Adventures of Superman: Season 4, Episode 3

The Big Freeze (3 Mar. 1956)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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Dishonest politician Duke Taylor (George E. Stone) and his henchman Little Jack (Richard Reeves) conspire with crooked Dr. Watts (Rolfe Sedan) to rid Metropolis of Superman (George Reeves) ... See full summary »


(as Harry Gerstad)


(screenplay) (as David Chantler)
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Title: The Big Freeze (03 Mar 1956)

The Big Freeze (03 Mar 1956) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Episode cast overview:
John Hamilton ...
Robert Shayne ...
Inspector Henderson (credit only)
Duke Taylor
Richard Reeves ...
Little Jack
Rolfe Sedan ...
Dr. Watts
Eddie Baker ...
John Phillips ...
Man at the Election Booth


Dishonest politician Duke Taylor (George E. Stone) and his henchman Little Jack (Richard Reeves) conspire with crooked Dr. Watts (Rolfe Sedan) to rid Metropolis of Superman (George Reeves) just before an important election. Luring the Man of Steel into a locked room, the trio turn the temperature down to 2000 degrees below zero. Thus frozen, Superman not only loses his super-strength but also the color in his face, and must put on makeup when disguised as Clark Kent--thereby making an embarrassing situation even more so. As it turns out, Superman's only hope to return to normal is to expose himself to extreme heat. Written by anyamarie42

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

3 March 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Released as part of the video "The Best of Superman: Volume 3" along with "Panic in the Sky" and "The Magnetic Telescope." See more »

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User Reviews

Superman gets cold feet...and hands, back, legs, head, neck, etc. (And here Schultz thought it was one of those chain of Ice Cream Parlors!)
23 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

STRIKING a balance between the inherent violence that a crime drama automatically brings to the table and the perceived acceptable levels of such graphic portrayals on the screen has long been a problem to many of an action/adventure film or series television episode. The spectre of the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN's first season was still very much in evidence; when the production had gotten some bad reviews about the content as being too Noir and hence, too fast for the Kiddie Trade.

BUT the production team, formerly headed up by the SUPERMAN Radio Show's Producer, Robert Maxwell had been restructured under the Executive Editor of the Superman-DC Comics line, Whitney Ellsworth. The resulting 2nd season had trimmed the raw, graphic violence down to some less intense levels. This gave birth to some of their best half-hour adventures; while keeping it very much in the spirit of the feature's origin in the Comics.

BY the fourth season, the format was strictly on Automatic Pilot. A story would more likely be one that amused and gave you a few laughs than it would be filled with that pulse-pounding, spine-tingling, manno y manno physical action.

OUR STORY today, 'The Big Freeze' brought together all the elements of a successful Superman TV episode. The first being a colorful gang of crooks, who have some 'new' brainstorm on how to defeat the Man of Steel. Add to that some kookie, eccentric outsider who can be easily duped by these denizens of the Metropolis Underworld. The inclusion of some impending event or catastrophe fills out the scenario.

The story of our cold wave does not refer to anything that we might learn about on The Weather Channel; but rather to the method to be used by the crooks in the story to attempt put Superman out of commission while their thugs swing the Metropolis Mayoral Election to their Crony Candidate. This guy promises to be "Syndicated Crime Friendly", being a latter day Boss Tweed.

ENTER the person of the eccentric, kindly and somewhat scatter-brained Inventor (Mad Scientist, if you will) with an invention which may have applications of a less than honourable application. You guessed it, Schultz! This evil use will surely be turned on Superman, in order to render him impotent in stopping the would be ward healers from stealing City Hall from the good Citizens of Metropolis.

IN this instance, a technologically advanced contraption generates a wave of extreme cold, something along the lines of the principal of "Absolute Zero"; being a state in matter in which all molecular movement is stopped. Superman gets all frozed up and evething looks not too good, goddammitt! But, the Man of Steel figures out an antidote for this Super Frigidity that cures him instantly.

ONE important point in the story is that Superman continually emphasizes that although he is endowed with all of those "….powers and abilities far beyond those of Mortal Men", it is still up to the Citizens of Metropolis to be eternally vigilant in keeping their Government clean.

'THE Big Freeze', like most SUPERMAN Episodes, makes use of an excellent line up of veteran Character Actors who are adept at filling the roles of Crooks, even the cartoony variety of hoodlum in these cinematic comic book stories. We have George E. Stone (Duke Taylor, leader), Richard Reeves (Little Jack, muscle henchman & comic relief) and Comedy Veteran of the Silents, Rolfe Sedan (the kindly but wacky scientist-inventor.).

ALL of the regulars in the cast are present except Inspector Henderson (Robert Shayne), who is never mentioned. One would certainly think that The Metropolis P.D. would have SOME involvement in such a serious a situation as a criminal take over of an Election, which is not in Minnesota or Chicago.


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