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King of the Rocket Men


List Price: $14.95
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Frequently Bought Together

King of the Rocket Men + Zombies of the Stratosphere + Radar Men From The Moon : Vol. 1 & 2 (Two-Disc Edition)
Price for all three: $30.39

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tristram Coffin, Mae Clarke, Don Haggerty, House Peters Jr., James Craven
  • Directors: Fred C. Brannon
  • Writers: Royal K. Cole, Sol Shor, William Lively
  • Producers: Franklin Adreon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cheezy Flicks Ent
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 166 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009ZBVBI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,737 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "King of the Rocket Men" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

12 Episodes - One by one a group of atomic researchers are being decimated by remote control. The survivors suspect that the villain, calling himself "Dr. Vulcan is one of their own members who is bent on a monopoly of their technological wonders. Jeff

Customer Reviews

He's always talking about how much he likes it.
Fel Angel
This is a great serial, mostly well-mastered by Cheezy Flicks-- however, my copy has a slight defect in Chapter 2 where a brief sequence is strangely repeated.
C. D. Malin
The picture is sharp and clear and the sound is even.
Tom Conner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By William R. Hancock on November 11, 2005
Format: DVD
Rocketman , the hero of this 1949 Republic serial offering, was also known to movie (and later television) audiences as "Commando Cody" (in "Radar men from From the Moon" and the "Commando Cody" limited-run tele-serial), and as "Larry Martin" in the "Zombies of the Stratosphere" chapterplay, which featured a young Leonard Nimoy as a malevolent alien invader.

The "Commando Cody" moniker was the most utilized name for this character, but the original serial, "King of the Rocketmen", is universally recognized as the best presentation of this flying suited hero(whom many "boomers" fondly recall as "old bullethead". Back in the 1930's novelist Zane Grey created an action-adventure character , Sgt. Dave King of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and put him in a book titled

"King of the Royal Mounted". Republic Pictures bought the rights to this and turned this "King" into an excellent serial feature starring Allen "Rocky" Lane. After this, Republic was off and running on a "King" binge that lasted for years. A hero who had the last name of King would pop up repeatedly in Republic serials. There was a "King of the Texas Rangers", a "King of the Forest Rangers", a "King of the Rocketmen", and so forth. In fact, Republic's very last serial was...what else?..."King of the Carnival".

This one is likely the best of the lot. It is a film that the old "Screen Thrills Illustrated" magazine, years ago, pronounced "The last great serial to be made in Hollywood". There were some GOOD ones after it, but most serial fans do think this was the last GREAT one.

The story concerns a scientific think-tank/research facility in California called "Science Associates" . This group does high level inventive research.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Laughing Gravy on October 5, 2005
Format: DVD
KING OF THE ROCKET MEN is a very enjoyable serial and I'm overjoyed it's coming to DVD at last.

By this late in the serial game (1949), Republic Studios had a tendency to go through the motions, getting by on the reputation (and re-releases) of earlier, better serials and the studio's matchless stunt and special effects men. That changed in 1948, when Columbia released SUPERMAN, which - despite the fact that it was a disappointment on every level - became the biggest money-making serial ever made. Republic, which had perfected "flying human" special effects with their earlier serials DARKEST AFRICA (1936) and THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (1941), concocted their own airborne super-hero, Rocket Man, and bested the Man of Steel handily.

Tris Coffin, nobody's idea of a handsome, two-fisted hero (he specialized in playing weaselly henchmen or slick con-artists) is Jeff King, the guy in the rocket suit. He surprises all of us by being a very effective hero, not least of all because he suddenly loses the moustache and turns into ace stuntman Tom Steele whenever a fight breaks out.

Speaking of ace stuntmen, not only is Steele doubling for the leading man, he plays one (or more) of Vulcan's henchmen, and the gang of thugs includes Dale Van Sickel and Dave Sharpe, two of the studio's other reliable stuntmen, who perform double (and sometimes triple) duty in the same scenes, doubling the heroes, themselves, and probably the cameramen and script girl. It's a delight to see.

The plot entails Rocket Man battling a mysterious archfiend named Dr. Vulcan, who's after a deathray that he plans to use to blackmail the civilized world.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Tom Conner on December 5, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cheezy Flicks has done an excellent job of producing this DVD. The transfer quality is very good. The picture is sharp and clear and the sound is even. The DVD contains nice special features, including 3 sci-fi trailers. There is no invasive logos poping up on screen. Both discs play perfectly in my "sensitive" old unit. That's a real plus.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. Jarocki on March 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a trememdous fan of the Rocket Men serials, all 3 of them. King of the Rocket Men, Radar Men from the Moon and Zombies of the Stratosphere. Having them on vhs I was not looking forward to the daunting proposition of having to transfer them to dvd with a home dvd recorder. But that's just what the production people of this dvd did. When I got my copy it looks like a very amateurish job done on someone's home computer. When I tried to play the dvd I couldn't because these amateurs forgot to "finish" the dvd so my dvd player couldn't recognize it. When I tried to contact the company several times to arrange for an exchange I got no response at all. I gave it one star only because this system will not let me give it no stars.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. D. Malin on July 24, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had never seen the full version of "King of the Rocket Men", only the severely edited feature-length version called "Lost Planet Airmen". This is a great serial, mostly well-mastered by Cheezy Flicks-- however, my copy has a slight defect in Chapter 2 where a brief sequence is strangely repeated. Overall though, the quality is very good, better than some other DVDs of serials from the same period!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Dahl on September 20, 2008
Format: DVD
This is another one of Republic's great adventure serials, made in the days before television when audiences would regularly attend the cinema and would be shown one serial episode per week.

The plot is not bad, but is really just an excuse to string together an almost non-stop series of stunts. Getting bored with the dialog? Well, don't worry, because there's a fistfight coming up in thirty seconds, courtesy of Republic's group of first-class stunt men.

With a gunfight every four minutes, a car chase every three minutes, and a fistfight every two minutes, you won't have time to get bored! And I lost count of the number of times our hero dons his rocket suit and flies off in pursuit of the baddies.

"King Of The Rocket Men" starred B-movie actor Tristram Coffin as "Jeff King", alias "Rocketman". The 12-part serial was edited and condensed into a feature version, "Lost Planet Airmen" (1951).

This DVD set brings us the entire 12-chapter serial on 2 DVDs, 6 chapters per DVD. The quality of the picture is excellent, obviously mastered from a first-rate film print. Images are sharp and the B&W photography shows the full range of grays and blacks.

I have only two minor complaints. First, you can jump to individual chapters from the main menu if you wish, but the names of the chapters have been transposed. You can still jump to Chapter 4, for example, but it's listed as "Molten Menace" rather than the chapter's correct title, "High Peril". Other chapter names have been similarly transposed.

My other complaint is that a short 30-second sequence in Chapter 2 is oddly repeated -- a henchman picks up the telephone and speaks to the Operator -- twice! But these are minor complaints about an otherwise superior product.
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King of the Rocket Men
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