Superman Movie Serials
There were two Superman Serials produced. The first, simply titled "Superman
" was released in 1948, the second "Atom Man vs Superman
" was released in 1950. Both starred Kirk Alyn as Superman/Clark Kent, while Noel Neill played Lois Lane.
Superman, Lois, and Jimmy combat the evil Spider Lady. Lots of cliffhanger excitement while the Spider Lady and her gang use Kryptonite against Superman in an effort to gain a relativity Reducer Ray.
Superman/Clark Kent: Kirk Alyn
Lois Lane: Noel Neill
Perry White: Pierre Watkin
Jimmy Olsen: Tommy Bond
Spider Lady: Carol Forman
Dr. Graham: Herbert Rawlinson
Professor Leeds: Forrest Taylor
Jor-El: Nelson Leigh
Lara: Luana Walters
Eben Kent: Edward Cassidy
Martha Kent: Virginia Caroll
Story: George H. Plympton & Joseph F. Poland
Screenplay: Arthur Hoerl, Lewis Clay, Royal Cole
Directors: Spencer Benett, Thomas Carr
Producer: Sam Katzman
- 1 - Superman Comes To Earth
After Krypton's science council refuses to believe Jor-El's warnings of the planet's impending doom as it is being drawn towards its sun, he must launch his son to safety in an experimental rocket. On Earth, the rocket is found by the Kents who secretly adopt the child and name him Clark. As a child, Clark develops superpowers. He finds a lost watch for his mother, and saves his dad from a tornado. As an adult he agrees he must leave and adopt an identity of Superman. His mother gives him a costume made from blankets in his rocket that resist fire. Shortly, his foster parents die, and Clark leaves for a train. On a train Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane and cub reporter Jimmy Olsen are going to a story. Clark spots a break in the track and changes to Superman.
- 2 - Depths Of The Earth
Superman saves the train, and Lois calls in the story to a skeptical editor, Perry White. Clark arrives in Metropolis and a cabbie recommends the Daily Planet, and takes him to a building on fire. Superman saves a girl from the building, creating national headlines. Clark asks Mr. White for a job and is told if he scoops Lois and Jimmy at a mine story, he has a job. At a mine explosion Lois learns of a way into the mine, behind the guardline. She goes in but another explosion occurs sealing the shaft. Clark is shown the blocked shaft, and changes to Superman.
- 3 - The Reducer Ray
Superman breaks through and saves Lois and the miners. Back in Metropolis an angry Lois meets Clark Kent who scooped her on the story. Superman's feats cause many headlines. In Washington, Superman is asked to witness a test of Dr. Graham's invention that harnesses natural reducer rays, concentrating them to create a beam that can be focused miles away, and create an explosion greater than an atomic blast! The Spider Lady, queen of the underworld, contacts an associate in New Mexico, who tries to use Negative Rays to prevent the test, until a doctor can witness the test for the Spider Lady. Superman stops that effort, and after the test is asked in Washington to guard the relativity Reducer Ray. Later, in Metropolis Professor Leeds spots an approaching meteor. It crashes near the city, and Perry sends Lois and Clark to investigate. On route, Lois leaves Clark who is picked up by Leeds. Leeds takes Clark back to the Metropolis Museum to see the glowing meteor. Leeds thinks it is from Krypton. Although harmless to humans, it causes Clark to collapse.
- 4 - Man Of Steel
After Leeds covers the meteor with a lead lid, Clark recovers. Clark reveals he is Superman, so Leeds agrees to destroy the fragment after testing it. But Leeds' assistant Morgan has overheard how the fragment can harm Superman. He places a cryptic newspaper ad that the Spider Lady sees. A stool pigeon, Hawkins, tells Lois about Morgan. Lois and Jimmy go to meet Hawkins, and see Morgan. Lois and Morgan are kidnapped by the Spider Lady's gang. Morgan tells the Spider Lady about the meteor, who then has him killed on an electrified spider web. Then she has Lois placed on the web, because Lois is a reporter.
