Captain American the Movie 1990

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Now that every super hero movie that can be cranked out is expected to make $100 million bucks and films are lined up to the horizon waiting to get made. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at a film that I had high hopes for back in 1990, “Captain America”.

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Back in 1989 a little movie called Batman struck theaters and it was a huge hit. By taking the film in a darker direction Tim Burton got people to forget the campy TV series and look forward to more installments of the Dark Knight. This could have been the start of a super hero movie revolution if the film studios could just crank out some decent product. Instead Marvel produced some real misses like the above mentioned Captain America, the hilariously unwatchable “Fantastic Four”, and the surprisingly, not so bad on the small screen, “The Punisher”. These missteps put everything on hold for a couple of years and made us wait for a young man named Bryan Singer to start everything going again. Now back to Cap.

The Movie Plot
During World War II, American patriotic Steve Rogers undergoes experiments to become “Captain America.” In a fight against his Nazi nemesis the “Red Skull”, Cap gets himself frozen. He is defrosted in the 1990s to once again do battle with the Red Skull who has changed identities and is planning to kidnap the President of the United States. It doesn’t sound too bad on paper, but for fans of the red, white and blue avenger this film was extremely disappointing. Maybe I was just had too high of expectations?

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I admit, I do own every issue of the Captain American Comic starting with issue 100 and followed the making of this movie as best as I could in pre-internet days. I guess I was bound to be let down. Marvel mentioned the film in glowing terms in the February 1990 issue of Marvel. This seemed like it was gonna be a hit to my young impressionable mind. Check out the still of Cap strapped to the V2.

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The film is not without its charm. The start has a lot of potential and as a fan of the comic, I was pleased to see they tried to stick to the basic outline of Cap’s life, but it looks like they ran out of money after the first 15 minutes. Matt Salinger, who looks like Steve Rogers, isn’t a horrible actor, but he doesn’t bring the physical gravity and sense of right that a fan might expect. He actually comes off as whiny at times.

Its not that bad at the start. Check out this clip and you will see what I mean.

It all pretty much goes down hill from there and you really don’t have to dig to find lots of things to criticise. To begin with the costume isn’t that good. Sure it sticks close to the original design colors, but it looks like what it is plastic. It’s actually kind of shiny. Not the classic “mail” look that one would expect from our star-spangled hero.

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As for the Red Skull…He looks, what a good word to describe him, Lumpy? Cracky? Either way he is not very skull-like at all. More burn victim with leprosy or something.

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Its hard to find clips online of the movie that have not been altered, but if you want to awaken your inner jingo or jest need a good laugh check out this “Captain America Movie Tribute”.

Not on your roof waving that flag yet? Check out this video that borrows the theme song from “Team America World Police”.

Another Cap movie is reportedly just 2 years away and I am very excited too see how this one turns out. Should I be positive? Looking back to 1990 the next one has no where to go but up.


7 Responses to Captain American the Movie 1990

  1. Philip Waters says:

    Captain America Movie. Started production on this film in Oct of 1987.(Before Batman) With a good cast and a $40 million buget. After filming about 1/2 of the begining and a small part of the ending, only 3 1/2 weeks into production, investors pulled all the money out from under us.(Last big hero movie was Superman 2). the film shut down. In April of 1990 Marvel fronted $3 million to finish the project. Matt Salinger was called back in, a handfull of shots was filmed. Less then 1/2 of the movie was filmed as it was written. (And some fight scenes are still missing.) Menahem’s boys glue it together. The Film needs to be reworked. P.W.
    The rubber ears would NOT have been seen in the final cut.

  2. The Retroist says:

    Phillip, are you the Philip Waters who is credited as DP on the film?

  3. Philip Waters says:

    Yes, Thats me (Dont kick rocks at me) Ha

  4. The Retroist says:

    No Rocks here (unless you are the one who cut the budget). What I think anyone who has seen the film would like to know is what would the completed film have been like? Why was the money pulled? And why was the Red Skull Italian?

    You have any info that could shed some light on that?

  5. Philip Waters says:

    The Movie would have been alot different. About 70% Johann Schmidt was not Italian in the movie. (As the story would have told ,If it was finished. He was hidden from the Nazi by his family In Italy.) The money was pulled >superman 4 the quest for peace. 1987 Do to the box office and reviews.

  6. Philip Waters says:

    In the frist round tables, In about Sept of 1986 the studio wanted Schwarzenegger or Lundgren. Marvel wanted to use an unknown american actor. Salinger’s name came up over & over . We all wanted to make a Superman 2 type film. Nobody wants to make a bad Movie ( I LOVE Captain america, but is kinda bad.) And this movie was not low budget( Not at first). Ronny Cox was a star, Robo cop, Total recall, Beverly hill cop 1&2 ect. Ned Beatty Superman 1&2 ect. Darren McGavin (We see him each year at Christmas) Christmas story ect. Melinda Dillion Christmas Story, Close Encounter of the Third kind ect. + Michael Nouir, Scott Paulin, Wayde Peston ect. ect. And not to mention the cost of takin all the cast and crew to Yugoslavia, hotel ect. The top makeup people. the 40s set ups. and on and on . I get mad sometimes people say that low butget movie. Oh well That’s life.

  7. Philip Waters says:

    I spoke this past week with Albert Pyun, It seem’s that Marvel is considering doing a Reconstruction for a Special edition Captain America (1987) DVD to release just before The first Avenger. Set to Include the first Avenger movie trailer. I Hope they do This (It’s like having that unfinished business taken care of.) Thanks PW

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