The Adventures of Superman

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ACCORDING TO HISTORY ORB, The Adventures of Superman premiered in syndication today in 1953.  However, the Superman Super Site lists  September 19, 1952 as the premier date of the first series to star the greatest of all superheroes, Superman.  Regardless of the actual premier date, it is long overdue I dedicate a post to this series.  Both premier dates noted  are a bit before my time but I loved watching this series as a child years later.

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And that opening sequence!  It has to be among my favorite series openings of all time.  The narration, which is etched in my mind, was expanded from the 1940′s Superman radio show and the Superman cartoons.  Voiced beautifully by Bill Kennedy I get goosebumps whenever I hear…

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound! (“Look! Up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s Superman!”)… Yes, it’s Superman … strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman … who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!”

Original opening:

Later version in color:

With little time to dedicate a full-scale write-up or review to the series, I thought I’d pay tribute today by way of some great clips and images I happened across.  Although the classic series deserves a lot of attention as it was great television and happened to feature my favorite of all superheroes!   I will surely comment on individual episodes in the future.

For now, I remember “The Adventures of Superman” with images.

Main players:

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George Reeves as Superman

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Reeves as mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent

Original Lois Lane, Phyllis Coates

Original Lois Lane, Phyllis Coates

2nd and most familiar Lois Lane (Noel Neill) with Superman

2nd and most familiar Lois Lane (Noel Neill) with Superman

John Hamilton as Perry White

John Hamilton as Perry White

Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen

Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen

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George Reeves audition clip:

1953 show previews:

Phyllis Coates’ first scene as Lois Lane:

A scene with Noel Neill, successor to Coates as Lois Lane:

From Season two, a montage of music cues:

A short clip montage:

An extensive slide show, which includes images from the series’ entire run:

Clark Kent promotes Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes:

And, an important final image:

Up, up and away!

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The “single bound” that enabled The Man of Steele to “leap tall buildings”

Until next time.

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3 thoughts on “The Adventures of Superman

  1. The premiere date discrepancy is explained thus:

    The September 1952 date is when Superman first aired in Chicago, on WENR, channel 7, the ABC affiliate.
    Chicago got first look because Kellogg’s ad agency, Leo Burnett, was headquartered in that city (my home town).
    The premiere was heralded by a full page ad on the back cover of TV Forecast for that week

  2. Something on your screen went wonky on me, so I wasn’t able to close properly.
    I just want to add that I have that week’s TV Forecast (this was the local predecessor to the national TV Guide) in my collection at home.
    End of emendation.

    • I’m not sure how I could have missed your emendations but loved them! Thanks so much for stopping in and adding that valuable information. I mean it. And, how cool to have that treasure! I love Superman in most of his TV/Film incarnations with the exception of Singer’s 2006 effort. Unfortunately, I know little if anything about the comics.

      Aurora

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