- 5 - A Job For Superman
Lois is left only stunned, and the Spider Lady orders Lois be taken to a warehouse in Metropolis. Meanwhile, Jimmy has phoned Perry who sends off Clark. While Jimmy is driving, with Clark, Clark spots Lois unconscious in another car. He has Jimmy drive on while changing to Superman to stop the crooks. Lois tells Superman that the Spider Lady now knows about kryptonite. The Spider Lady publically challenges Superman to stop her from robbing the Metropolis Museum. While the police and Superman are distracted by a staged car accident, the Spider Lady's men steal the kryptonite from Leeds' office. They also stop Leeds and Lois who were in the office.
- 6 - Superman In Danger
Superman saves Lois in Leeds' office from being hurt by an electric device used by the crooks, then flies after the crooks. They use the kryptonite to escape from him. The Spider Lady decides she will need scientific help using the kryptonite and Reducer Ray, so she arranges a jail break for Dr. Hackett, a brilliant scientist with a twisted mind. Clark tries to get Hawkins to give a tip about the doctor, but Hawkins hesitates when spotting men from the Spider Lady. Clark pursues the men, while Lois manages to get a tip from Hawkins. The crooks go to a summer cabin where Hackett is holed up. They say they will return to pick him up disguised by bandages. Clark ties up the doctor and in disguise is taken by the crooks in an ambulance. Lois arrives and unties Hackett, who forces her into her car. The crooks discover Clark, and stun him on a rural road. Hackett spots them and stuns Lois, then jumps from her car as it roars towards the edge of the road and a mountain!
- 7 - Into The Electric Furnace
Superman finds Hackett's cabin empty, then spots Lois' car in time to save her. The Spider Lady reveals her plan to Hackett. They plan to capture Clark Kent to trap Superman. Hawkins is forced to phone a tip to Kent, but Lois answers and instead she and Jimmy go to the meeting place. There Jimmy is kidnapped. At the Daily Planet, Clark gets a call about Jimmy, and goes to meet a crook, secretly followed by Lois. Clark offers to have Superman show up if Jimmy is freed. Instead the crooks have Clark locked up in a room in a warehouse, while Jimmy is left unconscious on a conveyor belt headed into a blast furnace.
- 8 - Superman To The Rescue
Superman rescues Jimmy, but the crooks escape when they toss a piece of the kryptonite at Superman, which ends up in the furnace releasing kryptonite fumes. Lois arrives and blows a police whistle making the crooks leave. Hackett complains about the failed caper, and the Spider Lady learns he is willing to betray her. In Washington, Superman arranges a trap by having a newspaper story say the reducer ray will be taken by truck for study at Metropolis University. The Spider Lady sends a group to hijack the truck and stop Superman with kryptonite. Superman stops the crooks, but overhears on their car radio that the Spider Lady has found out the ray really is being transported by train, and that another group plan to derail the train.
- 9 - Irresistable Force
Superman stops the train before it reaches where the blast occurs. Perry assigns Lois to pick up Dr. Graham at the airport. The Spider Lady has Lois delayed while she poses as Lois and picks up Dr. Graham. When Lois gets to the airport she picks up Hackett disguised as Graham. While Graham is being taken to the Spider Lady's cave hideout, Lois takes Hackett and an assistant to the reducer ray at Metropolis University. When Lois becomes suspicious of Hackett studying the device, she is captured and the ray is rigged to explode. But Jimmy had photographed Hackett and Lois at the airport, so when Clark sees Lois didn't pick up Graham he leaves.
- 10 - Between Two Fires
Superman arrives in time to save the ray machine and Lois. Jimmy spots Hackett and his assistant, and follows them. Jimmy is captured in a building where Graham is now being forced to recreate his ray device. While Hackett leaves, Graham tells Jimmy he'll use a machine to secretly signal for help. Graham's signaling causes static on the city's phones. Clark and Lois are sent to investigate the cause of the static. Clark figures out it is a coded message. Lois is sent off to locate the source of the signal, while Clark stays with two phone employees. The crooks spot Graham's signals, and leave after rigging the building. Jimmy escapes their moving car, while Lois enters the building which erupts in flames.
