Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Adventures of Superman - The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons|
Actors: George Reeves, Noel Neill, Bill Kennedy, Jack Larson, John Hamilton
Directors: George Blair, Harry W. Gerstad, Philip Ford
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
George Reeves returns as Superman (aka Clark Kent) in 26 episodes comprising Season 3 and Season 4 of the program that ran six seasons total. This time his exploits take him to stuffy European monarchy, a remote desert isl... more »
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Superman in Color for all ages
Jim Kraizel | Euclid, OH United States | 03/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The third installment of The Adventures of Superman DVD series is due out June 20, and this time two seasons are combined in one package - seasons 3 & 4, originally shown in 1955 and 1956.
A quick bit of history - a few major changes happened to the show at the start of the third season. While seasons 1 & 2 both had 26 episodes per season, beginning with season 3 the number of episodes produced per season was cut in half to only 13. The show also went to color, which took up a large part of the show's budget. (As a side note, these episodes were originally shown on TV in black and white, first appearing in color in the 1960's.) Also, by the time of the third season, the focus on the show had really changed to more of a "kid's" show, with little of the violence that had defined the first season in particular. It certainly makes the show a very different show to watch from the previous first two seasons, but enjoyable in it's own right. And you might find this box easier to watch with the whole family.
Here's what you get in this set:
Season 3 includes:
Through the Time Barrier
The Talking Clue
The Lucky Cat
Great Caesar's Ghost
Test of a Warrior
Clark Kent, Outlaw
The Magic Necklace
The Bully of Dry Gulch
Flight to the North
The Seven Souvenirs
King For a Day
Season 4 includes:
The Unlucky Number
The Big Freeze
Peril By Sea
Jimmy the Kid
The Girl Who Hired Superman
The Wedding of Superman
The Deadly Rock
The Phantom Ring
The Jolly Roger
The extras 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 (excerpts from the new documentary produced by Bryan Singer and Kevin Burns)
Another nice touch - there's also a ticket for Superman Returns included in this set!
I'm assuming Warner Home Video will do the same excellent job on this package that they have on the first two. And I give them kudos for including 26 episodes and not trying to gouge the fans by only including 13 episodes per set. Plus the free movie ticket! It all adds up to a great value, and 5 stars from me this time."
Surprisingly Entertaining, and Reeves is Superb!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 06/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've written often about the deterioration in quality of "The Adventures of Superman" after color was introduced, in 1954, and I'll still stand by the statement, for the last seasons of the series...But having just sat through this collection of the third and fourth seasons' color episodes, allow me to "eat crow"...these episodes are VERY entertaining, and certainly are far better than I remembered!
The decision to shoot in color was a bold move, by sponsor Kellogg's, producer Whitney Ellsworth, and the series' home studio, Motion Pictures for Television Inc,(MPTV), as the technology to even air color programming would not be widely available to local television stations for nearly a decade. Series like AOS, "The Cisco Kid", and "The Lone Ranger", in choosing to use the far more expensive process, understood that these programs would have a 'lifespan' far beyond the 1950s audience. Certainly, in the case of AOS, the continuing popularity of the show, and the sales of these collections prove their point!
Because of the expense of color, the seasons would be slashed from 26 to 13 episodes per season, which was a godsend to the cast, particularly George Reeves. Lighting for color was MUCH brighter and hotter than for black and white, and the costume department realized Reeves' original brown-and-gray, frequently sweat-stained "shoulder-padded longjohns" would be even more of a problem in future. A 'genius' decided to redesign the costume, creating a thicker, full-body red and blue suit of foam rubber, which would not 'show' perspiration (but would, sadly, make the actor appear much stockier). While in theory this was a great idea, in truth, it was a disaster, as the suit didn't 'breathe', with 'locked-in' sweat causing severe rashes and frequent heat exhaustion for Reeves. A half-hour stretch was the maximum he could wear it, safely, making for long 'shooting days'...and the physical torture of the suit would 'age' Reeves, rapidly, over the remainder of the series.
