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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

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Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.

Director:

Joe Johnston

Writers:

Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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207 ( 27)
3 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Evans ... Captain America / Steve Rogers
Hayley Atwell ... Peggy Carter
Sebastian Stan ... James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes
Tommy Lee Jones ... Colonel Chester Phillips
Hugo Weaving ... Johann Schmidt / Red Skull
Dominic Cooper ... Howard Stark
Richard Armitage ... Heinz Kruger
Stanley Tucci ... Dr. Abraham Erskine
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Toby Jones ... Dr. Arnim Zola
Neal McDonough ... Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan
Derek Luke ... Gabe Jones
Kenneth Choi ... Jim Morita
JJ Feild ... James Montgomery Falsworth
Bruno Ricci ... Jacques Dernier
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Storyline

It is 1942, America has entered World War II, and sickly but determined Steve Rogers is frustrated at being rejected yet again for military service. Everything changes when Dr. Erskine recruits him for the secret Project Rebirth. Proving his extraordinary courage, wits and conscience, Rogers undergoes the experiment and his weak body is suddenly enhanced into the maximum human potential. When Dr. Erskine is then immediately assassinated by an agent of Nazi Germany's secret HYDRA research department (headed by Johann Schmidt, a.k.a. the Red Skull), Rogers is left as a unique man who is initially misused as a propaganda mascot; however, when his comrades need him, Rogers goes on a successful adventure that truly makes him Captain America, and his war against Schmidt begins. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When patriots become heroes See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Norwegian | French

Release Date:

22 July 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Captain America See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,058,524, 24 July 2011

Gross USA:

$176,654,505

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$370,569,774
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Black and White (a few scenes)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around thirty-seven minutes) Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) surprisingly touching Chris Evans' chest, as he emerged from the pod upon turning into Captain America, was very much improvised, and the surprise on her face is genuine, as she admitted in interviews she was very taken by Chris' physique and nearly broke character and ruined the take that made it into the film as a result. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 12 mins) The Union Flag hanging outside the War rooms is upside down. At the flagstaff, the white Saltire of St. Andrew (Scotland) takes precedence over the red Cross of St. Patrick (Ireland) because Scotland has been part of the Union longer than Ireland, i.e. at the flagstaff the white diagonal band must be thicker above the red diagonal. While many countries fly their flag upside down in times of war, the United Kingdom is not one of them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Search Team Leader: Are you the guys from Washington?
SHIELD Tech: You get many other visitors out here?
SHIELD Lieutenant: How long have you been on site?
Search Team Leader: Since this morning. A Russian oil team called it in about eighteen hours ago.
SHIELD Lieutenant: How come nobody spotted it before?
Search Team Leader: It's really not that surprising. This landscapes changing all the time. You got any ideas what this thing is exactly?
SHIELD Lieutenant: I don't know. It's probably a weather balloon.
Search Team Leader: I don't think so. You know we don't have the equipment for a job like this.
SHIELD Tech: How long before we can start...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a statement at the end of the closing credits: "Captain America will return in The Avengers". After that, a trailer for The Avengers (2012) is shown. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film shows in AMC Theaters as part of a pre-Avengers Marvel Phase One marathon features an exclusive intro from Agent Coulson, talking about the film and the character. These Coulson intros were later includes as bonuses in the Avengers Phase One box set. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Fantastic Four (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Washington Post
Written by John Philip Sousa
Arranged by J.J. Young
Courtesy of Killer Tracks
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An excellent throwback to the straightforward heroism of the past, and a mightily entertaining blockbuster with great humour and loads of thrilling action
27 July 2011 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

The last of Marvel Comics' superheroes to make its big screen debut before next year's hotly anticipated 'The Avengers' was also the first to debut on print some 70 years ago in Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's Super Soldier series. Captain America was his name, his appearance at the time when the world was in the throes of World War II- though it would be months later before America finally decided to join in the fight following the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

You'd understand why then the character was created as a square-jawed, well-chiselled, honourable man with almost zero flaws- the world needed a hero in the truest sense of the word and Captain America fit that profile to a T. In adapting the comic character, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (of the 'Narnia' franchise) have wisely opted not to distort the wholesome hero Captain America has been known to be, and this is precisely why their film stands out tall and strong against the plethora of superhero flicks in recent years.

