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Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, Family  |  23 November 1951 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 971 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 14 critic

When underground beings explore the surface world from a deep oil well and inadvertantly cause a panic, only Superman can prevent a tragedy.

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(original screenplay) (as Richard Fielding)
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Title: Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Phyllis Coates ...
...
Walter Reed ...
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Pop Shannon (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Stanley Andrews ...
Ray Walker ...
Hal K. Dawson ...
Phil Warren ...
Deputy Jim
...
Hospital Superintendent
...
Child
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Roventini ...
Mole-Man (as Tony Boris uncredited)
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Storyline

Reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane arrive in the small town of Silsby to witness the drilling of the world's deepest oil well. The drill, however, has penetrated the underground home of a race of small, furry people who then come to the surface at night to look around. The fact that they glow in the dark scares the townfolk, who form a mob, led by the vicious Luke Benson, intent on killing the strange people. Only Superman has a chance to prevent this tragedy. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now.....ON THE SCREEN! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Unknown People  »

Box Office

Budget:

$275,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Lee Sholem, both Phyllis Coates (Lois Lane) and George Reeves (Clark Kent / Superman) were knocked cold on the same day in fights involving stuntmen. See more »

Goofs

When Lois Lane describes the mole men after her first encounter with them, she describes them as having human heads with the body of moles. The only costume the actors playing the mole men wear is a dark, presumably furry suit that conforms to their human shape. A few times during the film the zipper in the back of their costumes can be clearly seen. See more »

Quotes

Superman: You're not going to shoot those little creatures. In the first place, they haven't done you any harm. In the second place, they may be radioactive.
See more »

Connections

Version of Smallville (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superman's First Feature has Lasting Appeal
27 August 2009 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

I rented this film from Netflix for two reasons - I was in the mood for what I thought would be a silly '50s sci-fi-asco and because it is the first feature-length Superman film. Needless to say, after about 15 minutes I found myself thoroughly engaged and very pleasantly surprised.

An experimental oil well has penetrated about six miles into the earth and is being shut down by the sponsor. Lois and Clark show up to get the scoop but are disappointed that the deepest well ever drilled will no longer be in operation. A day later, strange events at the well make for a story more appropriate for Superman than Clark Kent. It seems that the radioactive Mole Men have invaded from their six-mile deep home near the earth's core.

Supermen and the Mole Men is a simplistic but well-made piece of social realism. Released in 1951, starring a lead actor who served in World War II, the moral of the story seems to be that Americans are just as capable of becoming fascists as anybody else. To drive this point home in a typically straightforward Superman manner, Reeves even accuses the lynch mob hunting the Mole Men of being 'Nazis' at one point.

Even in the 1950s, the science underlying this film was nonexistent. Six miles of drilling through continental crust would not have even penetrated the upper mantle, let alone the "hollow center of the earth"

  • which, in any case does not exist. Forgivable - keep in mind that


this film is based on a golden age comic book.

The film is a little unevenly paced. Although the Molemen are interesting, a bit creepy, and nicely portrayed, there are several Corman-esquire scenes which spend too much time redundantly showing us their odd behavior. The script is intelligent and economical. By today's standards, the costuming is poor to fair, but for its time, this film's special effects and costuming were quite good. The cinematography is also generally very good, and the acting is much better than one might expect. I was particularly impressed with Reeves, Jeff Corey and Walter Reed.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Coates the prime choice! But if not...who? b_movie_lover
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