Thursday, February 20, 2014

1948 Superman Serial

Max Fleischer's Superman: 1941-1942

Full Movie from YOUTUBE

For 1948, special effects are not horrible. I half expect a lizard to crawl out of volcano, as it looks like a 1950 monster film. The corporate board room of Krypton is funny to me. But this has to be the earliest origin story i have seen. And once you get into the serial, with adult Superman, many of the sequences look like 1950s TV show with moments of Max Fleischers Animated sequences for flying.

Interesting, Mr Kent says "You must use these powers for TRUTH, TOLERANCE, and JUSTICE." I have never heard "Tolerance" in the famous mantra before, but cool to see at such an early time. 1940s America was far from being the beacon of Tolerance for many. 


Superman (1948) is a 15-part black-and-white Columbia film serial based on the comic book character Superman. It stars an uncredited Kirk Alyn(billed only by his character name, Superman; but credited on the promotional posters) and Noel Neill as Lois Lane. Like Batman, it is notable as the first live-action appearance of Superman on film and for the longevity of its distribution. The serial was directed by Thomas Carr, who later directed many early episodes of the Adventures of Supermantelevision show, and Spencer Gordon Bennet, produced by Sam Katzmanand shot in and around Los Angeles, California. It was originally screened at movie matinĂ©es and after the first three scene-setting chapters, every episode ends in a cliffhanger. The Superman-in-flight scenes are animations, in part due to the small production budget.

Directed bySpencer Gordon Bennet
Thomas Carr
Produced bySam Katzman
Written byLewis Clay
Royal K. Cole
Arthur Hoerl
George H. Plympton
Joseph F. Poland
Based onCharacters
by Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
StarringKirk Alyn (uncredited)
Noel Neill
Carol Forman
Tommy Bond
Forrest Taylor
Music byMischa Bakaleinikoff
CinematographyIra H. Morgan
Editing byEarl C. Turner
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release dates
  • January 5, 1948(United States)
Running time15 chapters (244 minutes)
Max Fleischer's Superman: 1941-1942

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