Captain America: The First Avenger
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips
The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Visit our FAQ Help to learn more

FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Captain America: The First Avenger can be found here.

Yes and no. All films made under the Marvel Studios banner (i.e., Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America) are all set in the same universe, with the characters crossing over, culminating in The Avengers (2012) movie which tied these films together. Marvel also owns Punisher and Blade, however Punisher (2004), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004) are not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other Marvel-based films owned by other studios are NOT set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, due to differing ownership. This includes Spider-Man and Ghost Rider (both owned by Sony), the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Daredevil (all owned by Fox).

Who is the villain?

Johann Schmidt AKA Red Skull is the villain, played by Hugo Weaving. Unlike Captain America, the character is a Nazi German officer and the head of HYDRA, the special sciences branch of the Nazi SS. In this movie he forces Dr. Abraham Erskine to develop a Super Soldier serum in order to make him the pinnacle of human perfection. Erskine reluctantly complies, but when Schmidt takes the serum, it does not work as planned, giving him enhanced strength, yet also turning his face a grotesque blood red and giving him a hairless skull appearance. As a result, Schmidt has his current head scientist, Arnim Zola, design masks for him which look like his old face and proceeds to wear those in public, for all intents and purposes looking as if nothing has happened to his face. Erskine later explains to Steve Rogers that the Super Soldier serum enhances the core of whoever takes it; therefore, Rogers, a "good" man in-and-out, becomes a greater man, while Schmidt, a "bad" man in-and-out, becomes even more evil and hideous.

Stan Lee appears as a military dignitary at a press conference and speaks one line of dialogue. This is somewhat breaking with tradition considering Lee had nothing to do with the creation of the character, but he did come up with the concept of Captain America using his shield as a throwing weapon in a 1940s text story, wrote many of Captain America's most famous comic book story-arcs and is co-creator of The Avengers, which Captain America is a member of following the events of this film.

Captain America was created during World War II, using the "Super Soldier" Formula, then being bombarded with Vita Rays. This formula effectively turned Steve Rogers into the perfect human, with abilities beyond those of the best Olympic athlete including Enhanced Strength, Agility and reflexes. However, he does not have "super powers" per se; he has the best strength, agility and reflexes that any human can have without being considered superhuman. His immune system allows him to resist most diseases as well as gives him incredible endurance. For example, his metabolism operates at a rate of 4X the normal human; as a result, his muscles build up lactic acid at an extremely slow rate, allowing him to have almost limitless endurance and operate at peak performance for far longer than any conventional human being. Additionally, the Super Soldier serum has effectively been metabolized into Rogers' body; it is that enhancement that somehow allowed him to be frozen in ice in suspended animation for decades (as opposed to dying from hypothermia) until rescued by the The Avengers. The film version of the treatment also gives him heightened mental acuity; he is able to accurately memorize a map of HYDRA bases after only a few seconds of looking at it during a raid.

This movie version uses more the abilities of the "Ultimate" universe Captain America. In which he is super strong and agile, but not to the extent of Spider-man and nowhere near Hulk or Thor. This is demonstrated in the movie when he is easily lifting a motorcycle while three women sit on it for an extended time. That should be between 800 and 900 hundred pounds. Olympic class power lifters can lift around 3.5 times their body weight, with a great amount of exertion. That means a non superhuman Captain America, at peak performance could only lift around 800 pounds under optimal conditions and with a great deal of exertion. If he didn't have some superhuman ability, the movie version could never do this, unless he had some amount of super strength, even with an enhanced metabolism. Perhaps the motorcycle was just fake, made of very light material as a tool to allow the girls to sit on it, and Rogers had to lift barely more than them (which would have constitued an acceptable weight of around 160 kilos). In addition, he is able to leap over a ~10 foot fence while running, clearing it easily. Finally, as his metabolism expells toxic substances very quickly, he can't get drunk.

He was trained in nearly every form of unarmed combat as well as gymnastics; as a result he is considered the finest unarmed combatant in the world. He is so formidable that in a recent story when a villain temporarily neutralized Cap's physical enhancements, he took on four guards escorting him who themselves were enhanced with the same treatment and defeats them all within seconds. He also studied military history and strategy extensively, which will establish him as the ideal field leader of his superpowered fellows in the Avengers. He also has his iconic Shield, which is made of a combination of Vibranium and an unnamed metal alloy; although the alloy has been mistakenly identified as Adamantium, Dr. Myron MacClain (the scientist who designed the shield) did not discover Adamantium until years later. The shield is virtually indestructible; additionally, the Vibranium allows the shield to absorb an extreme amount of impact without transferring it through the shield, i.e. Cap gets punched by Hulk and blocks with the shield, he doesn't get a broken arm from the impact. He uses it as a shield, a blunt object, and throws it like a discus which can be angled to ricochet back to him after connecting with its target, or caroming off other objects before hitting its target.

