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Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | 28 March 1941 (USA)
To protect a magic talisman from being used for evil, a teenage boy named Billy Batson is given the power to become an adult superhero, Captain Marvel, with a single magic word: "Shazam!"

Writers:

Ronald Davidson (original screenplay), Norman S. Hall (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
1,846 ( 1,251)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Tyler ... Captain Marvel
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Billy Batson
William 'Billy' Benedict ... 'Whitey' Murphy (as William Benedict)
Louise Currie ... Betty Wallace
Robert Strange ... John Malcolm
Harry Worth ... Prof. Luther Bentley
Bryant Washburn ... Henry Carlyle [Ch. 1-3]
John Davidson ... Tal Chotali
George Pembroke George Pembroke ... Dr. Stephen Lang [Ch. 1-9]
George Lynn ... Prof. Dwight Fisher [Ch. 1-6] (as Peter George Lynn)
Reed Hadley ... Rahman Bar [Ch. 1, 11-12]
Jack Mulhall ... James Howell [Ch. 1]
Kenne Duncan ... Barnett - Chief Henchman [Ch. 2-10] (as Kenneth Duncan)
Nigel De Brulier ... Shazam [Ch. 1]
John Bagni John Bagni ... Cowan - Henchman [Ch. 2-10]
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Storyline

On a scientific expedition to Siam young Billy Batson is given the ability to change himself into the super-powered Captain Marvel by the wizard Shazam, who tells him his powers will last only as long as the Golden Scorpion idol is threatened. Finding the idol, the scientists realize it could be the most powerful weapon in the world and remove the lenses that energize it, distributing them among themselves so that no one would be able to use the idol by himself. Back in the US, Billy Batson, as Captain Marvel, wages a battle against an evil, hooded figure, the Scorpion, who hopes to accumulate all five lenses, thereby gaining control of the super-powerful weapon. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN CARTOONLAND BECOMES THE STRONGEST MAN ON THE SCREEN! All others pale in the light of this human fortress who finds no barrier too great in his amazing fight for justice. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of Captain Marvel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$138,588 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Batson becomes Captain Marvel by speaking the name of the wizard Shazam: S = The Wisdom of Solomon; H = The Strength of Hercules; A = The Stamina of Atlas; Z = The Power of Zeus; A = The Courage of Achilles; M = The Speed of Mercury. See more »

Goofs

Chapter eight: The odometer in Billy's car in several shots does not move. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[sound of a huge gong omninously echoes down the valley]
Billy Batson: What's that, Mr. Howell?
Howell [Ch. 1]: I don't know, Billy - let's find out. What do you make of that cymbal, Malcolm?
John Malcolm: I don't know, Howell. Does it mean anything to you, Tal Chotali?
Tal Chotali: The men of the hills are gathering. The cymbal says that the white men are to be driven from the Valley of Tombs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Scorpion as Himself See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shazam! This is great!
27 August 2005 | by orsino44See all my reviews

One of my favorite Republic serials, along with Zorro's Fighting Legion and Spy Smasher. Adventures of Captain Marvel is slick, fast-paced and action packed. Of course, it has the usual failings of most serials -- low budget, short shooting schedule, a few bumps and wrinkles along the way -- but if that bothers you, you are probably one of those viewers who complain about the plots of Jackie Chan films. Frank Coughlan, Jr., does creditable work as Billy Batson, while Tom Tyler (Stagecoach, Red River) makes a robust Captain Marvel. Fans of Indiana Jones will love this, especially the sets in Chapter One. The best part about Capt. Marvel is his occasional shortage of a sense of fair play. (When was the last time you saw Superman machine gun three guys in the back as they ran away?) This is one super hero who doesn't play around. I also love Tyler's evil grin as bullets bounce off his chest and his propensity for pimp-slapping the bad guys when they don't answer his questions quickly enough. Also, look for Reed Hadley (Zorro) as one of the bad guys; unmistakable due to his superb voice. Hadley narrated A-bomb training films for the US government and had high level security clearance for the job. The other big plus of Capt. Marvel is the ground-breaking flying effects by the Lydeckers, using wires, dummies, reversed film and the leaping skills of stuntman Dave Sharpe. If you love adventure serials, you'll love The Adventures of Captain Marvel. Highly recommended is the DVD release from Artisan.


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