Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

The very first superhero to make it to the big screen wasn’t Superman or Batman...it was Captain Marvel.
(Or as he is know today...Shazam...)
And they did a pretty darn good job for 1941.
It was a serial produced by Republic Pictures and ran for twelve episodes.

Tom Tyler in The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

The series was closer to the comics than a lot of modern day adaptions with Tom Tyler as Captain Marvel and Frank Coghlan, Jr. as Billy Batson.
They even had the old wizard Shazam and Billy's origin was pretty much intact.
Although this did beat Superman to the screen by ten years, interestingly, the story was written to be a Superman film.
When DC backed out, Republic went to Fawcett Comics and got the rights to Captain marvel.
A few script changes and they were on their way.

Movie critics both then and now have said this film was one of the best serials ever made.
And for a long time, one of the best live action superhero adaptions.

The dummy on a wire dressed in a Captain Marvel uniform looked pretty bad...okay...REALLY bad, but the other Captain Marvel flying shots looked really good for the 1940s.

With a new Captain Marvel film..sorry...it's "Shazam" now, film coming out in 2016, we can hope it is the modern day equivalent of it's ancestor.
A really well made film.

Chapter One of Adventures of Captain Marvel

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