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The Adventures of Superman 6 Seasons 1969

Season 1
4.7 out of 5 stars (332) IMDb 7.9/10

Look! Up In the sky! Its a bird! Its a plane! Its Superman! The classic "Adventures of Superman" episodes from the 1950s starring George Reeves set the tone for how many people still think of Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent works for the Metropolis Daily Planet. But with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, he also battles for truth and justice as Superman.

Starring:
George Reeves, Phyllis Coates

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Season 1

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1. Superman on Earth

An infant boy from a race of supermen on another planet, Clark Kent, is rocketed to earth and reared by a kindly couple in opening scenes of the Superman drama, "Superman on Earth."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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2. The Haunted Lighthouse

Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter on the Daily Planet, visits his aunt on an island off the coast of Maine and stumbles on smugglers operating in a supposedly deserted lighthouse.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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3. The Case of the Talkative Dummy

Perplexed by the baffling mystery of armored car robberies in which the entire car disappears, Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen solve the case.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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4. The Mystery of the Broken Statues

Two elderly men, one of them a suave gentleman sporting a cane, are discovered buying and then destroying small plaster statuettes from art shops all over Metropolis.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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5. The Monkey Mystery

A secret formula, representing the only known defense against atomic warfare, is stolen.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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6. A Night of Terror

Phyllis Coates in the role of Lois Lane, reporter on the Daily Planet, is vacationing on the Canadian border when she is captured by a pair of desperate gunmen. To free herself, she involves Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson) who is in turn seized.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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7. The Birthday Letter

A message relating to a set of valuable printing plates stolen from the Bank of France and shipped to America is sent by mistake to a young girl. Captured and held by the counterfeiters, the girl is rescued by Clark Kent .

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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8. The Mind Machine

Three witnesses before the Congressional Crime Commission die in sudden agony due to the strange power of a Hypno therapy machine, located in a mountain hideaway, and operated by Lou Cranek, self styled "Kingpin of Crime," in the thrilling Superman adventure.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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9. Rescue

The plight of an elderly coal miner, trapped fifteen hundred feet below ground, causes Lois Lane, nearby on a routine assignment for the Daily Planet, to foolishly try to save him.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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10. The Secret of Superman

An attempt to capture Superman, drug his mind and thereby control his will, is made by Doctor Ort, a fanatical scientist, in the thrilling Superman drama, "The Secret of Superman."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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11. No Holds Barred

Perry White, managing editor of the Daily Planet, hires the young wrestling champ, Wayne Winchester, to expose crooked wrestling in the Superman drama, "No Holds Barred."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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12. The Deserted Village

A mysterious "killing fog" and a strange sea monster are driving the inhabitants of Cliffton away from the town. Clark Kent as Superman investigates and discovers that a druggist and his son have found a valuable deposit of hydrozite, an element used in the hydrogen bomb, in the Superman adventure, "The Deserted Village."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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13. The Stolen Costume

The secret identity of Superman is almost exposed when a sneak thief fleeing from the police slips into Clark Kent's apartment, finds the special Superman costume, and takes it to a notorious racketeer, in the thrilling adventure "The Stolen Costume."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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14. Treasure of The Incas

Following a clue from an Inca tapestry, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen attempt to track down a vast treasure cache belonging to the Peruvian government hidden somewhere in the desert, in the Superman drama, "Treasure of the Incas."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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15. Double Trouble

Identical twins, the Von Klaven brothers, steal a million dollar core of radium from the U.S. Medical Corps in Germany and transport it to the United States during the Superman adventure, "Double Trouble."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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16. Mystery in Wax

Madame Selena, eccentric operator of a wax museum, is seemingly able to prognosticate the deaths of five prominent residents of Metropolis. When Perry White, editor of the Metropolis Daily Planet, is named the sixth victim and disappears, Clark Kent and Lois Lane get into the case.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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17. The Runaway Robot

An eccentric staff correspondent of the Daily Planet, Horatio, brings his latest invention, an electronically controlled robot, to town. It falls into the hands of robbers who put it to work looting the First National Bank in the Superman adventure thriller, "The Runaway Robot."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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18. Drums of Death

Jimmy Olsen and Perry White's sister, a professional photogra-pher, are seized by voodoo worshippers while photographing the Citadel, reputed jungle burial place of fabulous treasure in the Superman drama, "Drums of Death."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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19. The Evil Three

Stopping at a seemingly abandoned hotel in the Louisiana Bayou Country, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen find that it is inhabited by three strange characters who attempt to scare them from the premises during opening scenes of the Superman adventure, "The Evil Three."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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20. The Riddle of the Chinese Jade

A Chinese jade figurine, valued at more than half a million dollars, is mysteriously stolen from Lu Sung's curio shop just before he is to present it to the National Museum. Clark Kent, as Superman, uncovers the thief and quickly puts him behind bars.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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21. The Human Bomb

"Bet a Million" Butler, a well known gambler and racketeer, schemes to keep Superman helpless for thirty minutes while his henchmen rob the Metropolis Museum in the Superman thriller, "The Human Bomb."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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22. Czar of the Underworld

Clark Kent and Inspector Henderson, en route to Hollywood to help in filming an important picture about crime, are warned to "lay off" by Luigi Dinelli, notorious gunman and gang leader, in the Superman television drama, "Czar of the Underworld."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: January 1, 1952
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23. The Ghost Wolf

Rumors of a werewolf in the Canadian North Woods, which causes the lumber jacks at the Metropolis Daily Planet's timber reserve to leave their jobs, and a raging forest fire combine to enliven the plot of the Superman adventure, "The Ghost Wolf."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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24. Crime Wave