- 11 - Superman's Dilemma
Superman manages to save Lois again. Dr. Graham is forced to agree to finish another reducer ray machine that Hackett has built. Graham says he'll need a new chemical compound called mono-chromite. The Spider Lady's men find a chemical engineer Fred Larkin to supply it. After looking it up and seeing it is a restricted compound, Larkin tells them to come back for it, and calls Perry White for advice. Perry assigns Clark to see Larkin, but an angry Lois arranges for Clark to end up arrested for driving a stolen car, while she and Jimmy visit Larkin. The crooks pick up from Larkin a crate that Jimmy is hiding in. They punch out Larkin and lock Lois in Larkin's vault. Superman leaves his jail cell to get to Larkin's office where he saves Lois from suffocating. On route, the crooks spot someone is in the crate and shoot at the crate.
- 12 - Blast In The Depths
Luckily, Superman had earlier found the truck, and replaced Jimmy. Superman leaves Jimmy with the crooks trussed up, and returns to the jail, where Clark is released. Hackett decides to try another engineer. Men are sent to try mining engineer Fred Collier to get ore to make mono chromite, but Collier resists and is shot. Perry has Lois check Collier's office, where she finds a mining map. The crooks return and kidnap her. Clark and Jimmy arrive too late, but Clark spots a mark Lois left (?+) that Clark figures out refers to a mine at Questionmark Crossing. At the mine, while the crooks carry out ore, Clark is captured and left handcuffed to Lois. The crooks rig an explosion in the mine, and outside punch out Jimmy.
- 13 - Hurled To Destruction
The explosion stuns Lois long enough for Superman to get them outside. Meanwhile, Graham is forced to reveal more about his machine. It will need a special tube that takes months to build. The Spider Lady has her men go to Metropolis University, posing as reporters to steal the original tube. Perry has Clark and Jimmy go to the university, but Jimmy goes ahead while Clark checks on something. At the university, two crooks drive off with the tube while another forces Jimmy to drive in his car. Clark arrives and spots Jimmy. Superman appears and stops the car. Jimmy asks Superman to leave the crook with Perry for an exclusive. At the Daily Planet, while Superman changes to Clark, Perry ends up struggling with the crook who ends up knocking Perry out of the window to fall to his death!.
- 14 - Superman At Bay
Clark enters the outer offices in time to capture the crook, Anton, and then rescues Perry who is hanging on the window ledge. Anton's capture makes headlines, since he is an aide of the Spider Lady. She and Hackett agree to have him allow himself to be arrested, so he can talk with Anton. Lois and Jimmy capture Hackett outside the Daily Planet. Outside the jail they spot a crook pickup a cigarette butt tossed out by Hackett. It has a coded message. Jimmy takes over delivering the message to a store. At the store after Jimmy hides and hears a crook radio the Spider Lady, he is captured and the crooks rig the store to explode if someone uses the door. Meanwhile, Graham now has the second ray machine ready. The Spider Lady has him target the location where Hackett and Anton (and Lois) are in the jail. After Clark is phoned by Lois, Superman rescues Jimmy who warns about the plan to target the jail.
- 15 - The Payoff
Superman saves Lois from the explosion but the other two are killed. The ray's use causes headlines. The Spider lady publicly says that because it is Superman's ally, she will soon destroy the Daily Planet building. Superman reconstructs a recording of Hackett talking to Anton. The recording mentions somewhere called the Dog's Eye. Lois and Jimmy go off to investigate reports of stalled cars in the foothills, thinking it may be related to the ray's use at the jail. They get captured and taken to the Spider Lady's cave hideout. Meanwhile, Clark figures out where the Dog's Eye refers to. It is a mine near Metropolis. Superman goes and finds one of the Spider Lady's men who uses kryptonite. Superman is dragged into the Spider Lady's hideout where she holds another piece of kryptonite to prevent him from stopping the ray machine. But Superman is wearing a lead-lined costume and faking being unconscious. He resists the ray's beam and Dr. Graham turns it on the fleeing Spider Lady killing her.
