Adventures of Superman - Season 2
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The Adventures of Superman - Season 2

5.0 1
Director: George Blair

Cast: George Blair, George Reeves, Thomas Carr, Ben Welden

     
 
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

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/17/2006
UPC:
0012569729742
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
11:23:00
Sales rank:
11,659

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

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Reeves Actor,Boulder
Ben Welden Hank,Nosey
Billy Wayne Rollo
Dabbs Greer Joe Winters
Doris Singleton Gloria Harper
Elisha Cook Homer Garrity
Frank Ferguson Mr. Frank
Frank Scannell Marty Mitchell
Herb Vigran Legs Lemmy
Hugh Beaumont Dan Grayson
Jonathan Hale Prof. Roberts
Kay Morley Elaine Carson
Lane Bradford Chris White
Lawrence Ryle Dr. Gregory Barnack
Leon Askin Ferdinand
Leonard Mudie Brockhurst
Maurice Cass Meldini
Noel Neill Actress
Peter Whitney Capt. McBain
Sterling Holloway Uncle Oscar,Uncle Oscar Quinn
Steve Pendleton Max Krugar
Tito Vuolo Tony
Tyler McDuff Frankie
Vera Marshe Harriet Hopper
William Forrest Mr. Crane
Allene Roberts Nancy
Billy Gray Alan
Billy Nelson Larry McCoy,Louie
Colin Campbell Sir Arthur McCredy
Damian O'Flynn Dr. Harper
I. Stanford Jolley T Bone
Jane Frazee Lady Farmer
Joe Forte Director Adams
John Crawford Doc
John Kellogg Luke Maynard,Baker
Judy Nugent Ann Carson
Keith Richards Henchman
Larry Dobkin Swami Armada
Paul E. Burns Mattlen Whitlock
Paul Fix Fingers
Peter Brocco Crackers
Peter Mamakos Happy King
Pierre Watkin Director of Plane Operations
Robert J. Wilke Lynch
Roy Barcroft Duke
Sam Flint Warden
Selmar Jackson Gen. Summers
Vic Perrin Scurvy
Virginia Christine Mrs. Frank
Yvette Dugay Elaine
Aline Towne Peg Grayson
Bibs Borman Maria
Clark Howat Roberts' Assistant
Dick Rich Toots
Dona Drake Joyce
Douglas Henderson Noodles
George Chandler Scratchy
James Brown Jim Carson
Jean Dean Alma Dennis
John Eldredge Burt Burnside
Leonard Penn Fixer
Lois Hall Mrs. Winters
Louis Jean Heydt Scott
Mickey Simpson Hercules
Mike Ragan Policeman
Nacho Galindo Berto
Norma Varden Mabel McCredy
Paul Burke Henchman
Richard Reeves Frenchy,Tough Guy
Robert Rice First Mate Bennett
Robert S. Carson Allen
Sid Tomack Ruffles
Tom Powers Director of Train Company
Toni Carroll Dorothy Manners
Veola Vonn Leora
Arthur Space Dr. Wilson
Charles Meredith Judge Allen
Denver Pyle Ernie Hatch
Frank Richards Slugger
Harry Mendoza Simon O'Toole
Harry V. Cheshire Mr. Foster
J. Anthony Hughes Director of Mercy General
James Seay Bill Hurd
Jan Arvan Beam
Jim Hayward Tim Mallory
John Daly Dogcatcher
John Doucette Joe
Marshall Reed Security Agent
Murray Alper Sanders
Patrick Aherne Insp. Farrington,Murray
Paul Bryar Murel
Percy Helton Hamlet
Philip Van Zandt Regan
Raymond Greenleaf Dr. Anderson
Richard Benedict Cappy
Richard Karlan Monk
Stan Jarman Pinky
Terry Frost Spud
Thomas Moore Shopowner
Alan Lee Bill
Alfred Linder Murray
Brad Mora Tim Grayson
Carleton Young Fairchild
Evelyn Halpern Betty
George Douglas Jim
Jean Willes Miss Cooper
John Harmon Skinny
John Merton Foley
Joseph Vitale Chief Foreign Agent
Larry Blake Steve Martin
Leon Lontoc Native
Lester Dorr Man at Well
Ralph Sanford Superburger Customer
Renny McEvoy Carnival Barker
Ronald Hargrove Boy Mayor
Rudolph Anders Art Thief
Sherry Moreland Bank Teller
Ted Hecht Ahmed
Tom Bernard Doug the Newsboy
Tom Monroe John DeBreer
Russell Custer Sgt. Healey

Technical Credits
George Blair Director
Thomas Carr Director

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The Adventures of Superman - Season 2 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago