- Ax 2013
Superman and the Mole-Men
Superman and the Strange People / Adventures of Superman - The Unknown People Part 1 / Adventures of Superman - The Unknown People Part 2
Robert Maxwell, Barney Sarecky for Lippert Pictures
directed by Lee Sholem
starring George Reeves, Phyllis Coates, Jeff Corey, Walter Reed, J.Farrell MacDonald, Stanley Andrews, Ray Walker, Hal K.Dawson, Phil Warren, Frank Reicher, Beverly Washburn, John Baer, John T.Bambury, Tony Boris, Billy Curtis, Jerry Maren, Harry Harvey, Adrienne Marden, Stephen Carr, Margia Dean, Byron Foulger, Irene Martin, John Phillips
screenplay by Robert Maxwell (as Richard Fielding), based on the comicbook created by Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, published by DC Comics
Superman, Superman (George Reeves), Adventures of Superman
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Reporters Clark Kent (George Reeves) and Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates)
take a trip to the world's deepest oilwell somewhere in rural USA, only to
find it being closed down by foreman Corrigan (Walter Reed), who acts
rather suspicious. Kent immediately senses there's a story here, and when
the night watchman (J Farrell MacDonald) of the well turns up dead, he
sees his suspicions confirmed and forces Corrigan to give up the secrets
of the well - and he tells him that they have dug up some materials that
are possibly radium, and that they have reached some empty space deep
beneath the earth's crust, and don't yet know what to make of it.
In the meantime, two weird humanoids, the mole men, have climbed up the
well to investigate, and they have actuall frightened the night watchman
to death (by accident), and are now seen in verious spots around town,
frightening people wherever they go (even though they look rather cute),
and before long, Benson (Jeff Corey), the town's hothead, has formed a
lynchmob to hunt down and kill the molemen, and he won't even let the
Sheriff (Stanley Andrews) stop him.
Clark Kent, upon realizing the molemen mean no harm, turns into his
alter ego Superman and tries to talk reason into Benson and his mob, but
ultimately all he can do is fly one of the molemen who has been shot to a
hospital to convince a courageous young Doctor (John Baer) to save his
Meanwhile, the other moleman, whom the mob tried to burn alive in a
shed, makes it back to the well, where he calls a few more molemen with a
raygun for help, and while Superman tries to make peace by returning their
wounded friend to them, Benson attempts to shoot them but is actually
exposed to their death ray instead and only eventually saved by Superman,
who then sees to it that the molemen have a safe journey home. And in the
end, the molemen blow up the well so they don't ever again have to deal
with us surface dwellers.
The stupidly cute molemen costumes aside, Superman and the Mole Men
is a pretty decent B-movie that relies less on (super-)heroics and special
effects than on a solid script and interesting (if clichéd) characters.
And George Reeves, who always looks especially campy on publicity stills,
actually plays both Clark Kent and Superman rather convincing and down to
earth, getting able support from Phyllis Coates. Add to this a directorial
job that is quite effective (if not exactly inventive) and you've got an
enjoyable B-movie - nothing more, but certainly nothing less.
By the way, Superman and the Mole Men eventually spawned the
television series Adventures of Superman, and the film was
later cut up into two parts which became episodes 25 and 26 of the first
season of the series (The Unknown People Part 1 and 2).