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Starring Dick Purcell in the title role. Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain called The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations. In the 1940s, every studio had at least one genre they excelled at. Universal had horror films, Warner Brothers had crime dramas and social commentaries, MGM had lavish musicals and costume dramas. Republic Studios was near the bottom of the barrel, but they had something they did better than anyone else: serials, weekly chapterplays where the heroes faced a deadly peril at the end of each episode. No one did them better than Republic. They had the best writing, music, special effects, stuntmen, and these factors added up to the best serials of all time: `Zorro's Fighting Legion,' `The Lone Ranger,' `The Adventures of Captain Marvel,' `Spy Smasher,' and others. But by 1944, the Republic formula had become just that, formula. `Captain America' is a product of a studio and a genre in decline. While the movie is technically proficient and slickly produced, the thrill and excitement is gone. But this is still a fun serial (even though Captain America isn't the same as the comic character). Dick Purcell does a good job as Grant Gardner / Captain America, although he wasn't the best physical match for the part. Most of the young, trim guys were off fighting the war, so instead you have the nicely-rounded Purcell in the tights. Sometimes he looks more like Captain Dad than Captain America, but Purcell still does a decent job. Lorna Grey makes a surprisingly sexy sidekick. 15 chapters
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