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Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Tom Tyler , Frank Coghlan Jr. , John English , William Witney  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Tyler, Frank Coghlan Jr., William 'Billy' Benedict, Louise Currie, Robert Strange
  • Directors: John English, William Witney
  • Writers: Arch Heath, Bill Parker, C.C. Beck, Joseph F. Poland, Norman S. Hall
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 216 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000JD28S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,935 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adventures of Captain Marvel" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Tom Tyler. When a mild-mannered radio operator says shazam," he is magically transformed into the mighty Captain Marvel. His mission: to protect innocent people from the evil use of the Golden Scorpion, a metallic statue of the gods. 12 episodes. 1941/b&w/3 hrs., 36 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shazam! It's Captain Marvel vs. The Scorpion November 10, 2003
Format:DVD
Definitely the finest of the old-time movie serials, and the finest live action version of Captain Marvel. This movie was voted by Wizard magazine as the best comics-to-movie adaptation ever.
It has decent special effects and a fine story. A classic desert adventure, including angry horde, offended god, and stalwart hero. The flying sequences are well done. The cliff hangers are appropriately dramatic. The Scorpion is a nice serial villain, complete with hooded face and ultimate weapon, and Captain Marvel remains my favorite hero.
If you like serials or Captain Marvel you really can't go wrong with this.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Captain December 29, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Movie serials were written for youngsters but, as screenwriter Barry Shipman observed, this was not a putdown: "No, it's for the 12-year-old in all of us." Republic did them best, and "Adventures of Captain Marvel" is one of Republic's best (some say THE best). The flying superhero is based on a 1940s to 1950s comic book character, who went out of business after being sued by DC, the publishers of Superman, as a ripoff (in more recent years, he has been acquired and revived by DC; go figure). DC had a chance to have Superman serialized at Republic, but passed (the script was revised to become "The Mysterious Dr. Satan" with a non-super hero); Superman serials later came from Columbia with cartoon flying sequences. When the promoters of the Chris Reeve/Superman movie said it would be the first time audiences would believe a man could fly, they obviously hadn't seen the Captain Marvel serial.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shazam! It's Captain Marvel vs. The Scorpion April 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Definitely the finest of the old-time movie serials, and the finest live action version of Captain Marvel. This movie was voted by Wizard magazine as the best comics-to-movie adaptation ever.
It has decent special effects and a fine story. A classic desert adventure, including angry horde, offended god, and stalwart hero. The flying sequences are well done. The cliff hangers are appropriately dramatic. The Scorpion is a nice serial villain, complete with hooded face and ultimate weapon, and Captain Marvel remains my favorite hero.
If you like serials or Captain Marvel you really can't go wrong with this.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Lions Gate Home Entertainment and Republic Pictures present C.C. Beck's comic strip hero "Adventures of Captain Marvel" (1941) (Dolby digitally remastered), 12 Chapters of vintage serial loaded with action sequences...the best directors in serials are John English and William Witney, with screenplay by C.C. Beck (comic strip) and Bill Parker (comic strip), Ronald Davidson, Norman S. Hall, Arch Heath, Joseph F. Poland, Sol Shor...the cast Tom Tyler (Captain Marvel), Frank Coghlan Jr (Billy Batson ), William "Billy" Benedict (Whitey Murphy), Louise Carrie (Betty Wallace), Robert Strange (John Malcolm), Harry Worth (Prof. Luther Bentley), John Davidson (Tal Chotali), George Pembroke (Dr. Stephen Lang), Reed Hadley (Rahman Bar), Kenne Duncan (Barnett), Niegel De Brulier (Shazam), Gerald Mohr (Scorpion's voice), Bud Geary (Pete - caretaker at Lang's estate), Ed Cassidy (Capt. Dodge), Ernest Sarrcino (Akbar)...the plot is an exciting one as a scientific expedition to Siam places young Billy Batson at the right place at the right time...who is this strange Wizard Shazam that gave him super powers to become the worlds mightest mortal known as Captain Marvel....will his powers only last until the Golden Scorpion idol is recovered...can the hooded figure "The Scorpion" be stopped...has Billy Batson a plan that can save the world from the five lenses of the super powerful weapon of destruction...remember "SHAZAM" is the magic password to 12 startling and amazing never to be forgotten episodes..."Captain Marvel" fighting to save the world from destruction as "The Scorpion" plans to rule the world and discover Captain Marvel's secret...this is the most amazing serial ever produced on the screen for its time...if you're a fan of serials or old action flicks this is a sure fire winner... Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still gives me a thrill March 30, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
My father bought this serial for me on videotape many years ago. He knew I was a devoted fan of �Shazam,� the now-laughable Saturday morning live-action program that aired on CBS for a few years.