Atom Man Vs. Superman (1950)
Superman manages to eventually save Lois, Jimmy, Metropolis, and the Earth, from Luthor's schemes involving coin tokens that transport hoodlums, synthetic Kryptonite, ray guns, rockets, and a Directional Cyclotron!
Superman/Clark Kent: Kirk Alyn
Lois Lane: Noel Neill
Perry White: Pierre Watkin
Jimmy Olsen: Tommy Bond
Luthor: Lyle Talbot
Screenplay: George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, David Matthews
Directors: Spencer Benett
Producer: Sam Katzman
- 1 - Superman Flies Again
Luthor's gangs are causing robberies. Luthor says if he doesn't get all the money in a bank, he'll use an invention to destroy a bridge, and then Metropolis. Superman helps save the bridge, then finds Luthor's hideout and arrests the twisted criminal genius. One year later Luthor is now in solitary confinement, and offering to tell the government about a new invention that combines radar and television. Criminals like "Killer" Lawson start using coin tokens that allow them to teleport short distances, escaping the police. Luthor uses a token to return to his hideout and shows Lawson a larger prototype arc machine he hopes will kill Superman, and Luthor mentions a partner called Atom Man. Luthor returns to his jail cell, while Lawson uses his human fly ability to climb a building and rob a jeweler. Lawson then teleports into a nearby van. Jimmy spots Lawson in the van and gets punched out. Lois and the police end up chasing the van, pursued by Superman. At a rural area the van stops and appears to explode.
- 2 - Atom Man Appears!
The crooks have teleported away to Luthor's hideout with Jimmy. Jimmy meets the masked Atom Man who shows the main protoptype arc machine then teleports Jimmy back to the Daily Planet building. Outside, Luthor's men see Jimmy has one of the coins, and that it appears to end up in the Daily Planet's office safe. While Superman is saving people on a ship that's afire, the crooks try stealing the coin. But Clark returns and chases them to the roof where they teleport. Clark remembers Lois took the coin. Luthor wants the coin back, so he sends some crooks after Lois. Superman saves Lois by stopping their car, and tying them up. At the Daily Planet, Perry lets Superman keep the coin. Hearing Superman has the coin makes Luthor happy. Someone calls in a tip to lure Clark (and Superman), but Lois answers the phone and goes to a building where crooks ask for the coin. When Lois fights she ends up pushed out of the office window.
- 3 - Ablaze In The Sky
Superman manages to save Lois. Perry assigns Lois and Clark to interview Luthor who has been granted parole. Luthor says he will run a television network. He goes to his new office, and then secretly teleports to his hideout. Luthor learns Superman has returned the coin to Perry. Luthor's men spying on the Daily Planet from a tv truck learn Perry wants the coin tested by a Dr. Stone upstate. Clark, Lois, and Jimmy fly upstate in a plane. Superman saves the plane which has been sabotaged. Luthor's men get to Stone first and put him in his vault. When the reporters arrive one of the crooks ends up recovering the coin, and runs out pursued by Clark. Back inside, Stone in the vault, unaware of Jimmy and Lois, activates a blazing trap in the room.
- 4 - Superman Meets Atom Man!
Superman returns to save Lois and Jimmy. The professor angrily sends them off thinking it all a publicity stunt. Luthor finds Lawson has cheated him out of a theft, and has Lawson dispersed in space using the main arc. To again get the lost coin, Luthor has Lois transported to his hideout by planting another coin in a present. Lois meets Atom Man and must broadcast a plea. Superman has a plan: he has the paper print a story claiming the Metropolis Museum has another kryptonite meteor. Superman follows Luthor's men who steal the fake meteor. At the hideout Superman meets Atom Man, who forces him to enter the arc. Superman disappears in the arc. Atom Man has Lois unconscious put in her car, which is sent off to roll off a mountain road.
