Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Superman And The Mole-Men (1951)

Starring George Reeves, Phyllis Coates, Jeff Corey, Walter Reed, J. Farrell MacDonald
Directed by Lee Sholem
(actor & director credits courtesy

Clark Kent and Lois Lane visit a small town to write a story on its oil well, the world's deepest, but when subterranean creatures emerge from beneath the well, it becomes a job for Superman. 

We have here a sort of pilot film for the popular 1950's TV series, The Adventures Of Superman, which was released to movie theaters.  It's not great, or really even all that good, but for those like me, who were fans of Reeves' portrayal of Clark Kent as a hard-boiled crime reporter on the series, here's where that all started.  The special effects are fairly weak, although Reeves has some spectacular take-off sequences into the sky, but the performances of the midget actors playing the Mole-Men do create genuine concern for their plight.  As Michael J. Bifulco observes in his book, Superman On Television, Darrell Calker's music score curiously lacks any dynamic music for the Man of Steel, which would be rectified when the film was edited into a two-part episode of the TV series, with Leon Klatzkin's stirring Superman theme added to the soundtrack.

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