The producers of the film decided to give Cap a uniform that would reflect what the army would really have given him in WWII. The colors are similar (the gloves and boots are more brownish-red than pure red) but the material makeup of the uniform is very much like what a regular soldier would wear in the combat zone, with regular boots as opposed to the pirate-like "swashbuckler" boots in the comic, military-style gloves instead of bright red gauntlets, etc. The uniform is not without some enhancements, however; for example, Howard Stark (the US Government's main weapons supplier) designs part of the costume using what appears to be a chain-mail / Kevlar blend with the capacity to stop bayonets from piercing it. Interestingly enough, early in the film Steve Rogers goes on a USO Tour wearing an exact copy of the comic-book uniform, albeit made out of simple cloth as opposed to chain-mail, complete with the "swashbuckler" boots, bright red gauntlets, etc. The final uniform used for the movie reflects the one designed for the Ultimate Captain America comic-book series.

In the film, after Rogers has become Captain America, he is sent on an USO Tour to drum up support for US Bonds. He is given a costume with a flag motif (the classic costume as seen in the comics, albeit made out of cloth and not chain-mail) and a triangular shaped shield. The shield is made out of conventional metal with no enhanced properties. Later, Rogers has Howard Stark design him a new uniform and is presented with different shields designed by Stark. Rogers spies a round metal disc off to the side, and Stark explains that it is a one-of-a-kind prototype made out of Vibranium, a virtually indestructible lightweight metal which can absorb and disperse kinetic energy such that the wielder of the shield would feel virtually nothing. Stark reveals that the shield is made up of the only known specimen of Vibranium, making it the only one in existence. In the comics, Captain America started out with the triangular-shaped shield that was not indestructible. During WWII, he was given the discus-shaped shield made of an indestructible substance that was accidentally created in a lab. Dr. Myron MacClain was trying to create an indestructible armor out of an alloy of an alien metal & another experimental earthbound metal - the alloy is called Vibranium. The other metal in Cap's shield is mistakenly identified as adamantium, the same metal with which Wolverine's claws are made and skeleton reinforced, although Dr. MacClain did not discover adamantium until years later. Thus the shield is both indestructible and absorbs energy, meaning that with it Cap can - for example - take a punch from the Hulk and not break his arm or be sent flying. MacClain was not able to duplicate the result, so Captain America's near indestructible discus shield is the only one in existence.

Yes: Steve Rogers is training on a heavy bag, when Nick Fury interrupts Rogers to inform him that he has a mission lined up. Fury also reminds Rogers that he's not the only hero around, which segues into a teaser trailer for The Avengers.

It is a "cosmic cube," a well-known artifact from the comics, here renamed the "Tesserract." Although Schmidt never realizes this, he has tapped only the tiniest fraction of the device's power. Within the Marvel Universe, a cosmic cube is the embryonic form of a Beyonder, one of a race of immensely powerful beings. Those who understand a cosmic cube's nature (which, fortunately, Schmidt never did) and are mentally strong enough can use it to rewrite reality in whatever way they wish. The Tesseract becomes even more importaint in The Avengers (2012).

When Captain America finally receives his shield, Howard Stark (Tony Stark's father) gives him the choice of many prototypes. In Iron Man 2 (2010), Tony Stark is seen in possession of what appears to be Captain America's shield. However the shield in Iron Man 2 is incomplete and does not look the same as the one in Captain America: The First Avenger. Therefore the shield in Iron Man 2 may have been one of the many prototypes. Another possibility is that a considerable amount of time has passed between finding Captain America in the beginning of this film and the shield appearance in Iron Man and Iron Man 2, thus giving time to Stark to acquire the shield.

Captain America's shield, in this incarnation of the myth, is made from pure vibranium, an exotic metal whose properties are not fully understood. In the comics it has shown many different effects, one of which is the ability to absorb energy vibrations such as sound which serve to harden the molecular structure. The more it absorbs the stronger it becomes. It is not, however, adept at absorbing mechanical energy such as the impacts of physical objects, which is reflected rather than absorbed, thus its ability to bounce off solid surfaces. When Thor struck the shield in 'The Avengers', its hardness was strong enough that it could withstand a blow from Mjolnir and also becoming stronger due to the energy vibrations of the lightning the hammer emitted.

Is Schmidt dead?

No. The tesseract converted him to energy and teleported him into the rift it had opened. He will likely appear in the next film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, due for release in 2014. However, this has not been officially announced, though Hugo Weaving said that he is not interested in returning as Schmidt.

Page last updated by birmy, 7 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: !!!deleted!!! (6652782), cia162000, The_Amazing_Spy_Rises, brokenmartial, trustco_41down

r73731


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Parents Guide
Trivia Quotes Goofs
Soundtrack listing Crazy credits Alternate versions
Movie connections User reviews Main details