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Adventures of Superman - The Complete First Four Seasons
Adventures of Superman - The Complete First Four Seasons
Actors: George Reeves, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, John Hamilton, Robert Shayne
Directors: George Blair, Harry W. Gerstad, Lee Sholem, Philip Ford, Thomas Carr
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2006     34hr 11min


     
5

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Movie Details

Actors: George Reeves, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, John Hamilton, Robert Shayne
Directors: George Blair, Harry W. Gerstad, Lee Sholem, Philip Ford, Thomas Carr
Creators: Ben Peter Freeman, David T. Chantler, Dennis J. Cooper
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Superheroes, Classics, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Classic TV, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/20/2006
Original Release Date: 09/19/1952
Theatrical Release Date: 09/19/1952
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 34hr 11min
Screens: Full Screen
Number of Discs: 15
SwapaDVD Credits: 15
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A GREAT WAY TO SPEND A VERY LONG RAINY WEEKEND
Heather L. Parisi | St. Augustine, FL USA | 04/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"
HERE'S THE ULTIMATE BABY BOOMER'S GUILTY PLEASURE -- FOR ME,

-----* - PLEASE TAKE NOTE: WE WON'T BE GETTING THE 3RD-4TH YEAR SET SHIPPED TO US UNTIL AFTER JUNE 20, 2006 !!!!!

OKAY -- SO WHO ELSE CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF MIGHTY RIVERS?

I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH I STILL LOVE WATCHING THIS SHOW - AFTER 50 YEARS [Robert Parisi wrote more of this than Heather Parisi who was not alive at the time of Superman {1951-1958}]

IN A NUTSHELL: My favorite TV show as a child 50 years ago

When these 2 DVD sets arrived several days ago I played a Superman marathon from start to finish which occurred only because the series is that good! The first season, which I recall though I have not seen the episodes for at least 40 years, has held up surprisingly well.

I still get a chill during the introduction as the announcer zips through the usual discourse of: "faster than a speeding bullet", "more powerful than a locomotive", "leaps tall buildings in a single bound", "can change the course of mighty rivers" etc.!

ABOUT THE FIRST SEASON: Phyllis Coates as Lois just can't stay out of trouble!

Without giving too much away about the plots, this first season is filled with mystery adventures and, as others have pointed out, has a film-noir quality that is hard to miss. Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane is rather over-the-top but has always been my favorite Lois, perhaps because I saw her in that role first. George Reeves *is* Superman, make no mistake about it, as he plays the role without overdoing the hapless Clark Kent role. In fact, he plays a rather strong and emotional Clark Kent which is nice to see and fits the role quite well.

5th DISK HAS FEATURE LENGTH TREAT: "SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN"!

EPISODES FOR SEASON ONE ARE AS FOLLOWS [Picture & Short description inside boxed set for each episode are included]:

----- Disc One:

"Superman on Earth"
"The Haunted Lighthouse"
"The Case of the Talkative Dummy"
"The Mystery of the Broken Statues"
"The Monkey Mystery"
"A Night of Terror"

----- Disc Two:

"The Birthday Letter"
"The Mind Machine"
"Rescue"
"The Secret of Superman"
"No Holds Barred"
"The Deserted Village"

----- Disc Three:

"The Stolen Costume"
"Treasure of the Incas"
"Double Trouble"
"Mystery in Wax"
"The Runaway Robot"
"Drums of Death"

----- Disc Four:

"The Evil Three"
"Riddle of the Chinese Jade"
"The Human Bomb"
"Czar of the Underworld"
"The Ghost Wolf"
"Crime Wave"

----- Disc Five:

"SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN", THEATRICAL RELEASE [same as 2-part episode, different opening]

"SUPERMAN AND THE UNKNOWN PEOPLE, PART ONE"
"SUPERMAN AND THE UNKNOWN PEOPLE, PART TWO"

ABOUT THE DVDs: Excellent transfer, Features, Value!

A fantastic transfer of a 55-year-old TV show is too good to be true, but true it is. The episodes appear to be uncut, as the lengths run about 25 minutes and some seconds which is consistent with their original running times. There is commentary for a few of the episodes, but frankly I have been too anxious to see all the episodes a few times first. The package is nice too! Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish.

ABOUT THE SPECIAL FEATURES:

RETROSPECTIVE DOCUMENTARY - Made in 2005 and runs about 18 minutes. Includes footage from most of the first year's episodes and interviews with Leonard Maltin and a nicely-aged Jack Larson [Jimmy Olson].

