IMDb > Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere (1951)

Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Royal K. Cole (screenplay) and
Sherman L. Lowe (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 December 1951 (USA) See more »
The hottest hero of all, in the greatest of all serials! See more »
Space hero Captain Video battles the evil Vultura on the planet Atoma. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Nothing Going On Except the Gadgets See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Judd Holdren ... Captain Video
Larry Stewart ... Ranger
George Eldredge ... Dr. Tobor
Gene Roth ... Vultura

Don C. Harvey ... Gallagher (as Don Harvey)
William Fawcett ... Alpha [Chs. 1-3, 7, 15]
Jack Ingram ... Henchman Aker [Chs. 1, 7, 10-14]

I. Stanford Jolley ... Zarol [Chs. 8-9]
Skelton Knaggs ... Retner
Jimmy Stark ... Ranger Rogers
Rusty Wescoatt ... Henchman Beal [Chs. 1, 7, 11]
Zon Murray ... Henchman Elko [Chs. 1, 7, 10-14]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Bailey ... Prof. Dean's Butler [Chs. 4-5, 11] (uncredited)
Roy Butler ... Real Vault Guard [Ch. 9] (uncredited)

Tristram Coffin ... Prof. Anton Dean [Chs. 4-5, 11] (uncredited)
Oliver Cross ... Prof. Felix Markham [Chs. 4-5] (uncredited)
Bruce Edwards ... Agent 34 [Ch. 4] (uncredited)
Frank Ellis ... First Hijack Thug [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
Tommy Farrell ... Atoma Head Soldier [Ch. 2] (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Charlie - Janitor Thug [Chs. 11-12] (uncredited)
Terry Frost ... Agent 29 [Ch. 1] / Agent 172 [Ch. 3] (uncredited)
Herman Hack ... Theros Man (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Henchman [Ch. 14] (uncredited)

Selmer Jackson ... J. R. Wade - Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety [Chs.11-13] (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey ... Laboratory Guard [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Pierce Lyden ... Space Platform Operator [Chs. 4-5] (uncredited)
Knox Manning ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Henchman [Chs. 13-14] (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Vulturian Soldier [Ch. 15] (uncredited)
Eddie Parker ... Hijacked Truck Passenger [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
Lee Roberts ... Henchman [Chs. 1, 7] (uncredited)
George Robotham ... Space Platform Operator-Observer [Chs. 4-5] (uncredited)
Jack Tornek ... Theros Man (uncredited)

Rick Vallin ... Ranger Brown [Chs. 7-8, 11, 13] (uncredited)
Wally West ... Henchman [Chs. 10-12] (uncredited)

Directed by
Spencer Gordon Bennet  (as Spencer Bennet)
Wallace Grissell  (as Wallace A. Grissell)
Writing credits
Royal K. Cole (screenplay) and
Sherman L. Lowe (screenplay) and
Joseph F. Poland (screenplay)

George H. Plympton  story (based on characters from Captain Video and His Space Rangers) (uncredited)

Produced by
Sam Katzman .... producer
Cinematography by
Fayte M. Browne  (as Fayte Browne)
Film Editing by
Earl Turner 
Art Direction by
Paul Palmentola 
Set Decoration by
Sidney Clifford 
Production Management
Herbert B. Leonard .... production manager (as Herbert Leonard)
Art Department
Glenn Cravath .... poster artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Jack Erickson .... special effects
Franz Dallons .... props (uncredited)
Oscar Dallons .... props (uncredited)
Paul Dallons .... props (uncredited)
Howard Swift .... special animation effects (uncredited)
Eddie Parker .... stunts (uncredited)
George Robotham .... stunts (uncredited)
Wally West .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Daniele Amfitheatrof .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Miklós Rózsa .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Moree Herring .... set continuity
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Captain Video" - USA (short title)
"Captain Video, Hero of Outer Space!" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
287 min
Color (Cinecolor sequences) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Finland:K-16 | UK:U | USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

The entire cast of the film is male. Not one female character can be found.See more »
Revealing mistakes: In chapter 11, Captain Video slightly stumbles over his line "in this area" while being secretly recorded. However, during the playback, the Captain says his line perfectly.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999) (TV)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Nothing Going On Except the Gadgets, 3 May 2008
Author: John W Chance ( from San Francisco, California

This is one of the worst Columbia science fiction serials. That said, it does have a couple of interesting qualities. First, it has some very unusual cliff hangers, but there's no set up that allows you to guess 'How do they get out of it?' Almost every one is a cheat, with Captain Video pulling out a new secret gadget to neutralize the terror, or Gallagher (Don C. Harvey, usually a 'henchman' in other serials and movies) in the Control Room twirling dials and flipping switches to save our heroes. When a fire in a well fails to burn them, Captain Video explains that it's because human bodies from Earth react differently to the atmosphere of Theros. But there's only one 'jump out of the car before it explodes / goes over the cliff' cliff hanger! As usual, it's the stirring narration by Knox Manning at the end of each episode that teases you into wanting to watch the next chapter.

The real fun and the best part of the serial are the names of the gadgets! The 'hose-inator' sucks up poisonous gas; the 'degravitator' counteracts gravity by creating a 'sonic air cushion' which allows our heroes to fall slowly and safely to Earth from deep space; their 'inertializer' paralyzes the bad guys; bombs are defused by an 'anti-detonator'--- wow! The list goes on and on! There's 'the space platform,' the 'optican skillometer,' the 'thermograph,' the giant binoculars called 'scanning goggles,' the 'atmospheric locator,' the 'static beam,' 'platinite,' the 'stethapod,' the 'interference ray,' 'hyrogenic radiations,' the 'magnetic impulse detector,' the 'diathermic accelerator,' 'paralyzing vapor bombs,' the 'space radiophone,' the 'palm mike' (a kind of mini-walkee talkee), the 'cosmic vibrator,' and the 'cloak of invisibility.'

Remember, this was made in the days of when you could order your 'decoder ring' and other gadgets from the top SF TV shows of the time -- the best of which in all ways was 'Space Patrol' (1950) which offered home versions of gadgets used on the show. (And then again, you get one for free in a box of cereal!)

What makes this one really weak as a serial: too much walking or driving around outside (but it's in the great slanted rocks of the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth); bland hero; costumes from the stock room; no physical contact between the hero and head villain, Vultura (Gene Roth, a left over from the Three Stooges shorts)-- in fact, as someone who wants to rule the universe, he spends virtually all his screen time talking into hand held microphones and showing his flabby stomach. There's too much time spent by all the characters twisting dials, flipping switches, using microphones, and staring into video screens ('the optical skillometer').

So this serial is on the same level as some of Republic's worst SF serials (hey, weren't all Republic's SF serials the worst?). I'll be generous and give this Columbia effort a 3, just for the names of the gadgets!

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