IMDb > Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)

Atom Man vs. Superman (1950) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Writers:
George H. Plympton (screenplay) and
Joseph F. Poland (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Atom Man vs. Superman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 July 1950 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
TRAPPED BY DEADLY FUMES! (original poster-all caps) See more »
Plot:
Superman battles Lex Luthor who is using a teleportation device and a new identity as Atom Man in his criminal plans. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Strangely, Ahead of Its Time See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Kirk Alyn ... Superman / Clark Kent

Noel Neill ... Lois Lane

Lyle Talbot ... Luthor / The Atom Man
Tommy Bond ... Jimmy Olsen
Pierre Watkin ... Perry White
Jack Ingram ... Foster - Henchman
Don C. Harvey ... Albor (as Don Harvey)
Rusty Wescoatt ... Carl - Henchman
Terry Frost ... Baer -Henchman
Wally West ... Henchman Dorr [Chs. 1, 6, 9]
Paul Stader ... 'Killer' Lawson [Chs. 1-4] (as Paul Strader)
George Robotham ... Earl - TV Truck Cameraman-driver [Chs. 10-12]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... Oil Field Worker (archive footage) (uncredited)
Robert Barron ... Rozan (Chief of the Council) (stock footage from original 'Superman' serial) [Ch. 7] (uncredited) (archive footage)
Stanley Blystone ... Joe Evans - Interviewee [Ch. 12] (uncredited)
Marshall Bradford ... Mr. Taylor [Ch. 6-7] (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Eddie - TV Truck Crewman [Chs. 10-12] (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Council Member (stock footage) [Ch. 7] (uncredited)
Frank Ellis ... Lawson's Police Escort [Ch. 1] / Phoney News Photographer [Ch. 3] (uncredited)
Tommy Farrell ... Man Observing Ship Rescue / Briggs, Chs. 2, 10 (uncredited)
William Fawcett ... Mayor of Metropolis [Ch. 7] (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Thug Loading Truck [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Chief Thug Loading Truck [Ch.1] (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... Cave Entrance Guard [Chs. 8, 14] (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Impatient Man at Bridge [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Creighton Hale ... Observer [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
John Hart ... Henchman in Car [Ch. 3] (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Prof. Stone [Chs. 3-4] (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey ... Police Chief Forman [Chs. 5, 13-14] (uncredited)
Charles King ... Eavesdropping Robber at Daily Planet [Ch. 10] (uncredited)

Nelson Leigh ... Jor-El (stock footage from original 'Superman' serial) [Ch. 7] (uncredited) (archive footage)
Pierce Lyden ... Henchman Garland [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
Knox Manning ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
George Morrell ... Bank Guard [Ch. 8] (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Train Passenger [Ch. 5] (uncredited)
Eddie Parker ... Power Company Truck Driver [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
Hugh Prosser ... HQ Henchman [Ch. 2] (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Policeman on Road [Chs. 11-12, 14] (uncredited)

Guy Teague ... Policeman at Bridge [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Rick Vallin ... Power Company Truck Worker [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
Michael Vallon ... Council Member (stock footage) / Spectator (uncredited)
Luana Walters ... Lara (stock footage from original 'Superman' serial) [Ch. 7] (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Spencer Gordon Bennet  (as Spencer Bennet)
 
Writing credits
George H. Plympton (screenplay) and
Joseph F. Poland (screenplay) and
David Mathews (screenplay)

Joe Shuster  characters (uncredited)
Jerry Siegel  characters (uncredited)

Produced by
Sam Katzman .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Ira H. Morgan 
 
Film Editing by
Earl Turner 
 
Art Direction by
Paul Palmentola 
 
Set Decoration by
Sidney Clifford 
 
Production Management
Herbert B. Leonard .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Derwin Abrahams .... second unit director
R.M. Andrews .... assistant director
 
Special Effects by
Howard Swift .... special animation effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Eddie Parker .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
George Robotham .... stunt double: Kirk Alyn (uncredited)
Paul Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
Guy Teague .... stunts (uncredited)
Wally West .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
David Raksin .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Miklós Rózsa .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Marlin Skiles .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Violet Newfield .... set continuity
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
252 min (15 episodes)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Finland:K-12 | USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Episode titles: - 1. Superman Flies Again - 2. Atom Man Appears! - 3. Ablaze in the Sky! - 4. Superman Meets Atom Man! - 5. Atom Man Tricks Superman - 6. Atom Man's Challenge - 7. At the Mercy of Atom Man! - 8. Into the Empty Doom! - 9. Superman Crashes Through - 10. Atom Man's Heat Ray - 11. Luthor's Strategy - 12. Atom Man Strikes! - 13. Atom Man's Flying Saucers - 14. Rocket of Vengeance - 15. Superman Saves the UniverseSee more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Some shots of Superman "flying" from right to left are flipped, as evidenced by the backwards "S" symbol on his chest.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Strangely, Ahead of Its Time, 28 December 2007
Author: flapdoodle64 from Portland, OR, United States

