Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Adventures of Superman (1951)

I just watched the first disc of The Adventures of Superman from 1951 starring George Reeves. 
I appreciated it for what it was and the era it came from. I can see why this series is remembered fondly. I thought the strength of the series was the acting. Reeves makes for a very believable Clark Kent and Superman, although his Kent is very different from Christopher Reeve's. Christopher Reeve's Kent was a simpering wimp, more like Peter Parker. George Reeves's Kent is bold and self-confident. He often sets aside inquiries like, "Gosh, how'd you get here so quickly?" by taking control of the conversation by saying something like, "It's a long story. Now tell me what's the problem?" Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen and John Hamilton as Perry White are both legendary. 

The plots are pure cheese, however. These mysteries seem more suited for Nancy Drew than Superman. Entire episodes revolve around a monkey in a Superman suit or men breaking plaster statues they paid for or a parrot that says, "Help! I'm drowning!" 

Plots aside, these are worth watching for every comic fan simply for their historical value. Reeves's Superman should make Brandon Routh's Superman ashamed. 

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