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The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)

In World War II, Captain Invincible used his superpowers against the Nazis, and he was a hero. But when they accused him of supporting the Communists, he retired to Australia. Now, after a ... See full summary »


Philippe Mora

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin ... Captain Invincible
Christopher Lee ... Mr. Midnight
Kate Fitzpatrick ... Patty Patria
Bill Hunter ... Tupper / Coach
Michael Pate ... President
David Argue ... Italian Salesman
John Bluthal ... Deli Owner
Chelsea Brown ... Tour Guide
Max Cullen ... Italian Man
Arthur Dignam Arthur Dignam ... Lawyer
Noel Ferrier Noel Ferrier ... Airforce General
Hayes Gordon Hayes Gordon ... Kirby
Chris Haywood ... Maitre D'
Graham Kennedy ... Prime Minister
Gus Mercurio ... Noisy Garbageman


In World War II, Captain Invincible used his superpowers against the Nazis, and he was a hero. But when they accused him of supporting the Communists, he retired to Australia. Now, after a U.S. super secret super weapon is stolen, he's asked to come back to help. Unfortunately, he's an alcoholic now. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What the world needs now is a shining hero! See more »


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 February 1984 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Legend in Leotards See more »


Box Office


AUD5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Seven Keys See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie represents a rare genre hybrid: a superhero movie musical. See more »


Mr. Midnight: [sings] If you don't name your poison, I'll have to get the boys in, the spirit of adventure opens one's eyes. If you don't name your poison, I'll have to get the boys in, and you'll never see another tequila sunrise!
See more »


Featured in Man, Monkey, Wolf! (2016) See more »


New York, New York
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Words by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Alan Arkin
Used by permission by Warner Bros. Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Christopher Lee … Singing!
10 August 2009 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Christopher Lee is, apart from a demigod of horror and an amazing human being altogether, a very strange and unpredictable individual… Not that long ago I saw a film called "Meat Cleaver Massacre" and Lee allegedly wanted to sue the producers for using footage of him that he wasn't aware of. He wanted to go to court because he didn't know he starred in a not even that bad film, yet he voluntarily starred in THIS totally bonkers and jaw-dropping flamboyant Aussie flick?!? What the hell kind of career-swings are these?

Anyway, "The Return of Captain Invincible" is one gigantically delirious and extravagant cinematic conglomeration of Sci-Fi, comedy, musical, superhero-action and satire. I probably never would have known this movie existed if it wasn't for the recently released documentary "Not Quite Hollywood: the Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation". I swear, I've stumbled upon a lot of crazy and obscure Aussie stuff since the fine day I watched that film, but this puppy is undoubtedly the craziest of them all! The set-up of "The Return of Captain Invincible" is a lot more clever and original than you might think, actually. One could even claim that it's a forerunner of such popular films like Pixar's "The Incredibles", "Spiderman" and "Hancock", as this movie was the first to depict the powers and responsibilities of a superhero more as a burden rather than as a blessing. The film opens marvelously with a series of newspaper clippings and black-and-white flashbacks illustrating the glorious rise and immediately subsequent fall of superhero Captain Invincible. He saved the world from Nazi terrorism but then the media soiled his reputation linked him to a communist network. The disappointed Cap retired from New York to Sydney and spent many years drinking and drifting around. Now the world desperately needs him again, as the evil Mr. Midnight plots to take over New York, but Captain Invincible is reluctant to save the hypocrites that exiled him and – moreover – he forgot how to fly…

"The Return of Captain Invincible" is the prototypic example of a 'hit- and-miss' film. Many of the conceptual ideas are terrific and several sequences are both very creative and downright hilarious, but at the same time the film suffers from numerous defaults. Practically every great scene and/or moment of ingeniousness is followed by an irrelevant and dull scene or a needlessly mushy musical interlude. The film is very uneven in its set-up, exchanging absurd jokes and singing evil masterminds with moments of sentimental romance. It sometimes even feels like you're watching two entirely different films; especially when you're watching stoned like I was… The biggest entertainment value of "The Return of Captain Invincible" lies in the smaller details. Christopher Lee's sidekick, for example, looks like an evil version of Yoda with a Fu-Manchu mustache. The undeniable highlight is, as a matter of course, owned by Lee himself when he sings a hymn glorifying evil activities. Lovers of offbeat musicals might be very interest to know that nearly all songs are reminiscent to the soundtrack of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Overall, this definitely could have been a much better film if certain parts were cut and others had been more elaborated, but it's nevertheless a unique and strangely exhilarating film. Thank you, crazy Aussie people, for yet another wondrous piece of cult legacy.

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