- 5 - Atom Man Tricks Superman
Superman arrives to save Lois. He explains his alien structure was not affected by the arc machine. He instead moved so fast as to be invisible. Superman has the Daily Planet plant another story claiming plutonium is being transported by train. Luthor needs plutonium for his machine, but is suspicious. He has an aide get captured by Superman trying to rob the plutonium. The crook says his boss really is interested in a package at Central Station, before Luthor safely teleports him. Superman uses X-Ray vision to search the packages but finds nothing. Later Luthor's men pick up a package. The x-rays have changed the apparent nails into plutonium! Lois follows them and is abducted by the men. Jimmy pursues and they both end up trapped in a barn with Jimmy's car running exhaust fumes.
- 6 - Atom Man's Challenge
Superman arrives to save Lois and Jimmy, then flies off. Luthor now has the plutonium that will make the arc more powerful, but when he finds out Lois and Jimmy are still alive, he punishes one of the crooks by temporarily sending him into the empty doom with the arc. Luthor shows he has developed synthetic kryptonite but needs radium to finish it. Atom Man publicly declares he will steal radium. Clark arrives at a hospital, after Luthor's men have stolen the radium. At a chemical plant, other crooks steal radium guarded by Lois, and leave her in a vault where Superman must free her. Jimmy is abducted trying to stop the crooks. While Superman is distracted by one crook, another has Jimmy drive onto a bombing range and knocks him out. The crook leaves while a bomb falls on Jimmy's car.
- 7 - At The Mercy Of Atom Man
Superman saves Jimmy before the bomb hits the car. Luthor's man returns with the radium. At the Daily Planet, Perry tells the others that before teleporting away the other men captured by Superman told the police that the radium was for synthetic kryptonite. While preparing the kryptonite, Luthor tells an aide Superman's origins on Krypton. Luthor deduced the story based on a coded broadcast by Jor-El and astronomical studies. Luthor arranges for a piece of kryptonite to be planted in the Daily Planet office at night. Clark is working there alone and collapses seen by a janitor working for Luthor. The janitor runs to get an acomplice and suggests Kent is Superman, but when they return Kent is gone. Luthor tries again at a ship dedication attended by Superman. A crook flashes kryptonite causing Superman to collapse. Posing as ambulance attendants, Luthor's crooks take Superman.
- 8 - Into The Empty Doom!
Superman is dragged unconscious into the cave hideout, where the Atom Man has him placed in the arc and sent into the empty doom of space. With Clark missing, Perry tells a reluctant Lois to write a story saying Kent is Superman. Lois and Jimmy trick Perry by having Jimmy phone in mimicing Clark. Meanwhile, a ghostly Superman finds he cannot stop criminals. In the Daily Planet, Lois sees her newfangled electric typewriter type a message. Superman is concentrating to move the keys. His message tells where the cave hideout is and to throw a main switch so that Superman can return. Instead of telling the police, Lois and Jimmy go alone. They whack a guard and are looking for the proper switch when Atom Man appears. He challenges Lois to pull a switch saying one will save Superman, but another will seal his doom. Lois frantically pulls two causing sparks.
- 9 - Superman Crashes Through
The short circuit doesn't bring Superman back. Atom Man has Lois and Jimmy dumped outside, and flees. Two power repair people come having traced a power surge. At the Planet, Perry says nothing was found. Superman types a new plan: a newsreel is televised making it appear Superman is back. This causes Luthor to send an aide into the channel of the empty doom to check if Superman is still trapped. Superman flings the man aside and forces down the open beam back to the cave hideout. A crook shows the kryptonite making Superman temporarily collapse, but it turns out the synthetic loses potency when exposed to air. Atom Man appears, but Superman finds it is a robot copy. Clark at the Planet plots with Perry to prove respectable television executive Luthor is Atom Man. Perry complains to Lois about a story, and she quits. She gets hired by Luthor and Clark and Jimmy see her interview people on the street. Crooks rob a store, and when they flee Lois pursues in a Daily Planet coupe. The crooks shoot the tires so Superman stops the car crashing. Jimmy chases the crooks to a railyard where he gets a foot stuck in a rail as a train approaches.
