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Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Passed  -  Action | Adventure | Fantasy  -  28 March 1941 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 600 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 9 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 ...
John Malcolm
Harry Worth ...
Prof. Luther Bentley
Bryant Washburn ...
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:

 »
Edit

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

Superman was originally considered for this project, however, when National Periodical Publications (now known as DC Comics) turned Republic down, the producers made the offer to Fawcett Comics for their top character and was accepted. See more »

Goofs

Although the archaeological expedition bears Malcolm's name, everyone defers to Howell as if he's in charge - until his murder late in the first chapter. 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

Remade as Shazam! (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

this one brought me out of my seat.

i first heard of tom tyler while watching an errol flynn western with my dad. he kept saying, watch this, watch this. the year was 1949. we had been the proud owner's of our first t.v. set. my dad was in his 40's and i was almost 5.

then it happened. and as it did my father had crept up behind me and was slapping me gently, but firmly on my shoulder. errol had put about 12 slugs in villan tom's back but he wasn't about to leave this mortal coil just yet. he staggered forward, off to the side three steps, down on one knee and then fell against the barn door under the light of the silvery moon and finally slid to his demise. i can only guess that mr. flynn was having his hair coiffed while he waited.

my dad loved that scene and i had to admit i sure would have liked to have seen in again three or four more times.

in june my dad asked me if i would like to go up to my uncle lemon's and see a movie he was going to screen. (every family has a rich one) and to be honest i loved him very much.

well there it was the two of them had decided to surprise me with captain marvel. my father said 'this is tom tyler the guy from the errol flynn movie'. that started off an ole 'why didn't you tell me it was on?' from uncle lemon's.

i fell in love with that serial the moment it started. tom tyler looked like captain marvel in the comic books. and the actor looked exactly the way that billy batson did.

i have heard william witney describe while speaking with elwy yost on tv ontario how it was written and how some of the stunts were performed. (sequences where a giant balloon took over for captain marvel). i much prefered it to the way kyrk allyn turned into a cartoon character when he went up up and away in the first superman serial.

i can see it as clearly as if it were yesterday. in this case i really can. among my collection of serials, captain marvel and superman go head to head.

if you like this serial or have heard about it - buy it.

the few dollars you spend cannot compare to the memories and the laughs you will share with your friends and family. trust me, although long departed the memory of my uncle lemon's and my one in a billion father,are there every time i run the serial. and everytime i watch it i chuckle when i remember that tom milked his part in Santa Fe Trail.........or was it Stagecoach. oh man the memories.

lloyd davidson


8 of 10 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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