6.9/10
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11 user 8 critic

Buck Rogers (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | 11 April 1939 (USA)
A 20th Century pilot named Buck Rogers and his young friend Buddy Wade awake from 500 years in suspended animation to find that the world has been taken over by the outlaw army of Killer Kane.

Writers:

Norman S. Hall (screenplay) (as Norman Hall), Ray Trampe (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Buster Crabbe ... Buck Rogers (as Larry 'Buster' Crabbe)
Constance Moore ... Wilma Deering
Jackie Moran ... George 'Buddy' Wade
Jack Mulhall ... Captain Rankin
Anthony Warde ... Killer Kane
Philson Ahn Philson Ahn ... Prince Tallen
C. Montague Shaw ... Professor Huer
Guy Usher Guy Usher ... Aldar
William Gould ... Air Marshal Kragg
Henry Brandon ... Captain Laska
Wheeler Oakman ... Lieutenant Patten
Kenne Duncan ... Lieutenant Lacy (as Kenneth Duncan)
Carleton Young ... Scott
Reed Howes ... Captain Roberts
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Storyline

A 20th Century pilot named Buck Rogers and his young friend Buddy Wade awake from 500 years in suspended animation to find that the world has been taken over by the outlaw army of Killer Kane. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

12 AMAZING THRILL-THRONGED CHAPTERS! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The trailer for Chapter 2 (Tragedy on Saturn) was used in George Lucas' first feature film THX 1138 (1971). See more »

Goofs

Despite having breathable air and normal gravity on Saturn, it still seems odd to see Earth and the Moon in the sky as part of the Saturn exterior shots. If that were so, we should readily see Saturn as well as its rings and moons as part of Earth's sky. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Control Officer: Westmore Observatory calling dirigible Chandril. Westmore Observatory calling dirigible Chandril.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are displayed on a kaleidoscope background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Old Grey Hare (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Some of the music cues originally were composed for the following films:
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) music composed by Franz Waxman
Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935) composed by Edward Ward
Werewolf of London (1935) composed by Karl Hajos
Dracula's Daughter (1936) composed by Heinz Roemheld
Great Expectations (1934) composed by Edward Ward
The Invisible Man (1933) composed by Heinz Roemheld
Bombay Mail (1934) composed by Heinz Roemheld
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User Reviews

A Dream Come True!
30 August 2000 | by Shield-3See all my reviews

It strikes me that "Buck Rogers" is almost like a male fantasy come to life. Think about it: Buck gets to take a nice, long five-hundred-year nap! I'm ecstatic if I can get a fifteen-minute nap on a weekend! When he wakes up, Buck is the smartest, most dynamic guy around. Never mind that in real life you would treat someone five centuries behind the times like something that escaped from the zoo. Everyone needs Buck to go on exciting missions, fight the bad guys, test exotic equipment and fly rocketships (and crash them -- I think out of five or six flights Buck makes in the serial, he only lands successfully once).

Now that that's out of the way...

"Buck Rogers," the serial, is merely average: better than some serials, not as good as others. It's inevitable to compare it to the "Flash Gordon" serials, and in that contest, "Buck Rogers" comes in second. Buster Crabbe essentially plays the same character as Buck and Flash, but he had more style and dash (okay, more "flash") in "Flash Gordon." Constance Moore's Wilma tries to be a more proactive character than Jean Rogers' Dale, but Rogers just seems to inhabit her character more (and those belly-baring costumes from the first "Flash" serial weren't hard on the eyes, either). You can't even begin to compare Anthony Warde's Killer Kane to Charles Middleton's Ming: Warde could have been any gangster from any generic crime movie, but Ming was an archetype of evil right up there with Fu Manchu.

"Buck Rogers" does provide the requisite thrills and generates its share of excitement, although the rocketship crashes get repetitive after a while (as I said before, almost every time Buck goes near a rocket, he crashes it). It's a decent enough story on its own merits, I suppose, but it does pale in comparison to the "Flash Gordon" trilogy.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buck Rogers Conquers the Universe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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