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Superman 1948 Serial - #1A
Superman 1948 Serial - #1A
Published: 2011/05/17
Channel: TheSuperKryptonian
Superman Cartoon - The Original | Back-to-Back Episodes Vol. 1 | Classic Shows
Superman Cartoon - The Original | Back-to-Back Episodes Vol. 1 | Classic Shows
Published: 2015/01/30
Channel: Mango Juniors
1950 Atom Man vs. Superman Serial Intro/Introduction
1950 Atom Man vs. Superman Serial Intro/Introduction
Published: 2016/03/26
Channel: BatmanRobinSuperman
Superman
Superman's arrival on Earth in the 1948 serial "Superman"
Published: 2014/03/16
Channel: Swami Nano
"Superman" Movie Serial Trailer (1948)
"Superman" Movie Serial Trailer (1948)
Published: 2014/11/30
Channel: Throwback
Dean Cain (Adventures of Superman/Hit the Floor) Interview | AfterBuzz TV
Dean Cain (Adventures of Superman/Hit the Floor) Interview | AfterBuzz TV's Spotlight On
Published: 2014/06/10
Channel: AfterBuzz TV
Super Boy | Telugu Sci-Fi Serial | Epi 1
Super Boy | Telugu Sci-Fi Serial | Epi 1
Published: 2014/11/20
Channel: Saregama TVShows
Superman Actors: 1948, 1951, 1978, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2006, 2013
Superman Actors: 1948, 1951, 1978, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2006, 2013
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: Supermovies
The New Adventures of Superman Season 1 2 3 & 4 Intros
The New Adventures of Superman Season 1 2 3 & 4 Intros
Published: 2013/05/02
Channel: TheNWPSL
"Batman v Superman" Circa 1949: "Vulture Remix" Episode 15
"Batman v Superman" Circa 1949: "Vulture Remix" Episode 15
Published: 2015/10/19
Channel: New York Magazine
Superman
Superman's costume(pl)
Published: 2013/01/01
Channel: Xenka94
1948 Superman Serial Intro/Introduction
1948 Superman Serial Intro/Introduction
Published: 2016/03/26
Channel: BatmanRobinSuperman
SUPERMAN SERIAL TRAILER - 1948
SUPERMAN SERIAL TRAILER - 1948
Published: 2016/10/21
Channel: casa do cinema
Superman Serial #1 The Beginning
Superman Serial #1 The Beginning
Published: 2006/06/07
Channel: Rich Pearson
Superman Serial #13 Happy Holidays
Superman Serial #13 Happy Holidays
Published: 2006/12/25
Channel: Rich Pearson
Superman serial (1948) opening credits
Superman serial (1948) opening credits
Published: 2010/05/08
Channel: SupermanTN
SUPERMAN 1948 SERIAL TRAILER KIRK ALYN
SUPERMAN 1948 SERIAL TRAILER KIRK ALYN
Published: 2013/07/26
Channel: Mariel Rosa
Kirk Alyn & George Reeves Superman Serials | Superman in Media Part 2
Kirk Alyn & George Reeves Superman Serials | Superman in Media Part 2
Published: 2016/02/27
Channel: Fortress of Solitude
Superman s01e02 - comics - serial - 1941 - eng - Remastered
Superman s01e02 - comics - serial - 1941 - eng - Remastered
Published: 2016/11/08
Channel: Von Gogan
The Adventures of Superman: "Clan of The Fiery Cross" (1 of 16)
The Adventures of Superman: "Clan of The Fiery Cross" (1 of 16)
Published: 2011/10/30
Channel: cstevengomez
CINEMA OF STEEL Pt 2- The Superman Serials Review
CINEMA OF STEEL Pt 2- The Superman Serials Review
Published: 2013/06/04
Channel: CraveOnline.com
SUPERMAN THE SERIAL TRAILER
SUPERMAN THE SERIAL TRAILER
Published: 2013/01/25
Channel: Sib T
Superman Serial #6 Metropolis Destroyed
Superman Serial #6 Metropolis Destroyed
Published: 2006/06/18
Channel: Rich Pearson
Superman The Complete Theatrical Serial Collection DVD Review
Superman The Complete Theatrical Serial Collection DVD Review
Published: 2013/05/09
Channel: newtimetravelhyman88
SUPERMAN 1948 colorisé
SUPERMAN 1948 colorisé
Published: 2014/08/11
Channel: Mikael L
Superman Serial Review
Superman Serial Review
Published: 2014/07/23
Channel: Blaze The Movie Fan
Superman Serial #15 Superman Returns Part 1
Superman Serial #15 Superman Returns Part 1
Published: 2007/04/09
Channel: Rich Pearson
