March 28, 2014

Watch A Captain America Movie From 1944 For Free

Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be in theaters on Friday, April 4. But if you want you can watch a Captain America movie from 1944 for free, thanks to the good folks at the Internet Archive.

Captain America - 1944 Serial

The film, an old black and white serial, runs 25 minutes and 16 seconds and is titled Captain America, Chapter 1 (1944). It stars Dick Purcell as Captain America, aka Grant Gardner (more on this in a moment), Lorna Gray as Gail Richards, Lionel Atwill as Doctor Maldor (think he might be a bad guy with that name? He also wears a monocle), along with Charles Trowbridge and Russell Hicks. The description from IMDB is as follows:

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.

Sounds cool, right? It’s… not so great. I haven’t watched the whole thing but your first clue that it isn’t the Cap we all know and love is that his secret identity is Grant Gardner.

Grant who? Exactly.

According to commenters on Archive.org, Gardner is a D.A. rather than a super-soldier like Steve Rogers. “Mildly entertaing, but for the wrong reasons.” There’s a quote for the ad.

This version of Cap does ride a motorcycle, which is comic book accurate. Basically it would appear that the producers of this serial didn’t really care about being true to the original books, and/or they didn’t trust the source material. Which is silly since the original Cap is awesome. Perhaps in 1944 it didn’t seem like a good idea commercially to have a Nazi-fighting Super-Soldier, hence the generic “By day he is a simple beat cop named Herman Hamstercheeks. But by night he is… Nudnik Man!” (Note: I made that up. All rights reserved.)

That said, this old flick is under half an hour, and you can watch it right now, here, for free. Unlike Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which you’ll have to wait for.

Direct link is below if the embed gets kerfuffled.

Captain America, Chapter 1 : William J. O’Sullivan : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive.

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