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Captain America (1944)

Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain called The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations.

Writers:

Royal K. Cole (original screenplay) (as Royal Cole), Ronald Davidson (original screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Purcell ... Captain America / Grant Gardner
Lorna Gray ... Gail Richards
Lionel Atwill ... Cyrus Maldor
Charles Trowbridge ... Dryden
Russell Hicks ... Randolph
George J. Lewis ... Bart Matson
John Davidson ... Gruber
Norman Nesbitt Norman Nesbitt ... Newscaster
Frank Reicher ... Lyman [Ch. 1]
Hugh Sothern ... Eldon Dodge [Chs. 2-5]
Tom Chatterton ... J.C. Henley [Chs. 6-8]
Robert Frazer ... Clinton Lyman [Chs. 10-12]
John Hamilton ... G.F. Hillman [Chs. 13-14]
Crane Whitley Crane Whitley ... Dirk [Chs. 11-12]
Edward Keane ... Agent 33 [Ch. 15]
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Storyline

Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain called The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BLAZING ACROSS THE SCREEN IN A SERIAL OF REAL LIFE ADVENTURES! (original print ad-all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of Captain America See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$222,906 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 chapters)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In Captain America's original story, a man named Steve Rogers--who is too weak and puny to fight in World War II-is injected with a Super-Soldier Serum and develops an enhanced physique, after which he becomes Captain America and does battle with the agents of Nazi Germany. This back story was rejected by Republic during the making of this serial, as it would have required costly retakes at the time. In the serial, Captain America's real name is Grant Gardner, he is the city's district attorney and his foe is the Scarab, aka Karl Maaldor, played by Lionel Atwill. See more »

Goofs

Chapter one: You do not smell an unknown substance with your nose. You gently waft with your hand over the container, then sniff your cupped hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Scarab: This is the voice of the Scarab, Wilson. I command you to drive your car over the cliff!
See more »

Connections

Version of Captain America (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
American Idle
6 February 2008 | by flapdoodle64See all my reviews

This serial has nothing to do with the original comic book Captain America but is still entertaining. Some people considered the star, Dick Purcell, to be pudgy but this is simply not so. He just had a more realistic body type than a male growth hormone guzzling freak like Sylvester Stallone. The men of Dick Purcell's era had survived the Great Depression and when they were hungry they ate meat and potatoes. Go take a look at your own gut sometime! Overall, Purcell made a pretty good serial hero, tough enough to do the job convincingly, a reasonably good actor, not wearing his angst and self doubt on his shirt sleeve like some modern sissy boy hero. While not as great as Buster Crabbe or Tom Tyler, he was better than Kirk Alyn (sorry, Kirk).

This serial has lots of excellent fight scenes and great cliff hangers. Also, there is a sequence where Captain America rides the Republic motorcycle, which was also seen in 'Spy Smasher.' The villain, Lionel Atwill, is probably one of the best serial villains, perhaps even better than Charles Middleton as Emperor Ming. Perhaps it would have been wiser to do this in the usual 12 chapters, as opposed to 15, but then again, if I minded wasting my time, why would I watch these old serials? Overall, this is a pretty good serial, and as such it has a higher value for escapist fun than most modern super-heroic cinema. One significant criticism I will make, however, is the inexplicable exclusion of all references to WWII. When it's WWII out there, and you have Captain America, a character created to fight WWII, yet the story has nothing to do with WWII, well, that is an awfully big elephant in the room. It would be akin, say, to a nation that spends $200 million a day for 10 years on a war, with the public having no reliable knowledge of the causes, progress, or effects of the war.


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