The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)

Genres - Adventure, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Adventure, Superhero Film  |   Run Time - 216 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The Adventures of Captain Marvel is a 12-episode Republic serial based on the comic book character of the same name. Young Billy Batson (Frank Coghlan Jr.) is part of a scientific expedition in a remote section of Siam. Trapped in an ancient tomb, Billy happens upon an ancient shaman acronymically named Shazam (each letter in his name stands for a famous Greek or Roman god). Because Billy has obeyed the warnings written on the sacred chamber, the old man rewards the boy with the ability to turn into superhero Captain Marvel (Tom Tyler). Billy can make the transformation only by uttering the word "Shazam!"--which explains why the script, for suspense purposes, contrives to have Billy bound and gagged at crucial moments. Young Batson finds that his alter ego comes in handy in determining the identity of "the Scorpion," a member of the expedition who plans to kill his colleagues after learning the secret hiding places of the components of a super-weapon called the Golden Scorpion. A well-above-average Republic entry, The Adventures of Captain Marvel is distinguished by the eye-popping stunt work of David Sharpe and by Captain Marvel's utterly convincing flying scenes, courtesy of special-effects maestros Howard and Theodore Lydecker.

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Keywords

alter-ego, Superhero, crimefighting, good-vs-evil, comic-book, double-life, secret-identity, secret-life, super-power, villain