Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Adventures Of Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet.
Opening line from The Adventures of Superman

What do you know another syndicated half hour show. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? The Adventures of Superman (a.k.a. Superman) was first produced as a 67 minute movie called Superman and the Mole Men and released to theaters in 1951. It did so well the producers decided to turn it into a television series with Superman and the Mole Men making up the first two episodes. I don't remember seeing Mole Men on television but this may be because when I was a child reruns were not shown in order and the two episodes seen on their own would not have make much sense.

I did see Mole Men at around age 10 at the Aurora Fox Saturday Kiddie Matinee and I understand now just how much a child's imagination fills in the empty spaces of movie magic. Those mole men creeped me out as a child but I can instantly tell now that they are just actors wearing bald men caps, very bushy eyebrows and dressed in dark faux lambs wool pajamas.

Scheduling episodes out of order meant that you never knew which Lois Lane you would be seeing each day. Phyllis Coates was Lois Lane in Mole Men and during the first year of the series. Noel Neill took over at the start of the second year and played Lois for the rest of the series run. A interesting thing is the difference between the Phyllis Coates Lois Lane and the Noel Neill Lois Lane. Phyliss Coates' Lois was a women while Noel Neill's Lois was a girl. This may be because Superman was first produced as a show for adults but when it became a hit with children the violence was toned down and both Superman and Lois Lane became more children friendly.

Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane

Noel Neill as Lois Lane

Phyllis Coates was my favorite Lois Lane. Her Lois was strong and dressed in a post World War II style suit that consisted of tight jacket over a narrow pencil skirt that stopped at mid calf. She looked like a woman who could take care of herself. Noel Neill was more girlie and as the series progressed her clothes reflected this. You can go here to see a preview of the 1953 season of Superman with clips of Noel Neill as Lois Lane but since Phyllis Coates was my favorite Lois the episode below is one with her playing the part.

Oh, and since this is a Google video there are no commercials.

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