Adventures of Superman (1952–1958)
7.8/10
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4 user 2 critic

The Riddle of the Chinese Jade 

Harry Wong, manager of Lu Song's antique store, decides to help thief John Greer steal a priceless jade statue from Song. Although no one is supposed to get hurt, the plan changes when ... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
... Superman / Clark Kent
... Lois Lane
... Jimmy Olsen (credit only)
... Perry White (credit only)
... Inspector Henderson
... Harry Wong
... Lu Song (as Paul Burns)
James Craven ... John Greer
... Lily
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Storyline

Harry Wong, manager of Lu Song's antique store, decides to help thief John Greer steal a priceless jade statue from Song. Although no one is supposed to get hurt, the plan changes when Song's niece Lily witnesses the robbery and is kidnapped by Greer. Superman, who, as Clark Kent, is interviewing Song for the scoop on his donating the statue to a museum, must solve the crime. Written by page8701

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Release Date:

30 January 1953 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Victor Sen Yung (Harry Wong) later played Hop Sing, the Cartwright's cook, on Bonanza. See more »

Goofs

When Harry Wong first enters the store after the explosion, he has no bamboo on his shirt. He doesn't have it until Kent gets some to examine as he goes upstairs. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very nice, solid episode if you can ignore a bit of injustice at the end
9 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

The first time I watched this episode, I was very put off by a character's action at the end that was treated as a good thing despite being very hard to justify (even if it makes sense from a certain narrative view). Now that I've adjusted so that I don't let it bother me, I think this is quite a solid and enjoyable episode.

This episode follows the Season 1 pattern of being very grounded (well, considering it's Superman!) and taking things very seriously; Season 2 was still fairly sober-minded, but could certainly be a bit more light-hearted, fantastic and even goofy (elements which the colored seasons unfortunately took to an extreme, mostly to their detriment). I think Season 2 was more immediately appealing to me because Season 1 seemed a little boring at times, or even like it was playing everything TOO straight, but I think I've just had to get used to it. I think one line in this episode exemplifies the serious Season 1 demeanor - an older Chinese character, grasping for an English idiom, utters the phrase "a scoop of news". Lois calmly gives the correction that it's a "news scoop". There's not so much as a laugh or a smile, or any attempt to be jocular about the strange phrase. It's extremely hard to imagine this happening in later seasons, including Season 2. It just goes to show the straightforward, serious, play-it-completely-straight nature of Season 1. Maybe I used to think it was a bad thing, but now, I just think it's interesting - not necessarily inherently superior, but not bad either.

One noteworthy aspect is that the criminals aren't overly demonized - one is viewed in a downright sympathetic light, and the other, while more blatantly bad, certainly isn't over-the-top evil and tries to provide justification for his actions. I really appreciated this little bit of nuance, since this show usually doesn't seem interested in portraying criminals as much more than straightforward practitioners of evil, due to its generally black-and-white morality (no pun intended).

This episode did a good job utilizing some of the show's greatest assets, such as showing Clark's propensity for investigative work as a reporter as opposed to him just being someone who has powers; his relationship with Inspector Henderson, which in Season 1 tended to be somewhat strained at times (though not in a particularly serious way), with Inspector Henderson expressing annoyance at Clark's meddling, which I personally find very humorous; and Phyllis Coates' excellent Lois Lane, who was not only bold and feisty, but also had a genuine sense of compassion and care, which was great to see here. It truly is a shame she only lasted one season; no offense to Noel Neill, but I think Coates was probably one of the best Loises ever.

Overall, a pretty nice episode that played to the show's strengths, and which I would recommend to any fan who likes to see Superman involved in more relatively "real life"-styled mysteries.


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