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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7.3/10   729 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 »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
When Will We Get the Jetpacks Movies Promised Us?
 (From FilmSchoolRejects. 16 June 2014, 10:09 AM, PDT)

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)

User Reviews:
One of Republic's Best Latter Day 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)

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:
This was another of Republic's titles to use a play-on-words for "King of..." "King" was actually the name of the main character.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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22 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
One of Republic's Best Latter Day Serials, 26 August 2002
Author: (bsmith5552@rogers.com) from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"King of the Rocket Men" was the first appearance of the man in the flying suit. In later years it would become associated with the Commando Cody character both in film and on TV.

The "king" of the title is Jeff King (Tristram Coffin) who is trying to unmask the evil Dr. Vulcan who is secretly trying to undermine a desert research project being conducted by Science Associates. Overseeing the project is a board of directors of whom a Dr. Vulcan, his identity unknown, is a member. It seems that one of their number, Professor Millard (James Craven) has developed a powerful machine called "the Decimater" which is capable of mass destruction. The rest of the serial is spent with Dr. Vulcan and his chief henchman Dirken (Don Haggerty) attempting to steal the discovery and Rocket Man's thwarting them at every turn. Mae Clarke as a reporter and House Peters Jr. as Chief of Security assist King.

This serial is one of the better of Republic's post war serials. There is plenty of action throughout, including chases, fights, cliffhangers and an appearance by Rocket Man in every chapter. The stunt work performed mainly by Tom Steele, Dale Van Sickel and David Sharpe (doubling Coffin in the Rocket Man sequences), is up to Republic's usual high standards. You'll spot each of the aforementioned stuntmen appearing in several minor roles as henchmen.

But the real star of the serial are its magnificent special effects created by Theodore and Howard Lydecker. Rocket Man seems to have borrowed his flying ability from Republic's earlier serial "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" (1941). The Lydeckers employed the use of an oversized dummy running up and down an almost invisible cable and photographing it from different angles to make it appear life-size. It's quite realistic for its time.

The best sequence is saved for the end when Dr. Vulcan attempts to destroy New York City. There are earthquakes, tidal waves and scenes of mass destruction achieved through the skillful use of miniatures.

The acting is better than most serials. Coffin, who usually played oily villains, gives a creditable performance in the lead. Mae Clarke, who had achieved notoriety in "Public Enemy" by having James Cagney push a grapefruit in her face, does her best with limited material as the heroine. Don Haggerty as Dirken makes a formidable villain in what I believe was his only serial. Haggerty can usually be seen in featured roles as a cop or thug. He never got the credit or the roles he deserved.

So who was Dr. Vulcan? To find out, tune into the next chapter of "King of the Rocket Men" at this theatre next week.

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