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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:

AMAZING EXPLOITS OF DEATH-DEFYING DARING!...Zooming from planet to planet in spark-sputtering space ships! Battling human robots! Conquering new worlds! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bullet cars used in the movie were the same ones used in Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938). See more »

Goofs

Narrative cheating: In the cliffhanger ending of Chapter Nine, Buddy Wade is shot down (and presumably killed) with a ray gun while trying to escape from Killer Kane's men. This scene is replayed at the beginning of Chapter Ten, but with a blatantly different resolution: Buddy escapes by diving out of a window, as if his earlier shooting had never happened. 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

Edited into Destination Saturn (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Some of the music cues originally were composed for the following films:
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) music composed by Franz Waxman
The 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

 
Buck - N - Buddy
22 August 2006 | by W KSee all my reviews

Buck Rogers as rendered in this serial is a far cry from the comic strip. Somehow, the producers & director managed to create what amounts to a pale shadow of the original strip. The sets used in the 1939 Buck Rogers series are painfully and obviously recycled from the prior Flash Gordon series. Not only that, but some of the film sequences seem to be recycled shamelessly (e.g. the sequences of the underground subways).

For anyone who wonders about the genesis of the homo-erotic themes of Batman, though, look no further! Buck and Buddy do seem to be the prototypes of the now common comic book stereotypes. I am not certain whether this was intentional or not. Possibly the director merely had in mind an appeal to the pre-adolescent social constructs of a bygone age? Buddy still looks like he's the "boy wonder" of this series, though, while the Buck Rogers films date back to 1934 or so, several years before the Batman debut (1939). There must be a master's thesis waiting to be written here.


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