Atom Man Vs. Superman' is the second of 2 Columbia Pictures Superman serials and is clearly superior to the first. Once you liberate yourself from modern expectations regarding budget, special effects, realism, etc., you can sit back for 15 chapters and enjoy the earnestness and charm of the actors, and the free-wheeling fantasy of the storyline.

It is best to watch the old serials from the perspective that you are looking at some kind of alternate reality so as to suspend some of the prejudices of the modern world. Or perhaps as though one were a tourist in a foreign country: rather than seeing differences as bizarre or deficient, but instead as being novel, interesting, and sometimes wondrous.

Next to Kirk Alyn, George Reeves was Lawrence Olivier. That notwithstanding, Kirk Alyn at least bears a good physical resemblance to the comic book Superman, and at least he tackles the impossible with gameness and good cheer. His best moments are with Lois and Luthor, and there a few times in the serial when his acting is actually good. And his performance in 'Atom Man' is a 100% improvement over the 1st serial. And even at his clumsiest moments, Kirk Alyn is infinitely preferable to Brandon Routh.

The supporting cast is great. Noel Niell is cute as a button and very charming as Lois Lane. Pierre Watkin is a perfect Perry White. Former Our Gang member Tommy 'Butch' Bond plays Jimmy Olsen as a pugnacious juvenile, which works pretty well. Best of all, Lyle Talbot plays arch-villain Lex Luthor with creepy and insane genius, and also uses a good foreign accent during the scenes when we wears the ridiculous 'Atom Man' disguise (Talbot is, IMO, at least as good as Gene Hackman, and head and shoulders above Kevin Spacey in the role).

This serial moves quickly along and is filled with many clever plot devices and cliff hangers. The primary purpose of the serial was to provide diversion and escapism, and this provides plenty.

One of the most notable features of this serial has to be the abundance of science fiction elements, many of which were on the very cutting edge in 1950. There is a teleportation device, similar to that used on Star Trek and there is a flying saucer. To my knowledge, this serial features the earliest cinematic appearances of such devices. Star Trek's 'transporter' would not appear till 1966, and flying saucers entered feature films in 1951 with 'Day the Earth Stood Still' and 'The Thing.' There is a very effective sequence in which Superman is exiled in another dimension, called 'the empty doom.' As far as I know, this is the first time in cinema that the concept of an extra-dimensional world is introduced. The Superman comic books would later appropriate this gimmick and call it the Phantom Zone, which would become one of the more interesting parts to the Superman mythology. As far as I know, dimensional worlds didn't become well known in celluloid sci-fi via until the early 1960's via 'Twilight Zone' and 'Outer Limits' episodes.

Another fresh but not wholly new sci-fi element in the serial is Luthor's ballistic missile. I can't think of any feature films with them prior to this serial, but I know that Republic's 'King of the Rocket Men' had a great scene with their hero stopping an 'air torpedo' in 1949, thus beating Superman to the punch. Ballistic missiles, of course, had been a reality ever since WWII's V-2 rockets, but it wouldn't be till the mid-fifties that they really entered the mass consciousness of the cinema. I don't want to spoil too much, but note the scene with Superman riding atop the ballistic missile: this pre-dates Slim Pickens' ride on Dr. Strangelove's A-bomb by 14 years.

Also note that the opening credits feature stock footage of A-bomb tests. As the 50's and 60's progressed, copius use A-bomb footage would become a staple of scifi and horror films, especially in opening credit sequences.(Stanley Kubric as well used A-bomb footage in Dr. Strangelove, strangely enough.) So far as my studies have led me over the past 35 years of B-movie research, this is the earliest usage of A-bomb footage in any scifi/monster pic.

A final note: I advise that you watch this in chapter installments, or limit yourself to at most 4 chapters at a time between other activities. I can't explain it, but it's more enjoyable that way, perhaps due to design.

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