Adventures of Superman: Season 1, Episode 11

No Holds Barred (28 Nov. 1952)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
7.3
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Bad Luck Brannigan, a wrestler working for a crooked promoter, uses "the paralyzer" to cripple opponents. Clark Kent discovers the promoter has imprisoned an immigrant dubbed "the swami," ... See full summary »

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Title: No Holds Barred (28 Nov 1952)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Phyllis Coates ...
John Hamilton ...
...
Malcolm Mealey ...
Wayne Winchester (as Malcolm Mealy)
Richard Reeves ...
Bad Luck Brannigan (as Dick Reeves)
Dick Elliott ...
Sam Bleaker
Tito Renaldo ...
Swami Ramm
Herb Vigran ...
Mortimer Murray
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Storyline

Bad Luck Brannigan, a wrestler working for a crooked promoter, uses "the paralyzer" to cripple opponents. Clark Kent discovers the promoter has imprisoned an immigrant dubbed "the swami," who has extensive knowledge of the body's pressure points. In his Superman identity, Clark sees the immigrant. "The swami" instructs Superman in his techniques. As Clark, he then teaches a college wrestler -- who has publicly challenged Brannigan -- how to counter "the paralyzer." Written by Bill Koenig

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28 November 1952 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
".....and The Winner , with an X-Ray Peek and a Super Streak, still the Heavyweight Champeen of Metropolis, Krypton and the rest of the Known Universe, SUPERMAN!"
15 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With the full frontal assault of Television on our culture in the Post World II era came a rekindling of interest in Professional Wrestling. As a sport, a form of self-defense and an entertainment, Wrestling is as old as Mankind. It was for the entertainment value that the Professional Mat Game and the new TV Networks found that theirs was truly a "Marriage Made in Heaven!" An abundant supply of veteran grapplers was found to be already out there.

Added to that was a fine crop of young talent from the ranks of the Amateur Athletic Union and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, by way of World War II and the Armed Forces. There were plenty of top flight straight out wrestlers to provide competition for the Champions' Belts and plenty of veteran supporting players to feign fake foreign persona and get involved in terrible "feuds" to keep things interesting on the 'undercard'(preliminary matches).

So it came to pass that some Theatrical Films and Television Series Episodes would make Pro Wrestling and Wrestlers the subject of some of their stories. The Superman TV Series would be one.

Our story opens with a series of Daily Planet headlines and announcer voice-overs telling the story of a streak of w3ins in the squared circle being piled up by a Wrestler named "Bad Luck" Brannigan. Not only has the grizzled Ring Veteran Brannigan(Richard Reeves)won all these matches, but his opponents were all sent to the Hospital and feared unable to return to the mat, ever. Their physical skills and health both being compromised by the new found hold of new Champion Brannigan. The hold, affectionately known as "the Crippler", did just as its name states, leaving each opponent bedridden for an extended stay.

Investigation by The Daily Planet, Clark Kent and Superman reveals some subtle use of finger tips around opponents shoulders by Champ Brannigan. Superman follows up, finding a man from India being held against his will, being told that the American "authorities" would put him in prison if he were to be discovered. He was also compelled to teach this finger to pressure point skill to Wrestlers like "Bad Luck".

Superman gets the low-down on this finger 'magic', frees the imprisoned/kidnapped Indian Man and, as Mr. Kent, shows the business and the counter exercises to former Collegiate Wrestler, Wayne Winchester(Malcom Mealey). Mealey defeats Brannigan, becomes new Champ. Crooked Promoter (Herb Vigran), Brannigan and whole stable of "crooked" wrestlers get pinched and run out of town. Honest, decent guy promoter Sam Bleaker(Dick Elliot)resumes position as top promoter in Metropolis.

THE END (Distributed by Motion Pictures for Television, Inc.) As an installment of the first season, this NO HOLDS BARRED has to rank toward the top of the heap. Good use was made of footage from wrestling matches(probably from the Olympic Stadium or Hollywood Legion Hall),being inter cut and matched-up with filmed shots of "Bad Luck" wrestling his opponents.

The episode is further enhanced by the supporting cast. Guys like Herb Vigran and Dick Elliot could always be counted on in Superman episodes and were both repeat guest players. Added to the regulars of Phylli Coates, John Hamilton, Jack Larson and Robert Shayne,they make the story just fine.

The addition of the real life Wrestlers gave a touch of authenticity beyond that of series TV, then or now. In particular, Pro Wrestler Henry Kulky added this appearance to his resume. He possibly made more Film/TV appearances, ever, than anyone else of his profession.


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