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Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)

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

Director:

Lee Sholem

Writer:

Robert Maxwell (original screenplay) (as Richard Fielding)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Reeves ... Superman / Clark Kent
Phyllis Coates ... Lois Lane
Jeff Corey ... Luke Benson
Walter Reed ... Bill Corrigan
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Pop Shannon (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Stanley Andrews ... The Sheriff
Ray Walker ... John Craig
Hal K. Dawson Hal K. Dawson ... Chuck Weber
Phil Warren Phil Warren ... Deputy Jim
Frank Reicher ... Hospital Superintendent
Beverly Washburn ... Child
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Now.....ON THE SCREEN! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unknown People See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$275,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lippert Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Corey (Luke Benson) would later play Lex Luthor in the screen tests for Superman (1978), though he did not appear in the film itself. See more »

Goofs

When the Mole Men are atop the dam, they are in a small rectangular area of the screen in a different shade of black than the night sky around them, revealing that they were just "superimposed" into the shot. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Released as this feature film to minimize losses if the proposed TV series did not sell, the footage was also assembled as a two-part episode of Adventures of Superman, entitled "Unknown People". See more »

Connections

Version of Superman: The Man of Steel (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

George Reeves is still THE Superman!
28 June 1999 | by Michael-202See all my reviews

Considering it was shot in 11 days; considering its "special effects" are something less than primitive, George Reeves and this film still pack a Kryptonite-sized wallop.

Mysterious Mole-Men emerge from "the world's deepest oil well," and scare the inhabitants of the nearby town of Silsby. Despite pleas for tolerance and patience, Superman must disarm the town and protect the aliens while hard-headed Luke Benson repeatedly tries to kill them.

FACTOID #1: Despite other accounts, this film was NOT a "pilot" for the eventual series. In fact, there WAS no pilot. The day after shooting wrapped, the company spent another 12 weeks shooting 24 half-hour episodes. The comic book company decided to include a feature film as part of the schedule, so they'd be sure to recoup their investment at the box office in case no one bought the series. Lucky for us, that didn't come to pass.

FACTOID #2: Although the two-part TV version, "Unknown People," had been edited and packaged with the other 24 half-hours, it had to be withheld during the series' original run. It had been produced in 1951, and SAG rules forbade films copyrighted after 9/48 to air on TV without residuals. Not until 1960, when the rules were revised, did "Unknown People" appear.


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