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Captain Video (1951)

Judd Holdren , Larry Stewart , Spencer Gordon Bennet , Wallace Grissell  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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Captain Video + Captain Video and His Video Rangers + Classic Sci-Fi TV - 150 Episodes
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Product Details

  • Actors: Judd Holdren, Larry Stewart, George Eldredge, Gene Roth, Don C. Harvey
  • Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Wallace Grissell
  • Writers: George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, Royal K. Cole, Sherman L. Lowe
  • Producers: Sam Katzman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005
  • Run Time: 287 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A6CKWU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Captain Video" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Captain Video was such a nationwide sensation that in 1951, Columbia Pictures Corporation contracted to produce a theatrical serial of the Captain's exploits, the first TV show ever to be adapted to the big screen. The results, Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere has been hailed as "a nostalgic delight all the way through... a unique concoction, quite unlike any other serial ever made!" (Roaring Rockets). "Captain Video, Master of Space! Hero of Science! Operating from his secret mountain headquarters on the planet Earth! Captain Video rallies men of good will and leads them against the forces of evil everywhere! As he rockets from planet to planet, let us follow the champion of justice, truth and freedom throughout the universe! Stand by for "Captain Video and his Video Rangers!" Bonus Features: Digitally Mastered & Restored | Photo Gallery & Sci-Fi Poster Gallery | Actor Bios | Scene Selection Menu | Bonus Serial Trailers. Specs: 2-DVD9s; Dolby Digital Mono; 297 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1951; SRP - $29.99.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So you'll know: Not the TV Series. January 15, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for the 1949-1955 TV series with Al Hodge as Captain Video and Don Hastings as the Video Ranger, this is not it. Unhappily, most of all the footage from that series died when the old Dumont Network died in the late 50's.

For those of you like me who are nostalgic over the TV series, there are a number of websites about Captain Video, so see Wikipedia for a starting place with links: [...]

THIS DVD is the movie serial that was made with different actors, and seems to be the FIRST TV Show to be made into a movie!

Just thought you might want to know...
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love the old movie serials! October 12, 2005
Format:DVD
I have three Flash Gordons, a Phantom and now, Captain Video! First, the serious criticism. Wooden acting, cheap-looking sets, hand-drawn animation special FX, an impossibly involved, contrived plot, meaningless science-babble jargon. But those are also the charms of this serial. If you want to enjoy some campy fun with good guys versus bad guys, no blood and gore, action a-plenty and happy ending, welcome to Captain Video!!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! April 29, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Captain Video rules! I bought this DVD on a whim not expecting much during amazon's sci fi dvd sale. This is actually a great serial. The quality of the DVD is really really good considering i've read that many of the episodes were destroyed in the 70's for its silver content. Great fun for the whole family if the kids can stand cheesy effects compared to tv today. But this show is clean and fun for all ages and you can't beat the $13 price tag for 2 DVD's. Also from reading many reviews of the VCI logo that appears in the corner of the screen, they must have re-released these DVD's because the logo has not popped up on my screen ever. The back of the box states copyright 2007 and it was originally released in 2005. Buy this collection you won't be disappointed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "a concentrated shower of cosmic wastes..." June 21, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Captain Video," the 1951 Columbia serial is in 15 chapters, directed by Spencer Bennet and Wallace Grissell, based on the DuMont network live television program.

The plot has a villain, Dr. Tobor (George Eldredge), meddling with the Earth's weather, with help from Vultura of planet Atoma (Gene Roth), who wants control of the universe including the Earth, and has started by invading and mostly conquering planet Theros. Triangulating some measurements of magnetic impulses, Captain Video (Judd Holdren) and the Video Ranger (Larry Stewart) visit Dr. Tobor, who claims he is trying to counteract the evil forces causing the weather problem. Soon, however, Dr. Tobor takes off for Atoma, trying to make it look like he was abducted, and with Vultura's remote-control equipment tries to blast Captain Video's space ship by activating and guiding a couple dormant comets.

There have been a few rather unjustified complaints about the serial adaptation. First, that "Tobor" is a cheap reuse of a character name from the TV show. I did extensive research (at least 15 minutes with Google) and found that the episodes usually called "I TOBOR" and written by Isaac Asimov didn't air until 2 November 1953, almost two years after release of this serial. There seem to be a few references suggesting that Tobor was used earlier but nothing specific mentioned in descriptions available for those shows. The 1946 Columbia serial "Hop Harrigan" includes a Dr. Tobor, and is likely why the name was used here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect January 27, 2011
Format:DVD
VCI built a huge reputation for providing high quality serial transfers. Much better than Alpha who freeze frames opening credits, adds their logo in the corner, and add sound effects to the sound tracks. VCI did a superb job with this release. My only two gripes. I wish they did NOT put their VCI logo on the corner of the screen. It's so large it almost takes up the bottom fourth of the screen! Why they did that, I don't know. Word has it they stopped doing that, thankfully. Secondly, this was historically the only serial to be theatrically released in color. Actually, color tints. So they added color tints for many scenes. I consider this an alteration, not a restoration. Odd thing. I have a copy of this same serial I bought from the same person who supplied serials to VCI and my copy was almost the exact beautiful quality, but with no color tints, and no logo. So you can get an un-altered version floating out there.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very poor serial April 4, 2006
Format:DVD
First there is the problem of the VCI logo flashing every four minutes for twenty seconds. It is completely unacceptable to interfere with potential enjoyment of a product in that fashion.

That said, it is hard to enjoy this serial. Virtually the entire serial is a repeat of a basic car chase and the use of some ridiculous gadget at headquarters to resolve the cliffhanger.

Captain Video is frozen on a distant planet and headquarters just happens to locate him and send out a defroster beam. Pure cheese.

This serial is for completist collectors only. Others should look elsewhere
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT CAPTAIN VIDEO
Very good dvd. Again, this was the very same Saturday serial that i saw at the movie theater when i was a kid.
Published 3 months ago by owen winkle
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Video serial
This serial arrived in a timely manner. Serial fans will recognize the robots as they appeared first in Dancing Lady and The Phantom Empire. Read more
Published on July 6, 2010 by Sir Squirrel
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
I doubt that I missed even a single episode of Captain Video on TV. I'm sure that my memories of it have been filtered by time, but there is no way it could have been as bad as... Read more
Published on November 3, 2008 by Dennis M. Southwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Best quality picture I've seen!
I've seen several other different videos and DVDs of this same serial and even if the tinted sequences weren't there, this is still by far the best quality picture of any of them! Read more
Published on October 17, 2007 by Kirk Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars CAMPY, CORNY, CUTE AND HILLARIOUS
My opinion is not without bias, my father was the Video Ranger...but when we played this series of DVD's for all our friends, laughter was continuous. Read more
Published on November 5, 2006 by Fancy Pants
4.0 out of 5 stars CRAP O RAMA IN SPACE
I DISSAGREE WITH OTHER REVIEWS ABOUT THE PRINT QUALITY...

BUT THE RESTORED TINTING HELPS A BUNCH... Read more
Published on October 20, 2005 by Kevin McAllen
5.0 out of 5 stars "with evil forces from Planet Atoma our hero vows to protect Earth ~...
VCI Entertainment and Columbia Pictures present "Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere" (1951) (digitally remastered), 15 Chapters of a sought after vintage serial loaded with... Read more
Published on September 18, 2005 by J. Lovins
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