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The Adventures of Superman - Season 2

( 1 )

Overview

Season two of The Adventures of Superman, which was shot in 1953 and originally aired in 1953-1954, arrives on DVD in an edition every bit as satisfying as the one devoted to the series' first season. The major highlight, apart from the entire array of 26 shows in beautiful condition -- a rich, nicely contrasted black-and-white is the norm throughout the five discs -- are two commentary tracks by series co-stars Jack Larson and Noel Neill, who played Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane. Their remarks on the episode "Panic ...
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DVD (Digi-Pak / B&W / Full Frame)
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Overview

Season two of The Adventures of Superman, which was shot in 1953 and originally aired in 1953-1954, arrives on DVD in an edition every bit as satisfying as the one devoted to the series' first season. The major highlight, apart from the entire array of 26 shows in beautiful condition -- a rich, nicely contrasted black-and-white is the norm throughout the five discs -- are two commentary tracks by series co-stars Jack Larson and Noel Neill, who played Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane. Their remarks on the episode "Panic in the Sky" aren't necessarily shot-specific one heartily wishes that the two could have done this a decade or more earlier, or that Larson would have been interviewed over an episode such as "The Haunted Lighthouse, which was a memorable life and professional experience for him, but they have a nice enough time talking that it's fun just listening to them -- one just wishes that perhaps a third person, such as a Superman expert, could have been put in with them to prompt them with questions. They are looser and more informative in their commentary on the episode "Semi-Private Eye, which always seemed like one of the most fun shows of this season to watch -- it appears to have been so for the two of them as well, and this factor helps make their discussion on this particular chapter well worth hearing, more than once. The other special features are confined to the last of the five discs. They include a short documentary entitled "The First Lady of Metropolis," devoted to the career of Noel Neill, which is as charming a profile as one could wish for, consisting of interviews with Neill, co-star Jack Larson, and an array of scholars and historians, supported by appropriate clips from the series; her recollections of working with George Reeves are the best part of the interviews, although her account of the methods they employed in shooting the 26 episodes are also fascinating. The final bonus feature is the complete "Stamp Day for Superman, a mini-episode done for the United States Treasury at the end of this season, which includes a new introduction by Jack Larson and Superman scholar Gary Grossman. This show has been kicking around public-domain lists for decades, but has never looked or sounded as good as it does here, even if it is still somewhat grainy at times it was never intended to be seen outside of schools, on 16 mm or 8 mm film. Each of the 26 episodes gets a single chapter-marker, and each disc opens with a very easy-to-use multi-layered menu that offers simple access to individual episodes as well as the special features, and a "play all" function that simplifies the viewing. The image throughout is full screen 1.33:1 -- the way it was shot -- and the sound is as crisp as the picture. In contrast to the first-season DVD set, which had some problems with the quality of the materials in some isolated instances, the shows here -- apart from "Stamp Day for Superman" -- all look to have been transferred from near-pristine sources.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Documentary "The First Lady of Metropolis" profiling Noel Neill featuring Jack Larson, Leonard Maltin, and others; Commentary on two key episodes by Noel Neill and Jack Larson; "Stamp Day for Superman": Special episode promoting savings bonds with a new introduction by Jack Larson
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The 26 episodes of the 1953 season brought significant changes to The Adventures of Superman TV show. To begin with, Phyllis Coates was replaced in the part of reporter Lois Lane by Noel Neill, who had essayed the role in a pair of Superman cliffhanger serials produced earlier. Neill's Lois was less abrasive than the feisty, hard-charging Lois played by Coates, and her characterization is the one most fondly remembered by fans of the show. Behind the camera, producer Robert Maxwell was replaced by Whitney Ellsworth, who had worked for the publisher of Superman's comic books. Ellsworth toned down the violence and beefed up the humor, making the series more kid-friendly. Another addition to the staff was special-effects wizard Thol "Si" Simonson, who shot new flying sequences that represented a considerable improvement over those turned out for the first season. Two directors, Thomas Carr and George Blair, shot all 26 episodes between them, making for a consistency in tone and performance that helped keep the show popular. Among the standout episodes are the season opener, "Five Minutes to Doom," in which Superman races against time to halt the execution of a falsely convicted man; "Superman in Exile," which finds the Man of Steel unable to work in Metropolis after absorbing a super-sized dose of radiation; and "Panic in the Sky," built around the discovery of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/17/2006
  • UPC: 012569729742
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Digi-Pak / B&W / Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 11:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,288

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Reeves
Noel Neill
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season - Episodes 1-6
   Play
   Episodes
      Five Minutes to Doom
      The Big Squeeze
      The Man Who Could Read Minds
      Jet Ace
      Shot in the Dark
      The Defeat of Superman
   Special Features: See Other Discs for Additional Special Features
   Languages
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Disc #2 -- Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season - Episodes 7-12
   Play
   Episodes
      Superman in Exile
      A Ghost for Scotland Yard
      The Dog Who Knew Superman
      The Face and the Voice
      The Man in the Lead Mask
      Commentary: Panic in the Sky
      Panic in the Sky
   Special Features
      Commentary on "Panic in the Sky" by Jack Larson and Noel Neill
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Disc #3 -- Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season - Episodes 13-18
   Play
   Episodes
      The Machines That Could Plot Crimes
      Jungle Devil
      My Friend Superman
      The Clown Who Cried
      The Boy Who Hated Superman
      Commentary: Semi-Private Eye
      Semi-Private Eye
   Special Features
      Commentary on "Semi-Private Eye" by Jack Larson and Noel Neill
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Disc #4 -- Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season - Episodes 19-24
   Play
   Episodes
      Perry White's Scoop
      Beware the Wrecker
      The Golden Vulture
      Jimmy Olsen, Boy Editor
      Lady in Black
      Star of Fate
   Special Features: See Other Discs for Additional Special Features
   Languages
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Disc #5 -- Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season - Episodes 25 & 26
   Play
   Episodes
      The Whistling Bird
      Around the World With Superman
   Special Features
      "The First Lady of Metropolis"
      "Stamp Day for Superman"
   Languages
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

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