*COMMENTARY ON 4 EPISODES [2 by Gary Grossman - 2 by Chuck Harter]

*ORIGINAL KELLOGG'S CEREAL COMMERCIALS

*PONY EXPRESS DAYS: "VINTAGE WARNER BROTHERS HISTORICAL SHORT", Starring George Reeves

*THE 2 PART EPISODE, "The Unknown People", which had been theatrically released earlier as "The Mole Men," is included as well.

---------------------------------------

-----------------------------SEASON TWO------------------------------------

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SEASON 2 IN A NUTSHELL: DIFFERENT THEMES - DIFFERENT LOIS = ?

We are treated to more of the same GREAT STUFF as was presented in the first season; however, Noel Neill replaced Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane and we see a true diversity of themes. Whereas the first season had focused on mobsters and crime, the second toned down the violence and added a wide range of themes to the growing Superman universe. In the process, the second season was more kid-friendly at the expense of some of the film-noir ambience.

All and all, this is a great addition and companion to the first season.

SEASON TWO has just been released. I pre-ordered it from Amazon prior to its release and and I have just completed viewing the 5 disks of the second season. The quality is the same as the first season -- almost unbelievably good. Episode 12, "Panic In The Sky" on the second disk, is a standout that also has an interesting and informative commentary track narrated by Noel Neill and Jack Larson.

If there is a difference between the first and second season, it is probably caused by several obvious differences;

---1] LOIS LANE:

Noel Neill is much lighter and more of a kid-viewer-friendly sidekick for Clark Kent, whereas Pyllis Coates was much more Kent's equal and rival. My daughter, watching parts of many of these shows -- but whole shows of none -- as she sort of flits in and out seeing parts of many and whole shows of none, stated that in "The Defeat Of Superman" if Phyllis Coates were still Lois then she would have been the one who got hit with the Kryptonite bullet instead of Superman. That's it exactly. Many of the crooks in the first season were literally mauled by Lois Lane, wildcat, as they tried with great difficulty to subdue her. Often, Phyllis Coates as Lois was physically assaulted as one would expect a man to be and the bad guys often came out of it bleeding and hurting. When that failed, there was the famous Lois Lane scream that is still reverberating all over the galaxy.

Obviously, I think a lot of Phyllis Coates as Lois but, in fairness, Noel Neill does a great job of showing a compassionate and vulnerable Lois who would surely perish if Superman were not there to save her, OFTEN.

---2] THE SCRIPTS:

The dark, "film-noir" style of the first season was definitely geared more for adults than for kids, though as a kid at the time I didn't know -- until now. Mobsters and corrupt politicians dominated that first season, with only traces of the humor that was to come in future seasons from Jimmy Olsen, and most of all from the new Lois [Noel Neill]. The new Lois did present the opportunity to change the tone of the show to the lighter side without ruining the Superman Universe in the process. Noel Neill, although five years older than Phyllis Coates, acted younger and more like she needed Superman's help while basically tagging along with Kent instead of blazing her own trail as Lois had in the first season. I have read that she was more palatable to young viewers, especially boys who found her likably obnoxious and bratty mannerisms to be cute and compelling. I guess they wanted to be Superman and save Noel. I was not one of them, and I always hoped that Phyllis Coates would return as Lois, but I had to wait until reruns for that.

---3] RUNNING TIME ON SEASON TWO IS LONGER:

Another difference from the first season is the length which ran about 25 minutes for the 1st season and has averaged over 26 minutes for the second.

COMMENTARY FOR SECOND SEASON BY NOEL NEILL {LOIS} & JACK LARSON [Jimmy}

THE EPISODES ON SEASON TWO ARE AS FOLLOWS; [Picture & Short description inside boxed set for each episode are included];

----- DISK ONE:

"Five Minutes to Doom"
"The Big Squeeze"
"The Man Who Could Read Minds"
"Jet Ace"
"Shot in the Dark"
"The Defeat of Superman"

----- DISK TWO:

"Superman in Exile"
"Ghost for Scotland Yard"
"The Dog Who Knew Superman"
"The Face and the Voice"
"The Man in the Lead Mask"
"Panic in the Sky" [PLUS OPTION TO CHOOSE COMMENTARY TRACK WITH LOIS & JIMMY]

----- DISK THREE:

"The Machine That Could Plot Crimes"
"Jungle Devil"
"My Friend Superman"
"The Clown Who Cried"
"The Boy Who Hated Superman"
"Semi-Private Eye" [PLUS OPTION TO CHOOSE COMMENTARY TRACK WITH LOIS & JIMMY]


----- DISK FOUR:

"Perry White's Scoop"
"Beware the Wrecker"
"The Golden Vulture"
"Jimmy Olsen, Boy Editor"
"Lady in Black"
"Star of Fate"

----- DISK FIVE:

"The Whistling Bird"
"Around the World with Superman"

"Documentary - "The First Lady of Metropolis" examines Noel Neill as Lois Lane - recently filmed and just 7 minutes, but quite interesting and features Jack Larson, Noel Neill and others.

