Kenneth Robeson ’s (aka Lester Dent) Doc Savage series was a pulp paperback adventure series of the 30s that regained a fan base in the 50s, 60s, 70s and even at the turn of this century. Doc Savage Man Of Bronze, the movie based on the first book of the series was released in 1975 and is now finally available on DVD as part of the Warner Archive Collection. Fans of adventure serials and camp B-movie will certainly enjoy Man of Bronze.
Doc Savage Man of Bronze had a quick in and out of theatres when originally released in 1975. The last movie produced by George Pal and directed by Michael Anderson (Logan’s Run) this action hero movie both suffers and gains from being low budget and starring C-list actors as Doc Savage’s five sidekicks. Ron Ely (TV’s Tarzan) plays the title role and conveys that certain mystique the character had in the paperbacks.
The low budget movie opens in 1930s New York City. Savage returns from his own Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole sensing something is wrong –and his spidey senses actually do tingle audibly. His father died somewhere in South America. A blue-eyed native of the Amazon tries to kill him. Doc Savage and his merry band of brothers go to the Amazon to investigate his father’s death and get some adventure.
As book to film adaptations go, Man of Bronze is most faithful to the spirit of the books and characters.
Aside from the most annoying score inspired by John Philip Souza marches (no, really) this is a fun adventure movie. The villains all have accents, maniacal laughs, and mustaches. Everything the hero owns is bronze colored bears the Doc Savage crest. The villain uses weird green light snakes to dispatch his enemies.
The print used for this on demand Doc Savage DVD from the Warner Archives is Collection is quite good though some there is some dust and specs, especially in the opening sequence.