I’d heard many years ago that CC Beck based Captain Marvel (of Shazam fame) on actor Fred MacMurray, and the facial resemblance seemed obvious enough. However, I was surprised while watching the 1943 romantic comedy No Time for Love to actually see MacMurray portrayed as a superhero in a dream sequence. His friends in the movie also call him Superman. 1943 was after Captain Marvel was first published, so the film couldn’t have had any effect on the original concept, but I was actually surprised at how superheroic MacMurray looked in costume. He was a pretty muscular guy, as several shirtless scenes in the movie show. It’s not how I picture him in my own mind’s eye.
‘The film is disarmingly frank about the gay fascination with “rough trade.” As Colbert enters a tunnel full of workmen, her camera and Leisen’s linger lovingly on their nude, muscular torsos. One photo shoot has a body-builder in a leopard-skin thong. In the dream sequence, MacMurray appears in a clinging Superman outfit. (A cut scene shows Colbert swimming naked, with a man’s nude buttocks mounted behind her on a plinth!) Suspecting her passion is purely physical, Claudette muses: ‘Maybe one person really is better than another, and there couldn’t be any real happiness “just momentary infatuation.” ‘ (David Melville, “Mitchell Leisen” for Sense of Cinema)