>"Stamp Day For Superman": Special 18 minute episode promoting savings stamps for school kids backed by Superman. That's right -SAVINGS STAMPS - NOT BONDS!

BOTTOM LINE: [I have never been happier with a DVD boxed-set purchase]

--------------- WHY IS THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BOXED SET?

* ONE-SIDED DVDs [each with cool art-work]
* INCREDIBLE DVD TRANSFER - RESTORED TO ORIGINAL LENGTH
* SPECIAL FEATURES [2 EPISODES INCLUDE OPTIONAL COMMENTARY TRACKS + "STAMP DAY WITH SUPERMAN" + "THE FIRST LADY OF METROPOLIS" - documentary]
* DVD INSIDE COVER INCLUDES NEAT PHOTOS & BRIEF NOTES ON EACH EPISODE
* STURDY ATTRACTIVE BOXED SET [same size as 1 VHS + includes outer sleeve]
* "REEL" CLASS ACT + AFFORDABLE PRICE [can't wait till the 3rd season comes out!]
* SUBTITLES AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH - FRENCH & SPANISH

----- I RECEIVED THE FIRST TWO SEASONS AT THE END OF JANUARY AND SEASONS THREE AND FOUR ARE AT THE DOOR -- LITERALLY!

-----------------------------------------------------------------

--------------- ***** SEASON 3-4 DVD SET BELOW ***** ---------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------
I JUST ORDERED THE BOXED SET WHICH CONTAINS THESE TWO SEASONS [3-4], WHICH ALSO INCLUDES MY FAVORITE EPISODE: "THE BIG FREEZE" in Season 4. I will update this to comment on what I think of these last 2 seasons features and qualities after I finish my Superman marathon for seasons 3 and 4, which should be about 3-4 days after they arrive from their current pre-order [presumed to be late June 2006].

----- ***** - PLEASE NOTE: PROBABLY LIKE YOU, I WON'T BE GETTING THIS SET UNTIL AFTER THE JUNE 20TH SHIPPING DATE. This is a 1 DVD BOXED SET containing THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN Episodes 53-78. 53-65 is Season 3 [1954] and 66-78 is Season 4 [1955].



Season 3 of "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN" - includes these episodes:

-----* "Through the Time Barrier"
-----* "The Talking Clue"
-----* "The Lucky Cat"
-----* "Superman Week"
-----* "Great Caesar's Ghost"
-----* "Test of a Warrior"
-----* "Olsen's Millions"
-----* "Clark Kent, Outlaw"
-----* "The Magic Necklace"
-----* "The Bully of Dry Gulch"
-----* "Flight to the North"
-----* "The Seven Souvenirs"
-----* "King For a Day"

Season 4 of "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN" - includes these episodes: including my favorite - "THE BIG FREEZE"

-----* "Joey"
-----* "The Unlucky Number"
-----* "The Big Freeze"
-----* "Peril By Sea"
-----* "Topsy Turvy"
-----* "Jimmy the Kid"
-----* "The Girl Who Hired Superman"
-----* "The Wedding of Superman"
-----* "Dagger Island"
-----* "Blackmail"
-----* "The Deadly Rock"
-----* "The Phantom Ring"
-----* "The Jolly Roger"

SPECIAL FEATURES include:

-----* "Adventures of Superman: The Color Era"
-----* "Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Special Effects of Adventures of Superman"
-----* "Look, Up in the Sky": The Amazing Story of Superman

-***- PLEASE NOTE: There will be more comments about the season 3 and 4 DVD SET AFTER IT IS DELIVERED and I have fully digested the experience. Remember, this is one boxed DVD set containing the contents of season 3-4, [1954-1955] and contain 26 episodes in all, #53-#78 of the series.

"
For Every Superman Fan
Carolyn P. | Memphis, TN USA | 07/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a superb set. The transfers are wonderful with great quality both picture and sound. The commentaries, especially the ones by Noel Neill and Jack Larson are so enjoyable. Hearing them remember different episodes and actors/characters is so much fun. Their commentary seems so heartfelt and sincere. Many of the episodes hold up even today, and others give us a glimpse back into life during the late 50's. For anyone who grew up with George Reeves Superman, you won't want to miss this."