Knowing this, my respect for Reeves' professionalism has increased, and this collection offers some of his really terrific performances, as well as some of Noel Neill and Jack Larson's best work, as well. Among my favorites are "Superman Week" and "King For a Day" (which shows Reeves still willing to manhandle baddies...something that would soon be completely eliminated as Kellogg's bowed to parental pressure for less violence); "Jimmy the Kid", offering Larson a meaty dual role, as both 'comic relief' Jimmy Olsen, and a notorious gunman; and, best of all, "The Wedding of Superman", an acting tour-de-force by Neill, in a remarkably sensitive (and prophetic, for "Lois & Clark" fans) episode of Lois and Superman finally acknowledging their love. This episode is acclaimed as one of the finest episodes of the entire series, and shouldn't be missed!
So, if you harbor an illusion that the color episodes will be a disappointment, like I did, I strongly urge you to reconsider, and buy this collection...I think you'll be in for a VERY pleasant surprise!"
Up in the SKY!
Benjamin J Burgraff | 06/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's Superman, back with his color episodes. I am 12 years old and I love the Superman series! With George Reeves as the man of steel, Noel Neil as Lois, Jack Larson as Jimmy, and John Hamilton as Perry White, who is my favorite.
I watched some old tapes of the show that my Dad had when I was six. I loved it from Day one. Now 6 years later I am 12 and Superman is on DVD. My Dad and I are so happy! We now have every season!
These seasons include real color! It also includes some funny and serious episodes. These seasons are a mix of serious and funny episodes. Some bad episodes such as the caveman and great episodes such as Jimmy the Kid! The special features reveal the secrets of how the special effects were made and Superman through the years. My favorite season in season 2 because it has some funny episodes but more serious, plus great story plots like the Professor.
I recomend buying all the Superman seasons. The only thing about this one is the color is sometimes perfect but in some senes it's washy. The TV show is much better than the movies and comics and the Lois and Clark and Smallville T.V shows.
I LOVE SUPERMAN!!!!!!!!:)"
It's a bird... It's a plane... It's out of focus!
Scott Leslie | Canada | 07/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of George Reeves and company. But if you're thinking about ponying up for this set like I did, there's two questions you need to ask:
1) How are the prints?
First of all, don't expect the same quality as the B&W season 1 & 2 sets. There's a stock 1957 opening that's a little rough. And luckily none of the episodes seem to have the excessive print damage that say "The Stolen Costume" had in the first season set. However, the colour isn't perfect. In many cases, the technicolour picture is perfectly sharp and crystal clear - amazing for prints that are 50 years old. But then the camera will quickly cut to a more soft, washed out shot or scene - from a 100% sharpness to about 80% resolution - and it gets very distracting at times. This happens constantly. I've read they had a lot of restoration work to do on this one and it's too bad they couldn't correct this so the print is uniformly sharp. You get used to the picture after a while. But it is disappointing considering what they were able to pull off with the first two season sets.
2) How are the stories? I heard they turned it into a kids' show!
Well, in terms of the storylines themselves, many of the shows have devolved to the standard two thugs "Whadda we do now, boss?" type of situations. Sure, it's still highly entertaining and George Reeves is still letter perfect. But the show has certainly lost a step in these seasons compared to the second and particularly the first season's harder edged radio serial leanings.
As for Lois Lane, Noel Neil has her moments. But at this point in the series, she seems far too sunny and perky for the role and has very little rivalry with Clark - although the softening of the scripts don't help her out here. For my money, Phyllis Coates just nailed Lois perfectly in the first season - she's the damsel in distress obviously (and what a screamer!) but still the feisty, business-like, tough as nails reporter (unlike Noel here). For instance, when Clark takes over the editor's chair from Perry White in "Peril By Sea", Noel's Lois couldn't be happier for Clark - while Phyllis' Lois would've torn a strip off him!
So to recap, it's still wildly entertaining - but the inconsistent prints and storylines make this Superman a little less than stellar."