Superman Serial #15 Superman Returns Part 2
Superman Serial #15 Superman Returns Part 2
Published: 2007/04/09
Channel: Rich Pearson
Superman
Superman
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Mike C
The Adventures Of Superman _ Batman Pt.1 1948
The Adventures Of Superman _ Batman Pt.1 1948
Published: 2012/10/03
Channel: OTR HALLOWEENHOLIDAZE
Superman and the Mole Men (1951) Trailer
Superman and the Mole Men (1951) Trailer
Published: 2014/04/21
Channel: SuperHeroFilmTrailers
LAS AVENTURAS DE SUPERMAN - SERIE DE TV ( INTRO LATINO )
LAS AVENTURAS DE SUPERMAN - SERIE DE TV ( INTRO LATINO )
Published: 2009/10/26
Channel: Series Archivo Tv Piura
Wednesday
Wednesday's Serial: Superman 701
Published: 2010/07/15
Channel: Wednesday's Serial
Nostalgia Critic pl - Superman: Serial animowany 1/2
Nostalgia Critic pl - Superman: Serial animowany 1/2
Published: 2014/01/15
Channel: TGWTGpl
Superman Montage
Superman Montage
Published: 2013/10/13
Channel: EkseteraEksetera
Superman Kirk Alyn Plays Baseball
Superman Kirk Alyn Plays Baseball
Published: 2007/11/21
Channel: BasilFomeneJr
Superman Serial #12 Lex Has Escaped!!!
Superman Serial #12 Lex Has Escaped!!!
Published: 2006/11/09
Channel: Rich Pearson
Atom man v superman
Atom man v superman
Published: 2014/11/24
Channel: waterloo1815dr
Superman Serial #7 Superman vs Werewolf
Superman Serial #7 Superman vs Werewolf
Published: 2006/06/20
Channel: Rich Pearson
Who Played Superman In The 1948 Serials?
Who Played Superman In The 1948 Serials?
Published: 2017/08/11
Channel: Aile Aile
Batman vs Superman Cereal
Batman vs Superman Cereal
Published: 2016/01/20
Channel: Platinum Dragon & Family
Superman Kirk Alyn on "Tomorrow" with Tom Snyder
Superman Kirk Alyn on "Tomorrow" with Tom Snyder
Published: 2007/11/21
Channel: BasilFomeneJr
Serial Manajemen by F.P (super team vs superman)
Serial Manajemen by F.P (super team vs superman)
Published: 2016/11/07
Channel: JFERDINAND71
Adventures Of Superman - 1/15, The PanAm Highway (November 15, 1941)
Adventures Of Superman - 1/15, The PanAm Highway (November 15, 1941)
Published: 2017/07/24
Channel: A Room With A Past
Superman s01e01 - comics - serial - 1941 - eng -  Remastered
Superman s01e01 - comics - serial - 1941 - eng - Remastered
Published: 2016/11/08
Channel: Von Gogan
The Adventures of Superman, 6, The Silver Clippe
The Adventures of Superman, 6, The Silver Clippe
Published: 2016/05/08
Channel: QuoteAway
The Adventures of Superman -
The Adventures of Superman - 'Clan of the Fiery Cross' (1 of 16)
Published: 2013/01/18
Channel: ClubofHeroesPodcast
Adventures Of Superman - 5/21, Locomotive Crew Freed (February 21, 1940)
Adventures Of Superman - 5/21, Locomotive Crew Freed (February 21, 1940)
Published: 2017/09/05
Channel: A Room With A View
The Baby From Krypton - The Adventures of Superman 1940s Radio Recordings
The Baby From Krypton - The Adventures of Superman 1940s Radio Recordings
Published: 2012/05/18
Channel: OMPActionAdventure
The Adventures of Superman, 147, The Black Pearl Of Osiris Pt 02
The Adventures of Superman, 147, The Black Pearl Of Osiris Pt 02
Published: 2016/05/09
Channel: QuoteAway
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Superman
Superman serial.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Thomas Carr
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Lewis Clay
Royal K. Cole
Arthur Hoerl
George H. Plympton
Joseph F. Poland
Based on Characters
by Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
Starring Kirk Alyn (uncredited)
Noel Neill
Carol Forman
Tommy Bond
Forrest Taylor
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Ira H. Morgan
Edited by Earl C. Turner
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 5, 1948 (1948-01-05) (United States)
Running time
15 chapters (244 minutes)
Language English

