Early Superhero Movies

Curnblog

I’m no expert on superhero films and even less on the comic books that spawned them, but the recent release of The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray started me thinking about the historical development of the cinematic superhero. As a result, I’ve come across what appear to be some of the earliest incarnations of cinematic superheroes, ranging from 1920 to 1948. It’s interesting to note that all bar one of these characters still holds cultural currency today.

The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Zorro isn’t a superhero you say? A masked crusader with a secret identity who goes around saving people from organised criminals – that’s a superhero (or at least the beginnings of one). This film was a vehicle for Douglas Fairbanks, later to be known for swashbuckling roles like Robin Hood (1922) and The Thief of Baghdad (1924), and he would later go on to star in the sequel…

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