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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 589 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 SUPER-STRONGMAN! Defying a power-crazed fiend who threatens to enslave the world with an army of blood-crazed demons! (original print ad) 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: Fast Hive/Minute to Flynn It (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
review
19 February 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was seven years old when I saw this serial in a theater in 1941.

I now own 49 titles of Republic serials,mostly tapes and a few on DVD.This serial is my favorite.For those who have not saw this serial,I won't give away any secrets.The plot concerns a group of scientists and an ancient artifact with lenses that can turn any matter to gold,thus the owner could rule the world.A mortal ,Billy Batson ,is given the power to become Captain Marvel.The Captain fights the arch villain,the Scorpion,for 12 exciting chapters,to keep him from getting the lens.Marvel is played by former cowboy star,Tom Tyler in fine fashion.David Sharpe does the leaps and landings in realistic style.Flying scenes still look great today,with excellent special effects by the Lydecker brothers.The Scorpion is voiced by another actor,and should keep the viewer guessing until the final reel.Music by Cy Feurer,William Lava and others add more excitement to a fine serial.Whitney and English directed.


29 of 30 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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