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Superhero Thwarts Evil Nazi Plot in 'Captain America: The First Avenger'

  • Alan Silverman

A comic book super hero whose exploits began in the 1940's is back as one of this year's big action movies. Here's a look at Captain America: The First Avenger.



"General Patton has said that wars are fought with weapons, but they are won by men. Our goal is to create the greatest army in history, but every army begins with one man. He will be the first in a new breed of super soldier."


The year is 1941. As storm clouds of war gather, American scientists secretly inoculate a scrawny young man - a weakling too sickly for military service - with a serum that, they hope, will give him great strength:

PEGGY "Shut it down!"
PROF. ERSKINE "Kill the reactor, Mr. Stark! Turn it off. Kill the reactor!"
STEVE ROGERS "No! Don't! I can do this."


The experiment succeeds, turning skinny Steve Rogers into muscular and powerful "Captain America".

PEGGY "How do you feel?"
STEVE ROGERS "Taller."


Hugo Weaving as Red Skull in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Hugo Weaving as Red Skull in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

It turns out that Nazi German scientists, led by the villain known as "Red Skull," have developed their own super-soldier serum and it is up to Captain America to stop their evil plot that could change the course of the war.

Chris Evans stars as the title character and his toned, muscular physique would be the envy of any bodybuilder. However, instead of using a skinny actor as a "body double," thanks to digital special effects, Evans also plays the '90-pound weakling' version of his character.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

"If you've seen pictures of me as a child, it's not to dissimilar to the way I looked in the film. Everyone asks if it's strange seeing myself as a weakling: no, that's what I looked like until I was 17, so understanding what it feels like to be small and slight wasn't too difficult," explains Evans.

STEVE ROGERS "Why me?"
PROF. ERSKINE "Because a weak man knows the value of strength (and) the value of power."


"The early stuff - the skinny stuff - is when the audience hopefully will fall in love with the character," notes Evans. "If you like the guy then, you hope in the last frame in the film you still see the skinny guy. So I really felt adamant about making sure that this was my performance. This wasn't something I wanted to share."

RED SKULL "What made you so special?"
CAPTAIN AMERICA "Nothing. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn."


Joe Johnston and Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Joe Johnston and Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Captain America is directed by Joe Johnston, who insists that despite the title and patriotic origins, the movie is not about politics or nationalism. He says it's the story of an individual finding his own path to success - on and off the battlefield.

"I think that Steve Rogers has an innocence about him and determination that is probably the most American thing about him," insists Johnston. " It is not a propaganda tool. We're not waving the flag or anything. It's about this guy who just wants to do the right thing and I think that runs throughout the tone of the picture.”

Hayley Altwell and Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Hayley Altwell and Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

In something of a tradition for a comic book superhero, "Captain America" is also trying to win the heart of a beautiful woman. She is British intelligence agent Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell.

"She is a completely capable woman and it meant that her relationship with Steve was based on equality," explains Atwell. " I think they were kindred spirits. She had her own struggles getting to where she was being a woman and he obviously had his own struggles as well."

PEGGY "Do you have something against running away?"
STEVE ROGERS "If you start running they'll never let you stop."


The title Captain America: The First Avenger gives a clue where the character is heading. Next year, he joins up with a team of fellow Marvel Comics superheroes for a sequel - an action-adventure titled The Avengers.

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