erik lundegaard

Captain America (1944): The Slideshow Review


  • Captain America was born fighting the Nazis. The first issue came out in March 1941, nine months before the U.S. entered World War II, a time when Hollywood was still timid about making anti-Nazi movies. But Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, in a nascent industry with fewer rules, had no problem at all drawing Cap decking Hitler on their first cover. So what did Hollywood do when they made Cap only the fourth comic-book-based, live-action superhero of the silver screen?

  • They turned him into this. Where are his wings? Where is his shield? Where's Bucky? None of them made the transfer.

  • He isn't even Pvt. Steve Rogers. He's Grant Gardner, district attorney. Worse, he doesn't fight the Nazis.

  • He fights this guy.

  • With a gun.

  • He does have this hot number as an assistant. She seems to know Grant is Cap. She also sends the final clue that will make the D.A. (or C.A.) realize who the villain is. She saves the day.

  • But for most of the serial, she's reduced to this.

  • And this.

  • Or she's being hypnotized into doing whatever the Scarab wants. No, he doesn't want that.

  • There's some cool stuff in the 15 chapters: Cap riding a motorcyle ...

  • ... a few shots that impress.

  • And it's kinda cool when he changes into Cap ...

  • Some of the time.

  • But it is what it is: a 15-chapter movie serial with cliffhangers. The title cards, which are supposed to get us up-to-date at the beginning of each episode, actually demonstrate Cap's complete incompetence.

  • He tries ...

  • ... and he tries ...

  • But he keeps failing.

  • It's like a bad dream. Full review here.

Posted at 06:00 AM on Thu. Mar 27, 2014 in category Movie Reviews - 1940s  
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