The 1979 Captain America movies

Captain America in 1979

I’ve known for a long time that the current film version of Marvel’s First Avenger is far from the first screen version of the character to be thrust in front of eager fans. However, I was surprised to learn that the 1979 film starring Reb Brown was successful enough to warrant a sequel, subtitled Death Too Soon and featuring Christopher Lee!

The first film of the year is terrible. I can’t think of any good reason to watch it, even if you are a completist. I watched it for that very reason and I was hoping for some cheesy heroics but, short of the brief fun to be had in seeing Cap’s van and motorbike, it’s just too silly.

The sequel however, which I’ve just finished watching, is quite good. I’m not going to say it’s brilliant, it really isn’t, but it is exactly the kind of fun I was expecting to find of the earlier film. The story, visuals and acting are typical B-Movie fare but the pace is quite brisk, the humour is better judged and Mr Lee’s evil Miguel is a worthy challenger to this version of Steve Rogers.

I enjoyed it so much that I started to question my sanity – surely others had thought like me, others had appreciated the quirks? Apparently not, most reviews are quite damning of both films, possibly due to comparisons with modern superhero outings.

So this is me going on record to say that I did like Death Too Soon, I think the costume looked great, and I think if you enjoy shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, you too would likely find some fun here!

Hayden Yale

Child of the 80's. Born, raised and living in the Cheshire countryside, England.Lover of fan art, especially if it is based on my childhood heroes from Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and TMNT. Penchant for almost anything retro, especially movies, games and art.

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4 thoughts on “The 1979 Captain America movies

  1. Richard D. Irving says:

    Reb Brown wasn’t the first screen Captain
    America. It was Dick Purcell who first
    became the first Captain America in the
    fifteen chapter movie serial from Republic
    Pictures in 1944, although he only carried
    a gun and had no shield and wings on his
    face mask. The hero’s true identity in that serial
    was District Attorney Grant Gardener, rather than
    Steve Rogers in the Timely Comics that debuted
    in Captain America Comics #1 in December of
    1940, before Pearl Harbor was bombed by the
    Japanese enemy.

  2. Apologies Richard, I should have made it clear that the ’79 movies were not the first. There was of course the 1944 serial and an attempt was made in 1990 too.

    Patrick – SMIL? You’ve lost me!

  3. “The old people in this town are my friends!”

    These movies are hilarious and ridiculous. Almost as much Reb Brown fun as ‘Space Mutiny’.

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