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Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | 28 March 1941 (USA)
To protect a magic talisman from being used for evil, a teenage boy named Billy Batson is given the power to become an adult superhero, Captain Marvel, with a single magic word: "Shazam!"

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Whitey Murphy (as William Benedict)
...
...
...
Prof. Luther Bentley
...
Henry Carlyle [Ch. 1-3]
...
George Pembroke ...
Dr. Stephen Lang [Ch. 1-9]
...
Prof. Dwight Fisher [Ch. 1-6] (as Peter George Lynn)
...
Rahman Bar [Ch. 1, 11-12]
...
James Howell [Ch. 1]
...
Barnett - Chief Henchman [Ch. 2-10] (as Kenneth Duncan)
...
John Bagni ...
Henchman Cowan [Ch. 2-10]
Edit

Storyline

On a scientific expedition to Siam young Billy Batson is given the ability to change himself into the super-powered Captain Marvel by the wizard Shazam, who tells him his powers will last only as long as the Golden Scorpion idol is threatened. Finding the idol, the scientists realize it could be the most powerful weapon in the world and remove the lenses that energize it, distributing them among themselves so that no one would be able to use the idol by himself. Back in the US, Billy Batson, as Captain Marvel, wages a battle against an evil, hooded figure, the Scorpion, who hopes to accumulate all five lenses, thereby gaining control of the super-powerful weapon. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN CARTOONLAND BECOMES THE STRONGEST MAN ON THE SCREEN! All others pale in the light of this human fortress who finds no barrier too great in his amazing fight for justice. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Marvel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$145,588 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

CHAPTER TITLES: 1. Curse of the Scorpion; 2. The Guillotine; 3. Time Bomb; 4. Death Takes the Wheel; 5. The Scorpion Strikes; 6. Lens of Death; 7. Human Targets; 8. Boomerang; 9. Dead Man's Trap; 10.Doom Ship; 11.Valley of Death; 12.Captain Marvel's Secret. See more »

Goofs

While a prisoner of the Scorpion, Betty manages to grab a gun and fire a shot that creases the villain's hand. Informed of this, Billy manipulates the expedition's members into showing their hands, and only one man's hand shows an injury. However, subsequent events prove he is not the Scorpion. How the real villain had no injury is never hinted at, and there's precious little said about the wound that was found: After Billy escapes a death trap at the latter man's home, the two have a conversation that is joined in progress, with Batson admitting that he could believe the scientist's story (told completely off-screen) about the cause of his injury if he could explain other things that had happened. Perhaps that trap was originally intended to be a chapter-ending cliffhanger and the explanations were lost in re-editing to eliminate a chapter here. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[sound of a huge gong omninously echoes down the valley]
Billy Batson: What's that, Mr. Howell?
Howell [Ch. 1]: I don't know, Billy - let's find out. What do you make of that cymbal, Malcolm?
John Malcolm: I don't know, Howell. Does it mean anything to you, Tal Chotali?
Tal Chotali: The men of the hills are gathering. The cymbal says that the white men are to be driven from the Valley of Tombs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Scorpion as Himself See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #40.9 (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

SURPRISINGLY GOOD
13 September 2000 | by (WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS) – See all my reviews

The distributor has given this material the respect it deserves.

Perhaps, the best comic book feature ever made! This was the original. Like the earlier 1930's serial "Flash Gordon", there is a sincere attempt at translating a comic book to the screen. And it's fun for both kids and adults!

While, screen serials like "The Shadow" did not manage to live up to it's radio original, this one is a winner. I would guess that Steven Spielberg saw this, prior to making "Raider's Of The Lost Ark".

The guy, Captain Marvel, does look silly running around in a cape...but, this is surprisingly good entertainment. Anyone who passes on this, has missed a good action offering. Possibly, superior to Tim Burton's "Batman"; the "Superman" movies, which featured Christopher Reeve; and, it's NOT bloody violence, like the action films of today.

Highly recommended.


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