpion. How the real villain had no injury is never hinted at, and there's precious little said about the wound that was found: After Billy escapes a death trap at the latter man's home, the two have a conversation that is joined in progress, with Batson admitting that he could believe the scientist's story (told completely off-screen) about the cause of his injury if he could explain other things that had happened. Perhaps that trap was originally intended to be a chapter-ending cliffhanger and the explanations were lost in re-editing to eliminate a chapter here. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[sound of a huge gong omninously echoes down the valley]
Billy Batson: What's that, Mr. Howell?
Howell [Ch. 1]: I don't know, Billy - let's find out. What do you make of that cymbal, Malcolm?
John Malcolm: I don't know, Howell. Does it mean anything to you, Tal Chotali?
Tal Chotali: The men of the hills are gathering. The cymbal says that the white men are to be driven from the Valley of Tombs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Scorpion as Himself See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad: Fantastic Megan Fox/Mad vs. Wild (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shazam! This is great!
27 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of my favorite Republic serials, along with Zorro's Fighting Legion and Spy Smasher. Adventures of Captain Marvel is slick, fast-paced and action packed. Of course, it has the usual failings of most serials -- low budget, short shooting schedule, a few bumps and wrinkles along the way -- but if that bothers you, you are probably one of those viewers who complain about the plots of Jackie Chan films. Frank Coughlan, Jr., does creditable work as Billy Batson, while Tom Tyler (Stagecoach, Red River) makes a robust Captain Marvel. Fans of Indiana Jones will love this, especially the sets in Chapter One. The best part about Capt. Marvel is his occasional shortage of a sense of fair play. (When was the last time you saw Superman machine gun three guys in the back as they ran away?) This is one super hero who doesn't play around. I also love Tyler's evil grin as bullets bounce off his chest and his propensity for pimp-slapping the bad guys when they don't answer his questions quickly enough. Also, look for Reed Hadley (Zorro) as one of the bad guys; unmistakable due to his superb voice. Hadley narrated A-bomb training films for the US government and had high level security clearance for the job. The other big plus of Capt. Marvel is the ground-breaking flying effects by the Lydeckers, using wires, dummies, reversed film and the leaping skills of stuntman Dave Sharpe. If you love adventure serials, you'll love The Adventures of Captain Marvel. Highly recommended is the DVD release from Artisan.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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It's amazing how much better this was than the Superman serial. Forgotten_Hero
The first. Jjj75755
One of the most underrated pieces of film ever made! crmfghtr
Cliffhanger clips jamerson5
Awesome Stunts! donovanarchmontierth
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