The serial changed my appreciation for Captain Marvel and introduced me to the concept of the cliffhanger. It is, quite simply, the best of the old Matinee Serials. I was thrilled when I found a �fresh� copy on tape through Amazon a few years ago.
The effects for the early 40s are quite good, even after watching them again in 2002, some 22 years after seeing it for the first time. A warning to parents, though: Violence is quite rampant; the Cap'n doesn't think twice about belting the bad guy or even picking up a machine gun to finish the job.
Highly recommended, though, for anyone who's a fan of Shazam, comic books or cinema from the period. Top notch.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STILL, The World's Mightiest Mortal!! January 27, 2007
Format:DVD
What can I say other than THIS serial is not only one of the best superhero adaptations ever, but as a point of historical significance, it is also the series that helped Captain Marvel's comics outsell those of The Man of Steel--Superman,which prompted the infamous DC COMICS v. Fawcett lawsuit! As entertainment, it does veer away from the comics somewhat. Billy Batson isn't a 13 year old, but a young man in his late teens or early 20s. Most of the original supporting cast is missing but Tom Tyler is near perfect as the Ol' SHAZAM-er(except for that slight Mid-Western accent!)The action centers around an ancient artifact called the Scorpion which contains lenses that can either turn base metals into gold or fire destructive power beams! The lenses are scattered and a masked villain, who also calls himself the Scorpion, spends the entire series trying to retrieve them, for they only work if they are together. The Big Red Cheese (as Marvel is nicknamed by fans) tries to stop him. The action is high octane with gunplay and violence that may be too strong for the very young. Captain Marvel is stern and like the pulp heroes of the day, isn't squeamish about using intimidation to get a thug to talk. The highlight of the series are the scenes of our hero in flight. Contrary to popular belief, it was Captain Marvel,not Superman, who first demonstrated the power of flight and in this series the stunt is pulled off by three methods: 1. Tom Tyler supported by wires against a cloudy backdrop ala George "Superman" Reeves 2. The spectacular take offs and landings by a stuntman. 3. The most clever of all, a lifelike dummy sliding on wires filmed in a real landscape! The overall affect is amazing and has you truly beleiving that a man can fly! This series is a must have for any comic book fan, devotees of the REAL Captain Marvel and action lovers everywhere!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Marvel is great! Keep in mind this is a 1940 serial ...
Captain Marvel is great! Keep in mind this is a 1940 serial but even so it's terrific and original in many ways for the superhero genre. Read more
Published 28 days ago by William A Devenney
4.0 out of 5 stars Up, Up, and Away!
I saw these at the local grammar school when I was a kid: part of a Summer movie program, we saw a main feature like "King Solomon's Mines" with one or two Chapters of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr. Charles Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best super hero serial ever!
Captain Marvel is a lot of fun in this relatively big budget effects laden serial. It was worth the price of admission to see the Captain toss a full size V-8 engine at a gang of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Morgan Painter
3.0 out of 5 stars SLOW GOING
You have to put this type of movie in perspective in order to navigate through the story. Often takes some getting used to. Holding your attention is another challenge.
Published 7 months ago by C6
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable serial
Back in the day a serial accompanied every movie at the theater. They usually lasted 12 or 15 weeks. This was an enjoyable one.
Published 7 months ago by Constantino Tata
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS TRULY ONE OF THE GREAT SERIALS OF ALL TIME!!
I have this on VHS but tapes don't last forever and DVD's can last decades.

The story is very good and a lot of fun, acting is very good, picture is better than the VHS... Read more
Published 8 months ago by David W. Nesbitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia!
I purchased this for my hubby who used to see this and other serials at the local movie theater when he was a kid. What nostalgia! The quality was very good considering it's age.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars So Cheap It Is Great
If you like cheap bad cinema you have got to love this one. It is so threadbare, so cheap and so laughable you have got to love it.

Let me give you an example. Read more
Published 12 months ago by That's Life
5.0 out of 5 stars No Shades of Gray
Now this is a true superhero, wielding absolute power absolutely. Confronted by a herd of bad guys? Capt. Read more
Published 16 months ago by doc3d
5.0 out of 5 stars It is good, innocent, non-violent and it keeps you guessing as to who...
Tom Tyler is also in The Phantom. If you want innocent, non-violent fun watch this and you will want to see how he does in that one. Read more
Published 17 months ago by choirboyme
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captain marvel dvd
According to the box, it is so I tested it in one of my players by turning the captions on my tv that is connected to that player. Confirmed: Yes it is closed captioned.
Aug 31, 2008 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
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