In order to halt a gigantic crime wave sweeping Metropolis, Superman allows himself to be captured and exposed to the deadly rays of atomic fission in the thrilling Superman drama, "Crime Wave."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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25. The Unknown People: Part 1

Ordered to write a story about the deepest oil well in history, newspaper reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane are amazed to discover that the well is closed and the countryside rife with terror following the realization that they have drilled into another world in the center of the Earth during the Superman adventure, "Unknown People." Part 1 of 2

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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26. The Unknown People: Part 2

One of the strange creatures that have emerged from the world's deepest oil well is wounded by excited citizens during opening scenes of the thrilling Superman adventure, "Unknown People Part II." Part 2 of 2

TV-NR CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: December 31, 1969
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Customer Reviews

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By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on July 14, 2005
Format: DVD
What a treat, both for Superman fans and people who just enjoy classic t.v. shows of the fifties. It's pretty much universally acknowledged that season one of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN is far and away the best of the series. George Reeves was a no-nonsense hero, and quite believable in the role. The series had plenty of action and the first-season scripts were usually solid.

And I'm pleasantly surprised to see the rare theatrical feature, SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN included here. Although it's essentially Superman on a b-movie budget, there's plenty to like about this forgotten piece of Superman history.

A common practice in the early days of television was to get a show's actors to endorse the advertisers' products. Perhaps the rarest and most unusual treat for fans of classic t.v. are the orignial Kellog's cereal commercials, featuring cast members from the show. Clark Kent sells Frosted Flakes!

There's an informative documentary, with comments from Superman experts and a VERY old Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the show. With all these extras and a first-rate presentation of the episodes, this is a classic t.v. lover's dream come true. Highly recommended.
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I've always gotten razzed when I say that George Reeves was the greatest 'Superman'. After all, Christopher Reeve was closest to the comic book, Dean Cain introduced a level of sexiness to the character, and Tom Welling is the current teen heartthrob; the general impression of Reeves was as the chubby, aging, 'long johns'-clad Superman, from the silly color TV episodes of the late 50s, who "killed himself" when the series ended.

The new DVD "Adventures of Superman - Complete First Season" should put that impression to rest!

Filmed in B&W, in 1951, the youthful, 37-year old Reeves offered a 'Man of Steel' of compassion, integrity, and honor, with a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile for the TV audiences who shared his 'secret'. Far more charismatic than his movie serial predecessor, Kirk Alyn, he was as quick to use his head and his fists as his "Powers and Abilities' to defend "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" against gangsters, spies, and evildoers. While some may quibble that his 'Clark Kent' was TOO heroic, and similar to his costumed alter ego, he was an unabashed role model for a generation of young viewers, and he never let us down, during the 'Superman' years, either on screen, or off.

The first season episodes are, perhaps, the best of the series, produced by veterans of the B-movie industry who knew how to make action-packed stories quickly, and cinematically. The plots are rich in film noir touches ("The Haunted Lighthouse" is so atmospheric that it could stand beside many of the noir dramas of the 40s), and offer, for the first time, believable flying effects (achieved, in large part, by double-exposing film of Reeves hanging by wire and harness, attached to a body-contoured 'flying pan', worn under his suit, with moving aerial shots).
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"Adventures Of Superman" premiered in American living rooms on Friday, September 19th, 1952 (when the first episode aired on Chicago's WENR-TV), and continued for a total of six TV seasons. 104 episodes of the series were produced and aired (via syndication), with all 26 black-and-white episodes of the series' first season represented within this classy-looking 5-Disc DVD boxed set that was released by Warner Home Video on October 18, 2005.

The scripts for "Superman" offer up a rather fun blend of fantasy, suspense, action-adventure, and noir-like crime-drama. Plus quite a bit of comedy, to boot (both the intentional and unintentional varieties of humor).

Nearly all of the above elements can be detected in the series right from the get-go in the debut episode "Superman On Earth" (which is one of my favorites from this batch of first-year episodes). "Superman On Earth" is a great pilot episode to launch the series, IMO. Within this single 26-minute program, the whole "Superman" backstory plays out -- beginning with planet Krypton's doomed fate, to Superman's arrival on Earth as an infant (via a prototype planet-hopping spaceship constructed by his father, Jor-El), and continuing with the story of mild-mannered Clark Kent's first exciting day on the job as a "Daily Planet" newspaper reporter.

When I watch the pilot episode, I'm always impressed by the amount of material and plot points that are covered in just this initial installment of the series. And it never really feels like the writers are "rushing" to tell us the story. It seems to evolve in a well-paced manner. I think it's an exemplary beginning to the series, and sets the tone just right for future "Superman" episodes.

There's a bit of unintended humor in that first episode as well, to be sure.
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8 Comments 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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First off, I've never been "the first" to review a DVD on Amazon, so let me just say I'm thrilled. And, since today is July 7 and this DVD isn't even going to be released until October 18, I'm going to stick to some general thoughts on the show and share some information on what I have read pertaining to the bonus items to be included.

For those who don't know, this is the first season of the television program the Adventures of Superman which debuted in 1952. This season features Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane - she would be replaced by Noel Neill in the later seasons. (Neill played Lois in the Superman movie serials.) This first season is highly regarded among fans of the show, and was much more gritty or realistic than subsequent seasons. As for completeness, we'll all just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope the shows are released in their uncut versions - close to 27 minutes each!
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