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Old 06-04-2009, 01:22 PM   #1
waufreak89
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Default Thoughts On Captain America Serial

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In many ways the current popularity of superhero cinema harks back to the early movie series of the 1940s. While the technology and approach is vastly different a core truth remains. That truth is that all of these projects take heroes form comic pages and breath a life into them. We can see our heroes, listen to them speak. We engage our beloved icons in ways that just can't be accomplished on paper.

The Captain America serial is often scorned by fans. The reason being the gross liberties it took with the source material. Yes Cap's shield is missing in lieu of a gun. Yes Cap's alter ego is not a soldier but instead a District Attorney. Yes the series lacks any mention of Nazis or Bucky.

But look beyond all that for a moment, look beyond all that was changed and what remains is a unique piece of superhero cinema. One can do all the criticism they like, but I defy even the most cynical SOB not to mark out even a little when Cap first shows up on screen in costume.

What are your thoughts on this series? If you've never seen in it then you're in luck. The complete series is available above, a nifty by product of it being in public domain.


Last edited by waufreak89; 06-07-2009 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:08 AM   #2
Czar Colossus
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Default Re: Thoughts On Captain America Serial

I actually own this on VHS, it is worth watching for nostalgia's sake. It's quite obvious that this look was the inspiration for Ross' design for Bucky as Cap.
Happy Independence Day to all!

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Old 09-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
aTOMx
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Default Re: Thoughts On Captain America Serial

It's a good serial, and a fun take on an alternate univerve Cap.

I've also used the theory (while watching it) that Grant Gardner was one of several special agents given Vita-ray treatments so they could be "home-front" Capt. Americas, while the real Cap was busy in Europe, etc.


Last edited by aTOMx; 09-04-2009 at 10:13 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:02 AM   #4
Will Dockery
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Default Re: Thoughts On Captain America Serial

Quote:
Originally Posted by waufreak89 View Post
http://waufreak89.blip.tv/

In many ways the current popularity of superhero cinema harks back to the early movie series of the 1940s. While the technology and approach is vastly different a core truth remains. That truth is that all of these projects take heroes form comic pages and breath a life into them. We can see our heroes, listen to them speak. We engage our beloved icons in ways that just can't be accomplished on paper.

The Captain America serial is often scorned by fans. The reason being the gross liberties it took with the source material. Yes Cap's shield is missing in lieu of a gun. Yes Cap's alter ego is not a soldier but instead a District Attorney. Yes the series lacks any mention of Nazis or Bucky.

But look beyond all that for a moment, look beyond all that was changed and what remains is a unique piece of superhero cinema. One can do all the criticism they like, but I defy even the most cynical SOB not to mark out even a little when Cap first shows up on screen in costume.

What are your thoughts on this series? If you've never seen in it then you're in luck. The complete series is available above, a nifty by product of it being in public domain.
I finally did check out the original Dick Purcell version of Cap in the movies, and find a certain charm in it all.

Dick Purcell: the first Captain America of the movies

http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/Dick_Purcell

Dick Purcell

Born August 6, 1908
Greenwich, Connecticut
Died April 10 1944 (aged 35)
Hollywood, California
Nationality American

Dick Purcell (August 6, 1908 - April 10, 1944) was an American actor
best known for playing Marvel Comics' Captain America in the 1943 film
serial, co-starring with Lorna Gray and Lionel Atwill.[1] Purcell also
appeared in films such as Tough Kid (1938), Heroes In Blue (1939),
Irish Luck (1939) and King Of The Zombies (1941).

Purcell was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, an only child, full name
Richard Gerald Purcell, Jr., a Roman Catholic, he attended Catholic
grade school and high school, before enrolling as a student at Fordham
University in The Bronx in New York City.

Theatre and Early Film Work
While in New York City, Dick Purcell began his acting career in
theatre, appearing in at least three plays: Men in White, Sailor,
Beware! and Paths of Glory. During his time acting in Paths of Glory,
a talent scout spooted Purcell and this led to a small role in the
film Ceiling Zero (1936). His next film was Man Hunt in which Purcell
had a larger role as a newspaper reporter. Amazingly, Purcell appeared
in eleven films in 1936 alone.

[edit] Captain America
Captain America (1944) is a Republic serial film based (loosely) on
the comic book character Captain America. It was the last Republic
serial made about a superhero. It also has the distinction of being
the most expensive serial that Republic ever made.

The serial sees Captain America, really District Attorney Grant
Gardner, trying to thwart the plans of The Scarab, really museum
curator Dr. Cyrus Maldor - especially regarding his attempts to
acquire the "Dynamic Vibrator" and "Electronic Firebolt", devices that
could be used as super-weapons.

Dick Purcell won the role as District Attorney Grant Gardner and
Captain America. Purcell was cast as the hero despite supposedly
appearing a bit overweight and average.]].[2]

Tragically, the role that made Dick Purcell famous turned out to be
his last, and in fact he died before the film serial was released, to
enormous success: Captain America. The strain of filming Captain
America had been too much for his heart and he collapsed in the locker
room at a Los Angeles country club on the 10th of April 1944, shortly
after playing a round of golf, Purcell died a few weeks after filming
was completed.

The Captain America serial is said to have been "...the hugely popular
15 chapter Saturday matinee serial", and better made than other
superhero films of that time period.
The old movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s have been likened to
television limited series of modern times, in that weekly chapters
would appear, thus elevating the actors in these films to a highly
iconic level among audiences, although they were overshadowed by so-
called A-List performers. There were a total of 15 episodes in the
Captain America serial, which meant that the film and story stretched
across the entire summer.

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