Superman (1948) is a 15-part black-and-white Columbia film serial based on the comic book character Superman. It stars an uncredited Kirk Alyn (billed only by his character name, Superman; but credited on the promotional posters) and Noel Neill as Lois Lane. Like Batman, it is notable as the first live-action appearance of Superman on film and for the longevity of its distribution. The serial was directed by Thomas Carr, who later directed many early episodes of the Adventures of Superman television show, and Spencer Gordon Bennet, produced by Sam Katzman and shot in and around Los Angeles, California. It was originally screened at movie matinées and after the first three scene-setting chapters, every episode ends in a cliffhanger. The Superman-in-flight scenes are animations, in part due to the small production budget.

Plot[edit]

Superman is sent to Earth by his parents just as the planet Krypton blows up and is later raised as Clark Kent by a farm couple. They discover that he has great powers so they send him off to use his powers to help those in need. After his foster parents die, the Man of Steel heads to Metropolis under the bespectacled guise of Kent and joins the staff of the Daily Planet in order to be close to the news. Soon after he is sent out to get the scoop on a new rock that a man has found that he calls Kryptonite, and Clark passes out; then and there Superman discovers that his weakness is Kryptonite. Whenever emergencies happen, he responds in his true identity as Superman. This first serial revolves around the nefarious plot of a villain who calls herself the Spider Lady.

Production[edit]

Republic Pictures tried twice to produce a Superman serial. The first attempt was replaced by Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940), when licensing negotiations with Superman publisher National Comics (later called DC Comics) failed. A second attempt was advertised for a 1941 release; but this time, two obstacles doomed production. National Comics insisted on absolute control of the script and production; and, the rights to Superman were already committed to the Paramount cartoon series.[1] Sam Katzman acquired the live-action rights in 1947. He tried to sell them to Universal, but they no longer made serials by then. He also tried to sell to Republic; but, they claimed that "a superpowerful flying hero would be impossible to adapt" -- despite having already successfully done just that with Adventures of Captain Marvel in 1941. Also, Republic was no longer buying properties for adaptation by 1947. Columbia accepted.[1]

Sam Katzman found Kirk Alyn after looking through photographs, but had a hard time selling the idea of casting Alyn to Whitney Ellsworth, National Comics' representative on the project. This was made even worse when Alyn came in for a screen test, sporting a goatee and moustache (as he was also shooting another project, a historical film). These initial reservations were eventually overcome, and Alyn got the part. Columbia's advertising claimed that it could not get an actor to fill the role, so it had "hired Superman himself"; and, Kirk Alyn was merely playing Clark Kent.[1]

George Plympton added a joke to script, substituting the Lone Ranger's "Hi-Yo Silver!" for the traditional "Up, Up and Away". This did not survive in the script long enough to actually be filmed.[1] The Superman costume was grey and brown, instead of blue and red, because those colors photographed better on black and white film.[1]

Cast[edit]

Special Effects[edit]

Superman's flight sequences were animated instead of live-action or model work. Harmon and Glut consider this to be the "weakest point of the serial", explaining that the "effects created by Republic for Captain Marvel were very convincing; even the more routine ones for the Superman TV series, always showing the same pose, were better."[1] While there were other effective special effects, in their opinion, they were undermined by the poorness of the flying sequences.[1] The film crew did test an alternate method of filming the flying sequences: Kirk Alyn spent an entire day painfully suspended by visible wires in front of a rear projection of moving clouds. Displeased with the results, Katzman fired the entire flight sequence production staff and used the animated method instead.[1]

A peculiar characteristic of the mix of animated and live-action footage is that Superman's take-offs are almost always visible in the foreground, while his landings almost always occur behind objects, such as parked cars, rocks, and buildings. It was easier to shift from live footage of Kirk Alyn starting to take off, to animated footage, than it was to shift from an animated landing to live footage of the actor. As a consequence of the need to hide Superman's landings, Superman frequently lands at some distance from where he wants to be, and must run to arrive on-scene.

Budget limitations also dictated the frequent re-use of film footage, especially scenes of Superman flying. For example, one sequence showing Superman flying over a rocky hill (shot in the hills of Chatsworth in Southern California's San Fernando Valley) was used at least once in almost every episode of the first serial.

Stunts[edit]

Alyn's stunt double was Paul Stader. He had to perform only one stunt in the entire serial, leaping from the back of a truck. He almost broke his leg during this stunt and had to leave the production.[1]

Release[edit]

Home media[edit]

The Superman serial was first made available for purchase on VHS videotape in 1987 as a double tape box set. The serial was also offered available in two separate VHS tapes as Volume 1 (Chapters 1 - 7) and Volume 2 (Chapters 8 - 15). It was officially released on DVD by Warner Home Video, along with its sequel Atom Man vs. Superman, on November 28, 2006 as Superman - The Theatrical Serials Collection. Warner released the serials rather than Columbia as Warner's subsidiary DC Comics acquired the rights to the serials several years beforehand.

Critical reception[edit]

Superman was a "tremendous financial success" and played in "first-run theatres that had never before booked a serial."[1] The serial was a popular success that made Kirk Alyn famous and launched Noel Neill's career. A sequel serial, Atom Man vs. Superman, also directed by Bennet, was released in 1950.

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. Superman Comes To Earth
  2. Depths Of The Earth
  3. The Reducer Ray
  4. Man Of Steel
  5. A Job For Superman
  6. Superman In Danger
  7. Into The Electric Furnace
  8. Superman To The Rescue
  9. Irresistible Force
  10. Between Two Fires
  11. Superman's Dilemma
  12. Blast In The Depths
  13. Hurled To Destruction
  14. Superman At Bay
  15. The Payoff

Source:[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut. "9. The Superheroes "Could Superman Knock Out Captain Marvel"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 206–215. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9. 
  2. ^ Cline, William C. "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 247. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tex Granger (1948)
Columbia Serial
Superman (1948)
Succeeded by
Congo Bill (1948)

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