Indeed, moral ambiguity has become de rigueur for the modern-day superhero since the likes of 'The Dark Knight', so much so that the simplicity of old-fashioned true-blue heroism is in fact quite refreshing. And other than his physical build, Steve Rogers is no less than the perfect hero- his only wish is to enlist in the war to do his part for his nation, and he's not afraid to fight back even when faced with an opponent bigger and stronger than he is. Rogers is finally granted his wish- after numerous unsuccessful interviews- when he meets German defector Dr. Abraham Erskine (the excellent Stanley Tucci), who recruits him as part of the US Army's plan to create super-soldiers.

Needless to say, Rogers is eventually chosen among the candidates- the choice, as Dr Erskine explains to him, is because 'a strong man who has known power all his life may lose respect for that power; but a weak man knows the value of strength and knows compassion'. An agonising serum injection later, Rogers is transformed into the buff and muscular Captain America- his newfound powers quickly put to the test when he sets off down the streets of Manhattan barefoot in hot pursuit of a German spy who assassinates Dr Erskine just minutes after the experiment.

That spy is in fact under the service of renegade officer Johann Schmidt (The Matrix's Hugo Weaving in another expert villain role), the leader of the Nazis' occult research arm HYDRA building his own personal army for world domination. Schmidt is a fine nemesis to Captain America, the very antithesis of the latter's red-white-and-blue goodness and very definition of the word 'evil'. If the film draws Captain America as the equivalent of pure heroism, then so must it also paint Schmidt as the equivalent of complete evil.

But before the two go up against each other, Captain America must first overcome the politics of war, as he is quickly placed in a blue costume and made to perform on stage as an All-American hero to urge the public to buy war bonds and hence raise money for the war effort. Director Joe Johnston has plenty of satirical fun playing up the overt patriotism of these acts, presenting them in a montage that sees Captain America perform across different states but with the same act which includes a fake German Nazi. This detour into media celebrity also sees the film at its most grounded, as Captain America becomes a larger-than-life symbol used as a morale booster for the public.

He finally springs into action when he learns that his buddy Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) has been taken prisoner by HYDRA, and despite warnings from his former commanding officer, Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), decides to go deep into enemy territory to rescue him and other prisoners-of-war. It is there he realises the extent of Schmidt's nefarious plans, the rest of the movie a non-stop thrill-ride as Captain America assembles his army to clean out Schmidt's bases one by one leading up to that final confrontation between the two.

Yes, it takes an hour before the action kicks in proper, but Johnston makes the wait absolutely worth it. Johnston has demonstrated his penchant for visual effects, and his abilities are plainly evident in the film's action set-pieces- beginning with a daring raid to rescue the POWs, followed by a sneak attack on Schmidt on board a moving train, and culminating in a climactic showdown set inside Schmidt's underground lair as well as around and in his fighter jet. There is unadulterated exhilaration to be had here, and the film's infectiously jaunty spirit adds immensely to the sheer enjoyment.

Of course given the period setting, there is a need to bring our hero to the present to join with the other members of S.H.I.E.L.D. including their team leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson in yet another cameo)- but kudos to both the screen writing team of Markus and McFeely as well as director Johnston for keeping this adaptation true to the old pop culture motif that Captain America was. Whereas modern-day superheroes tend to be less clearly defined in terms of black and white or should we say good and evil, this old-school hero is a perfect nostalgic emblem of heroism. That and the fact that this movie is also mighty entertaining is just the perfect finish to this summer's superhero bombast, and a run-up par excellence to next summer's 'The Avengers'.

  • www.moviexclusive.com


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