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Adventures of Superman - The Complete Fifth and Sixth Seasons

159 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adventures of Superman, The Complete 5th & 6th Seasons (DVD) (Multi-Title)

The first super hero created for comic books, Superman leaped from radio to television when Adventures of Superman debuted in 1952. Produced by Robert J. Maxwell (who also produced the radio version) and Bernard Luber (a veteran of Hollywood serials), each episode screens like a classic crime movie, where danger and death lurk in the shadows. Seasons 5 and 6 are the final seasons of this classic TV favorite.


Superman's "never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way" on television actually did come to an end in 1957 with the cancellation of the Adventures of Superman series, but not before it completed its sixth season, which is presented in this five-disc set along with its fifth season from 1956. Story-wise, the fifth and sixth seasons trend a fine line between the "serious" tone of the first three seasons (which saw Superman take on gangsters, corrupt scientists, and other villains with roots largely planted in reality) and the more outlandish escapades of the fourth season; examples of the latter include "The Tomb of Zaharan," in which Lois Lane (Noel Neill) is kidnapped by Middle Eastern dignitaries who believe her to be their reincarnated queen; "Mr. Zero," with Billy Curtis (High Plains Drifter) as an alien pressed into illegal service by crooks; and "The Brainy Burro," which features a mind-reading donkey(!) used by nefarious types to commit crimes (the latter is one of three episodes directed by series lead George Reeves). Fortunately, there are plenty of exciting adventures on hand as well, the best of which might be "The Perils of Superman" (also directed by Reeves), which harkens back to Superman's comic book and radio serial origins in its tale of a gang of lead-masked hooligans who subject the Man of Steel and his pals to a series of cliffhanger-style dangers. It's hard to say if modern young viewers will take to these vintage escapades--the special effects remain decidedly primitive, and some of the plotlines will challenge even the most imaginative kid's suspension of disbelief--but for Superman fans and classic TV aficionados, there's still plenty of fun to be found in the Adventures of Superman.

Supplements include a charming chat with co-star Jack Larson in the featurette "Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olson," in which the still spry actor is joined by Neill, special effects expert Bob Burns, and several Superman experts (including actor Jim Beaver of Deadwood fame). A barrage of trailers for previous Superman-related DVDs, including Superman Returns, rounds out the extras. -- Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • 26 episodes on five discs
  • Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen: interviews with Jack Larson, Noel Neill, and others

Product Details

  • Actors: George Reeves, Phyllis Coates, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, John Hamilton
  • Producers: Whitney Ellsworth, Bernard Luber, Robert Maxwell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 677 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HWZ4E8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,849 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adventures of Superman - The Complete Fifth and Sixth Seasons" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

213 of 219 people found the following review helpful By Clay McBride on November 10, 2006
Format: DVD
I'll keep this brief as I'm probably already "preaching to the choir" here. However, just on the off-chance that there are a few of you out there who have never known the wonder of "The Adventures of Superman" television series, may I just say this: there has never been--and at this rate, it appears that there never will be--a greater, more heroic, more noble, and more enjoyable "Superman" in the history of the character, than the interpretation given to us by the late George Reeves.

And I'll give you my reason why I believe that with all my heart in a single word: balance. George Reeves didn't play Kent/Superman as "bumbler moron"/"hero". He played Kent/Superman as "Hero Type A"/"Hero Type B".

There is a marvelous bit of dialogue from the 1st (or was it the 2nd?) season--a bit I'll no-doubt mangle here--that really explains it all. A small group of mobsters are discussing the difficulties of life in Metropolis. Of course they mention Superman. But then, one of them utters the magic lines that go something like this: "Forget Superman. It's that Kent guy at THE DAILY PLANET I worry about. There's times that Kent and his typewriter scare me more than Superman."

That simple speech seared itself into my little eight-year-old mind and heart for all time. Imagine that! The bad guys feared Kent almost as much as they feared Superman! What a fantastic life-lesson to teach a boy: for all his amazing powers, the thugs were almost more scared of the "normal guy who wasn't afraid to stand up for what's right" than they were of "...the amazing being from the planet Krypton, with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men."

And it was George Reeves and his courageous portrayal of Kent/Superman who made you believe that could be so.
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on November 18, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Completing the collection of "The Adventures of Superman", the series' final two seasons offers a mixed bag, for viewers; while some episodes are laughably bad (offering up green-haired, midget Martians, a mind-reading mule, and Professor Pepperwinkle's latest goofy inventions), some are, in fact, surprisingly good (tales of the search for a Civil War-era coat, a missing circus elephant, and a barber who reforms his childhood friend, now a gangster, are all very sweet, and quite enjoyable), and one of the last episodes filmed, "The Perils of Superman", directed by George Reeves, himself, is a bonafide 'classic', with unsettling images of helmeted criminals walking the streets of Metropolis, and Clark, Lois, Jimmy, and Perry, each subjected to silent movie cliffhanger demises. Best of all, these last episodes prove that Reeves, though far heavier and grayer by the series' end, never lost the sincerity or humor he had displayed in earlier seasons...Playing the Man of Steel may have been the "Kiss of Death" for his career, and, possibly, his life, but he never gave anything less than his best, and it shows!

There are moments worth savoring, in viewing the episodes; for Lois at her sexiest, catch "The Tomb of Zaharan", where the Daily Planet business suit is replaced by a tight-fitting 'Egyptian' costume and black wig (Noel Neill is surprisingly voluptuous, and HOT!) fact, the entire sixth season offers Lois with bright ORANGE hair, which she actually makes look GOOD...
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Colin Duff on October 15, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many fans of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN prefer the first 2 B&W seasons, and, quite unfairly, dismiss the color episodes as being lightweight and strictly for kids.This is NOT correct!! Although season 5 is probably the weakest of all of the 6 seasons, the final (6th) season contains several of the best episodes of the entire series. Episodes such as "The Mysterious Cube", "All That Glitters" and "The Perils Of Superman" are gems.

The glorious Technicolor work makes these episodes a joy to behold. They positively radiate with good humor, interesting plots and the so-obvious camaraderie of the best ensemble cast ever assembled.

Everyone should own these DVDs.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By john J. Hammersley Jr. on March 12, 2007
Format: DVD
Adventures of Superman began production on its last two seasons (that aired during 1957-58), the series more or less had overcome its tight budgetary restrictions by evolving into a veritable universe unto itself. And it was a wacky universe indeed, operating under its own screwy story logic often totally disconnected from any semblance of reality. That gangsters would watch their bullets bounce off Superman's chest then, having emptied their cartridges, throw their empty guns at the superhero, as if that would stop him, or that Superman's pals never seemed to realize that the Man from Kypton and mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent were one and the same, mattered not one iota to its legion of young viewers.

For fans of the comic books, the big-budget movies and TV shows of recent decades, Adventures of Superman rightly appears quaint and at times depressingly cheap, but if you stick with it, chances are you'll find that it has a peculiar but very real charm all its own. This year's Hollywoodland, about Superman actor George Reeves' last years as a struggling actor and a private eye's investigation following Reeves' death (barely a year after the last show aired), adopts a curiously contemptuous attitude toward the show and especially its fan base. Though young children took its wild stories at face value, for many adults the very charm of the show is its good-natured goofiness.Adventures of Superman is one of the most iconically '50s/Eisenhowerian programs of its era. Superman was, after all, fighting not only for truth and justice, but also for "the American Way.
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