- 10 - Atom Man's Heat Ray
Superman saves Jimmy, but the two crooks teleport away. Luthor plans again using Lois as a diversion, but this time stopping the crooks to boost his respectability. At the Daily Planet, Clark and Lois reveal to Jimmy that Lois quitting was planned so she could check on Luthor. A crook overhears them and threatens to tell Luthor. After Clark is locked in Perry's office, Superman appears to stop the crook. When Lois does another street interview two hired crooks rob a payroll truck. But hidden in the tv truck Luthor's men use a heat ray to trap the robbers. The robbers are delayed enough for Clark, Lois, and Jimmy to see them arrested, but Lois has seen another run away. He is working with Luthor, and leads them into a building and teleports away. Luthor triggers a release of gas in the room, making the reporters collapse.
- 11 - Luthor's Strategy
Clark recovers, and Superman inhales the gas, then exhales it through a punched hole, then drags the others out. Lois decides the arrest of the two robbers clears Luthor and returns to her new television job. Clark is still suspicious of Luthor. At a press conference Luthor shows threats he has received from Atom Man. Clark and Lois separately go and cover a great flood upstate. Superman saves two people by providing a raft. The nearby dam collapses and a wall of water rushes towards where Lois has insisted in staying filming the flood.
- 12 - Atom Man Strikes!
Superman saves Lois by grabbing the tv truck she is in. Superman shows Lois a secret compartment in the truck. Later Lois is suspicious when three stores are robbed which were where she had done tv interviews. She phones the Planet, and Jimmy passes her message to Clark. Later Lois steals a notepad from Luthor's office. Aides in a hidden elevator have spotted her theft, and Luthor has her chased since the notepad has impressions of a list of stores he plans to have robbed. Lois runs and eventually escapes by getting into the Planet building. Luthor orders a thermal gun be used to destroy the building. When Superman appears the crooks turn the heat ray on him.
- 13 - Atom Man's Flying Saucers
Superman survives the attack, and the recoil destroys the gun. Superman points out the truck holding the gun to Perry and Lois. Lois and Jimmy go with the police to pursue the truck. Luthor teleports from his office to his hideout, and views Superman arriving in his office too late. When the truck is found abandoned, Superman warns Lois and Jimmy when Luthor has triggered a remote beam to destroy the truck. The two crooks from the truck teleport away. Superman traces the remains of the beam back to the area of Luthor's hideout. He tells Perry to have the area scouted, so Clark and Lois fly over the area searching for the hideout. Luthor has a flying saucer launched to destroy their plane.
- 14 - Rocket Of Vengeance
Luckily, Lois faints when seeing the saucer, so Superman can save her before the plane is destroyed. As the police are circling the area, Luthor twice broadcasts warnings to stop or he'll continue using a sonic beam to cause earthquakes in Metropolis. When Superman can't stop the second beam from threatening the Planet building the police agree to withdraw. Superman goes back to the hills area to search, followed by Lois and Jimmy. Luthor has two crooks launch an atomic projectile to stop Superman, but Superman catches it and flings it back. Luthor broadcasts that because the search for him hasn't stopped he'll launch a rocket to destroy Metropolis. Back at the Daily Planet, Lois and Jimmy abandon Perry when they spot the incoming rocket. Superman rides the rocket as it approaches the Planet building, while Luthor prepares to escape in a spaceship.
- 15 - Superman Saves The Universe
Superman manages to deflect the atomic missile into the sea. Luthor's identity as Atom Man has been publicly exposed. Luthor repeats placing a token in a gift to teleport Lois to his hideout. He shows her a directional cyclotron which will allow making earthquakes that could destroy the Earth. Two aides launch his spaceship ready for him to teleport to and escape. Luthor has the cyclotron aimed at part of Metropolis. Superman helps save people in the earthquake, then flies to the hill the police believe has Luthor's hideout. When his men refuse, Luthor triggers a quake outside the hideout and teleports with Lois to the spaceship. Superman breaks into the hideout where the men try to stop him with the now useless synthetic kryptonite. Then Superman flies up to get in the spaceship. He rescues Lois and captures Luthor, then flies off leaving the ship to explode. Superman leaves Luthor at the Daily Planet to be arrested. Later Lois exposes Clark to the synthetic kryptonite thinking that will show if he is Superman, but of course it has no effect.