Adventures of Superman: Season 2, Episode 17

The Boy Who Hated Superman (9 Jan. 1954)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
8.6
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Clark Kent temporarily takes in Frankie, a juvenile street tough who has hooked up with Duke, a criminal. Clark, in his civilian identity, is trying to set Frankie on the right path. But ... See full summary »

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Title: The Boy Who Hated Superman (09 Jan 1954)

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Episode cast overview:
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...
...
John Hamilton ...
Robert Shayne ...
Inspector Henderson (credit only)
Tyler MacDuff ...
Frankie
Leonard Penn ...
Fixer
Roy Barcroft ...
Duke
Richard Reeves ...
Babe (as Dick Reeves)
Charles Meredith ...
Judge Allen
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Clark Kent temporarily takes in Frankie, a juvenile street tough who has hooked up with Duke, a criminal. Clark, in his civilian identity, is trying to set Frankie on the right path. But Clark will have to do double duty, and utilize his Superman identity, in order to succeed. Written by Bill Koenig

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9 January 1954 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The 1950's, Juvenile Delinquincy, Comic Books and Congressional Hearings; Could this Episode be the answer of SUPERMAN'S Publishers? (Read on, Schultz!)
3 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

RUNNING the boards in seeking a new or different topic with which to provide the proper fodder for a SUPERMAN Story, the idea of presenting a tale that involved a very hot issue in the 1950's, that of Juvenile Delinquency. This was and remains to this very day, a top concern of every community in the land.

FRAMING a story that was befitting the Man of Steel, the producers worked on a young man, a nephew of a big time racketeer. The kid, Frankie (Tyler McDuff), while not exactly a Juvenile, was portraying a young man; who is just about the same age as the Daily Planet Cub Reporter, Jimmy Olsen.

PARTICIPATING in some sort of mentoring program for the disadvantaged youth, Frankie, the troubled youth, is paired up with young Olsen. Feigning real interest, Frankie eventually lets his true feelings and attitude about the chumpy and "square" life style that Jimmy and the others lead. Spilling his true attitude and future plans to the Planet's Cub Reporter; the misguided lad tries to gain both Jimmy's approval and his participation as a co-conspirator and fellow crook.

FORTUNATELY, the young guy eventually sees the light as his Uncle Duke lets him down in the very worst way; destroying whatever false sense of belonging that the young, would be gangster had.

IN the end of the story, Frankie is essentially saved from a life of crime and anti-social behaviour. The path to leading an otherwise boring but lawful and productive life of the honest citizen is his thanks to Jimmy Olsen and the hard and diligence of Superman.

HAVING the usual feature of having a strong supporting cast, most SUPERMAN TV Episodes, 'The Boy Who Hated Superman' was no different. In addition to the usual folk, we have the presence of such talents as 'Fixer' (Leonard Penn), 'Babe' (Duke) and as the 'Duke' (we have Roy Barcroft*).

IN looking at this episode, some 50+ years after a 7 year old, little Johnny Ryan had first watched the episode, one can see some of the historical and cultural footprints left behind by the times that mark and essentially date a work or artifact. In this particular case, it is the very subject of Juvenile Delinquency. This is a particularly touchy subject for the copyright owners of the SUPERMAN character and feature, namely National Comics Publications (also called at various periods National Periodical Publications, Detective Comics, Inc., Superman, Inc., and DC Comics.).

DURING this period, the Comic Book Publishers were coming under attack as being the purveyors of materials that were warping young minds and promoting Juvenile Delinquency. The Congressional Hearings and the broad brush used by critics such as NYC's Head Shrink, Dr. Frederic Wertham in his book 'Seduction of the Innocent' were seen as a real threat to the entire industry; resulting in the creation of The Comics Code Authority and its seal of approval that assured that issue of the publication that displayed its 'Seal of Approval' did not contain any objectionable materials.

ON this last item we have some wonder. If this accusation of fomenting this anti-social behaviour in the minds of the young was a serious charge (And well it could have), would this story of the young man's being straightened out by his association and friendship with Kent/Superman, Jimmy. Perry, Miss Lane and the rest of the Daily Planet crew be the Producer's contribution to the cause for what is right? ANYHOW, it's food for thought,! Ain't that right, Schultz? NOTE: * Mr. Roy Barcroft was the Dean of the Republic Pictures bad guys; having appeared as a heavy in so many of Republic's "B" Westerns and Cliff Hanger Serials. He had so many roles in so many other movies. In the latter days of his long career, he portrayed Mr. Logan, the Owner of the Triple R Boys' Ranch in "The Adventures of Spin & Marty" the serialized adventure stories on Walt Disney's THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB (ABC TV).

POODLE SCHNITZ!!


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