In Captain America's original story, a man named Steve Rogers - who is too weak and puny to fight in World War II - is injected with a Super-Soldier Serum and develops an enhanced physique, after which he becomes Captain America and does battle with the agents of Nazi Germany. This back-story was rejected by Republic during the making of this serial, as it would have required costly retakes at the time. In the serial, Captain America's real name is Grant Gardner, he is the city's district attorney, and his foe is the Scarab, aka Karl Maaldor, played by Lionel Atwill. See more »
In chapter 2, "Mechanical Executioner," when Professor Dodge agrees to talk the tractor in close-up is halfway over a partially crushed packing crate. In the next shot the crate is completely crushed under the tractor's tread. See more »
This is the voice of the Scarab, Wilson. I command you to drive your car over the cliff!
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This serial isn't exactly what fans of the Captain America comic book character might expect. Here's the "bad" news: The hero in this serial isn't the same Captain America as in the comic books. This hero is called Captain America and wears a costume close to the one in the comics, but that's where the similarities end. This guy isn't Steve Rogers. He doesn't have a special shield and instead he just uses a gun!
Now here's the good news: This isn't bad! There's plenty of fun stuff in this one for serial fans. Some have commented on Dick Purcell's "pudgy" physique, but he still makes a fine 1940's serial hero whose quick on the trigger. I wouldn't mess with the guy. Purcell's Captain America is far more lethal than his comic book counterpart and he has no problem pulling a gun and sending his enemies to their graves. Purcell's Captain is one deadly superhero. His Captain America kills four different guys in just the first 15 minutes of the serial! The Captain's gal pal Gail Richards (who is very cute) also packs a pistol and knows how to use it!
The silly: There are always silly elements of comic book movies and my favorite bit of silliness in this serial is "the vibrator". The bad guys really want to get their hands on a brilliant scientist's "vibrator". At one point the scientists actually asks the chief villain "What do you know about my vibrator?"!LOL!
The verdict: Captain America is an extremely entertaining serial with plenty of enjoyable moments. This Captain America is a different guy from the comic version, but he's more of a straight shooting vigilante and I liked Purcell's Captain's style. This is fun stuff! It's a blast of entertaining escapism and I enjoyed every second of it. Captain America isn't the best serial you'll ever see, but that's part of it's charm. I give Captain America an A+ for being topnotch fun.
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