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This film was produced by the publisher's of the Superman comics,
namely National Comics ( AKA Superman/DC ) as their contribution to the
war effort. Inasmuch as the year was 1954, the war was a "COLD"war, not
one of the real shootin' type.
It was produced to sell the school aged kids of the era on the idea that they could cultivate good savings habits and help out the country by purchasing these U.S. Treasury Saving Stamps, which could be traded in for a real Savings Bond(Formerly known as War Bonds).It was not shown at movie houses or on T.V., but rather at the schools.
The film and stamp program were touted in a page long letter from the publishers informing the school aged readers of their various comic book publications of the coming of the film and to watch for it.
STAMP DAY was one film that I personally had given up on ever seeing, until about 32 years later. A VHS video cassette was being sold in some of the large chain toy stores in the shopping mall x ls. It was at a Kay-Bee Toys in my case.It was sold at a bargain price and mixed in with cassettes of mostly a lot of old cartoons,all (including STAMP DAY) now in public domain. Well, like a kid at Christmas, it was rushed home with various other yuletide presents for the Wife and Kids-but, this one was for Daddy!
It really did not disappoint.It took the familiar cast,opening and closing titles and both the theme and incidental music from the Superman TV show.To this they added a few veteran character actors like Tristram Coffin (as school principal & announcer) and Billy Nelson who was perennially cast as a crook on the Superman show.
To this they blended in an incident that could occur to anyone,stressing personal conflicts with a choice between right and wrong. Finally there was included Superman's arrival to ultimately save the day. All set against the back drop of the kids regular Stamp Day at school.
At 18 minutes, this film is just about the length of an old 2 reeler or a serial chapter. It is unique in that it has all the cast, music and format of the Superman TV series. But this film did not make onto television. And to their credit National Comics/Superman DC,who were both the publishers and producers footed the bill for it, on behalf of the American People and The U.S.Treasury Department. (Maybe it kept them from being audited by the IRS that year.ER,uh-just a joke!)
Now, run out to the shopping mall and get yourself a copy!
This 1954 short was donated by Superman, Inc. to the U.S. Treasury to
encourage the youth of the day to enroll in their school Stamp Day saving
program. It is the only portion of the 1950's TV series in public domain,
whenever clips of the show are aired, this is the program they choose.
Stamp Day for Superman opens with Lois and Clark window shopping, when a burglar alarm sounds. Superman responds, and finds a contrite robber, who bemoans he never saved money and is reduced to crime to pay his bills. The rest of the story includes flying, crashing through walls, and a savings stamp book for Lois, Jimmy, Clark, and Superman. (yes, Superman!) Worthwhile for camp purposes, and the fact it was the last Superman segment shot in black and white
Seen as part of the MST3K reunion, the temptation to think this is not fair to look at on its own is silly. It's still pudgy George Reeves doing a glorified PSA so that kids can know that stamps are important. Woop-dee-do. But I actually enjoyed the villain here, who kidnaps and ties up Lois (Noel Neill as the least conventionally attractive yet probably most real-world accurate Lane), and gets his jollies being a jerk about stamps (it may have been the actor more than the material he was given, fair enough). And there's just sheer joy in seeing a 1950's Superman jump (!) out of a window and break through a wall to save the damsel in distress in an age where there's nothing but 28489292 million dollar special effects to show the same thing. It's dumb and silly but it's for the kids, you know? It's a PSA that holds up in its frozen-in-its-time place, if that makes sense: it's from an era of showing kids things with Clark Kent and Superman and Jimmy and everyone else and them buying into it knowing it's fake.
Had the thrill of seeing "Stamp Day for Superman" at a comic convention in 1986 with my two buddies Marc and Craig. Silliest damn Superman film I ever saw and all we did was laugh for years afterwards on how we wasted 45 minutes out of the day to see this silly flick. It is neat though. From what I remember, Supes buys war bonds or fights some evil madmen who are against the u.s. postal service. See it if you can, cause you'll never find it again -- not that I've been looking, but never saw another filming of it since 1986. How about a 6/10 just for "effort" and rarity of this short, campy flick.
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