IMDb > King of the Rocket Men (1949)
King of the Rocket Men
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King of the Rocket Men (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.4/10   714 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Royal K. Cole (written by) and
William Lively (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for King of the Rocket Men on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 June 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Watch "Rocket Man" sweep from the clouds to battle America's enemies! (original poster) See more »
Plot:
Jeff King in his experimental rocket suit battles the evil Dr. Vulcan. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(5 articles)
Disney Reigniting Sex Fueled "Rocketeer"
 (From SneakPeek. 6 September 2012, 9:25 AM, PDT)

‘The Rocketeer’ Reboot May Launch at Disney
 (From The Film Stage. 21 August 2012, 4:12 PM, PDT)

Idw Launches "Rocketeer Adventures"- July 2011
 (From SneakPeek. 16 April 2011, 11:22 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The best of the three "rocket man" serials See more (13 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Tristram Coffin ... Jeff King

Mae Clarke ... Glenda Thomas
Don Haggerty ... Tony Dirken
House Peters Jr. ... Burt Winslow
James Craven ... Prof. Millard [Chs. 1-7, 10]

I. Stanford Jolley ... Prof. Bryant
Douglas Evans ... Chairman [Ch. 12]
Ted Adams ... Martin Conway [Chs. 1-4]
Stanley Price ... Gunther Von Strum
Dale Van Sickel ... Henchman Martin [Ch.1] / Prof. Drake [Ch. 1] / Henchman Gates [Chs. 6-7, 9-11]
Tom Steele ... Henchman Knox [Chs. 1, 3-4, 7] / Taxi Driver [Chs. 10-11]
David Sharpe ... Henchman Blears / Cliff / Stark
Eddie Parker ... Rowan [Ch. 3]
Michael Ferro ... Henchman Turk [Ch. 8]
Frank O'Connor ... Warehouse Guard [Chs. 1, 10]
Buddy Roosevelt ... Henchman Phillips [Chs. 9-10]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marshall Bradford ... Professor Graftner (uncredited)
Arvon Dale ... Chairman's Aide [Ch. 12] (uncredited)
Art Gilmore ... Newscaster [Ch. 5] (voice) (uncredited)
Bert LeBaron ... Henchman Morgan [Chs. 8-9] (uncredited)
Carey Loftin ... Henchman Sparks [Ch. 2] (uncredited)
Jack O'Shea ... Walter- Eastern Electronics' Clerk [Ch. 6] (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Clay- Motorcycle Rider [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
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Directed by
Fred C. Brannon 
 
Writing credits
Royal K. Cole (written by) (as Royal Cole) and
William Lively (written by) and
Sol Shor (written by)

Produced by
Franklin Adreon .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Stanley Wilson 
Joseph Dubin (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Ellis W. Carter 
 
Film Editing by
Cliff Bell Sr.  (as Cliff Bell)
Sam Starr 
 
Art Direction by
Fred A. Ritter  (as Fred Ritter)
 
Set Decoration by
John McCarthy Jr. 
James Redd 
 
Makeup Department
Bob Mark .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Roy Wade .... unit manager
 
Sound Department
Earl Crain Sr. .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Howard Lydecker .... special effects
Theodore Lydecker .... special effects
 
Stunts
Bert LeBaron .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunt double: House Peters, Jr. [Chs. 5-6] (uncredited)
Eddie Parker .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunt double: Tristram Coffin in Rocket Man suit/Don Haggerty [Ch. 6]/I. Stanford Jolley [Ch. 12] (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunt double: Tristram Coffin & House Peters, Jr. [Chs. 2, 8] (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunt double: Don Haggerty (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Joseph Dubin .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Mort Glickman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ernest Gold .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Walter Scharf .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Nathan Scott .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Marlin Skiles .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
167 min (12 episodes)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #18262)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Titles of Chapters - 1. Dr. Vulcan. Traitor - 2. Plunging Death - 3. Dangerous Evidence - 4. High Peril - 5. Fatal Dive - 6. Mystery of The Rocket Man - 7. Molten Menace - 8. Suicide Flight - 9. Ten Seconds To Live - 10. The Deadly Fog - 11. Secret of Dr. Vulcan - 12. Wave of Disaster [Note: The On Screen number to this is 'Last Chapter' instead of '12']See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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27 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
The best of the three "rocket man" serials, 19 May 2005
Author: Alec West from United States

1949's "King of the Rocket Men" was the first of three serials from Republic Pictures featuring a man wearing essentially the same rocket suit and helmet. The other two, both released in 1952, were "Radar Men From the Moon" and "Zombies of the Stratosphere." All three have things going for them though, each time, Republic tried to reinvent the character ... Jeff King in "King," Commando Cody in "Radar," and Larry Martin in "Zombies." The first and second serials were later revised for different purposes. "King of the Rocket Men" was edited to remove the cliffhanger sequences and the "remember when" episode (the one which is primarily flashbacks of prior chapters) and re-released it as a feature film titled "Lost Planet Airmen" in 1951. And "Radar Men From the Moon" was released as a 12-episode TV series under the new title, "Commando Cody: Sky Marshall of the Universe" in 1953. The third serial, "Zombies," while not remade, is probably the best remembered since it marked the science-fiction feature film acting debut of Leonard Nimoy (later, Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame) playing Narab, a Martian zombie.

But, "King of the Rocket Men" was the best of the three. Especially during 1949 and subsequent years, it was far more believable to envision a potential traitor, blackmailing government entities and possibly selling secrets to a foreign power than to believe in invaders from the Moon or Mars (in "Radar" and "Zombies," respectively). Also, and this is just my opinion, the two later serials seemed a bit contrived ... like they were merely attempting to cash in on the success of "King" ... a very well-acted serial for the time with an iron-clad plot line.

So, why the 8 of 10 rating? Back in 1949, money was tight in the studios. And sometimes, it was cheaper to "buy" special effects than it was to make them. That's exactly what Republic Pictures did. Since they wanted cataclysmic special effects in the last chapter but didn't want to spend the money, they simply bought rights to the 1933 film, "Deluge," for the sole purpose of borrowing the special effects footage for use in "King." And while there's nothing inherently wrong in such a practice (it has been done many times by Hollywood), it almost forced "Deluge" into obscurity. There were very few copies of "Deluge" available and, after Republic borrowed the scenes, they trashed the rest of the footage. Fortunately, one copy (not the Italian one with English subtitles) was discovered in France and it has since been preserved (though not openly released by any studio). In English? Don't know.

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