In our episode looking at the 1970s Captain America TV movies, we made a brief mention of the 1990 feature film starring Matt Salinger. I actually came across the DVD at the local library and watched it for comparison purposes. Allow me to borrow the "Tale of the Tape" gimmick used so well by Nick Bakay to compare the 1990 one with the 1979 versions (for simplicity, we'll combine the two 1970s TV movies since we talked about both on our podcast).
Star's life before playing Cap:
1979: Reb Brown played football at USC
1990: Matt Salinger played "Burke" in Revenge of the Nerds
1979: Christopher Lee being a bad-ass
1990: Red Skull in bad makeup
1979: The great Rod Holcomb and Ivan Nagy
1990: Albert Pyun
1979: Sun-dappled 1970s West Coast America
1990: Europe and, of course, Cap's wartime hometown of...California?
Does it have Ned Beatty and Darren McGavin?
1990: Yes, it has both!
Edge: Finally one for the motion picture. Gotta give this to 1990.
1979: The Paper Chase, The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas
1990: A drive back home from the theater made longer by the knowledge that you spent upwards of 20 bucks on tickets and concessions to see it.
When you break it down, it's clear that the original Cap movies are the best. However, there is one big edge (apart from McGavin and Beatty, natch) that the 1990 theatrical version has. We will talk about that one tomorrow because it deserves its own post.