Captain America (1944)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Captain America
as Gail Richards
as Doctor Maldor
as Mayor Randolph
as Dr. Baracs
as Prof. Lyman
as Prof. Didge
as Commissioner Dryden
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Audience Reviews for Captain America
There's a surprising amount of serials based on comic characters, yet only a few tend to stand out. This is not one of those that do. Cap' America is out of character, the plot is generic, and the action are incredibly bland.
This original Captain America (in serial rather than single motion picture) was disappointing for several reasons. The first is that Cap's name isn't Steve Rogers - as it should be - but Grant Gardner, a district attorney who fancies himself a cop. He also chooses to wield a revolver instead of a shield and is all too happy to kill any bad guy who gets in his way. His shoot (or punch) first and ask questions later attitute adds to his incompetence as a hero. Instead of arriving in the nick of time, he arrives either too late or wastes time beating people up when subterfuge is in order. Also very strange was the plot in general. In the comic books, Cap was a WWII hero, and given that this movie was filmed during the war, I would have expected a wartime plot. Instead we are left with a disgruntled archaeologist and his band of thugs who are never a match for the very much non-super hero D.A. Although there was much more that could be criticized, the only other curiosity that bothered me was a distinct lack of women. There was only one! Cap's sidekick was a woman named Gail who had almost no personality and was mostly useless aside from her ability to act in charge and then be captured. When faced with death, she mostly seemed bored. Outside of Gail, there were no other female characters - not even an extra! Basically I would recommend watching this if you really enjoy shoot 'em up action films, fist fights, and car chases. If you're looking for a good plot, decent acting, or loyalty to the original creation, look elsewhere.
Ok so it seems that I was wrong about this being a movie, but more of a serial film. Nevertheless, I stood by my promise and continued to watch this movie and here is what I thought about it. Captain America is a Republic serial film based (loosely) on the comic book character Captain America. It was the last Republic serial made about a superhero. It also has the distinction of being the most expensive serial that Republic ever made. The serial sees Captain America, really District Attorney Grant Gardner, trying to thwart the plans of The Scarab, really museum curator Dr. Cyrus Maldor - especially regarding his attempts to acquire the "Dynamic Vibrator" and "Electronic Firebolt", devices that could be used as super-weapons.In a rare plot element for Republic, the secret identity of the villain is known to the audience from the beginning, if not to the characters in the serial. The studio's usual approach was the use of a mystery villain who was only unmasked as one of the other supporting characters in the final chapter. Overall, this was a pretty damn good series for its time and I'd recomend this to anyone who are into classic comic book serials. I give this 3 1/2 outta 5 stars mostly because of the fact that they didn't use Steve Rodgers name and Dick Purcell's role as Cap made him look a little pudgy in that outfit. But with every negative there is also a positive, like the fact that Dick Purcell kicked a lot of ass and shot criminals with a gun. Now that's awesome, especially for a serial series. Next week I'm gonna jump ship to the year 1979 where I will review the next Captain America movie with riding motorcycles and glass shields galore.
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