The Adventures Continue

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Who are the fans of George Reeves and the Adventures of Superman? Why, more than 40 years after its television debut, do we continue to watch? Through the years I've discussed this with many people and have now decided to invite fans of George Reeves to put their thoughts in writing for this page. If you'd like to contribute, give the following questions some thought and e-mail your answers to me. I'll post them here so we can compare our thoughts and reinforce our devotion to George Reeves and the entire cast and crew of the Adventures of Superman. In addition to the questions below, there is one other I'd like to include: "If you could meet George today, what would you most want to say to him?" To read about people who actually did meet George Reeves, check out the Close Encounters page.

Thomas Boud of Bloomingdale, New Jersey

What was your first reaction to George Reeves and/or the Superman series?
I was five or six years old when I first encountered the series. I was addicted on the spot. The funny thing is, it was really Bill Kennedy and Leon Klatzkin who first got me hooked because I was swept away the very moment I saw the opening sequence. The classic opening was so thrilling, that as a young boy, I jumped up and down and clapped my hands in excitement!

As for George, the very first thing that grabbed me was his no-nonsense, straight jaw, granite face. Because of this, he had the ability to say he was Superman without uttering a single word. Secondly, it was his knock'em dead speech delivery. George radiated power through his mouth with lines such as, "You're just wasting your ammunition, Blinkie!", "You don't seem to understand! I'm the real Superman!", and "I'm going to give you one last chance to stop acting like Nazi storm troopers!" Thirdly, George literally didn't pull any punches when it came to dealing with crooks, and was literally a smashing success when it came to handling walls. Lastly, George always treated decent people with respect, even to the extent of deferring to trigger happy Mr. White.

What are your ten favorite episodes?

  • "Crime Wave"
  • "The Perils of Superman"
  • "Panic In The Sky"
  • "The Face And The Voice"
  • "Jimmy the Kid"
  • " Divide And Conquer"
  • "The Stolen Costume"
  • "The Mind Machine"
  • "Superman Week"
  • "Around The World With Superman"

What are some of you favorite scenes from the series?

  • The scene in "Panic In The Sky" when Superman is flying up through outer space to rendezvous with the asteroid (to put it mildly).
  • "The Face And The Voice" when Superman confronts Fairchild, pretending all the while to be the phony Superman. This is, in my opinion, the number one classic scene of the series.
  • I just love the scene in "The Prince Albert Coat" where Superman leaps off the side of a warehouse dock. I also love the following sequence of action scenes, which culminates five Klatzkin fanfares later when those two third-grade crooks comically wind up on the floor without Superman's help.
  • "Divide And Conquer" where Superman and his double decide to reunite.
  • "Crime Wave" where Superman, who is pretending to be dead, rises up from the floor and knocks the lights out of Walter Canby and company.
  • "The Stolen Costume" when Clark Kent rushes up the stairs and bursts through the door. I also relish the next scene when Clark is smiling after being shot at.
  • The part in "The Town That Wasn't" where Superman does a pre-takeoff sprint along the side of a white farm fence. This wowser is also present in the "Stolen Elephant."
  • Another gem is the beginning of "Jimmy The Kid" where Jimmy Olsen comes face-to-face with his carbon copy, Kid Collins.
  • "Around The World With Superman" when Superman is flying the girl over some of the world's most famous landmarks.
  • "Through The Time Barrier" when Superman confronts gangster Turk who is hilariously decked out in prehistoric duds as Stone Man.
  • "Peril In Paris" where Robert Shayne plays the role of a French police inspector.

What interesting mistakes or inside jokes have you detected?

  • In "The Golden Vulture", the scene aboard the ship is at night. However, there's a brief scene of a small boat shoving off from the ship which is shown in broad daylight.
  • At the end of "Panic In The Sky", Superman lands on the asteroid to plant a destruction device. Here, you can hear birds chirping.
  • In "Jimmy The Kid" the whole episode happens at night, but the flying sequences of Superman are at day.
  • In "The Dog Who Knew Superman", there's a shot of Superman flying into the ground to rescue Corky. Here we can plainly see a Superman doll on a string diving into the ground.
  • In "The Mind Machine", Superman zonks the crooks at the end. He flawlessly deflects gunfire, only to duck when a pistol is thrown at him.
  • As for inside jokes, I like the end of "Perils Of Superman" when Clark says,"If it weren't for Superman, I wouldn't be here."
  • On the same score, I also fancy the scene in "Flight To The North" where Clark Kent shakes hands with Superman, who in this episode is really a country bumpkin from Skunk Hollow County.

Aside from Superman/Clark Kent, who was your favorite character on the show, and why?
That would have to be Perry White (John Hamilton). He had great chemistry with Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson). That is to say, Perry White's temper together with Jimmy Olsen's naivete gave rise to a great many laughs, let alone Perry White's "Great Caesar's Ghost" and "Don't call me chief" punch lines.

How do you view the series today, as an adult, differently from when you were a child?
The only difference for me is that I have come to see the Adventures Of Superman more as an inimitable masterpiece. When I was young, I always assumed future Supermen would be like George Reeves. But as the years went by, I saw the relatively lame Chris Reeve, and the totally lame Dean Cain. I now know how rare a George Reeves type Superman is. Thus, I can duly appreciate the Adventures Of Superman as a timeless treasure of vintage acting and action.

Why have you continued to watch the series and why do you consider yourself a George Reeves fan?
The Adventures Of Superman is in a class by itself. No actor could touch George Reeves. George could beat any of the other Supermen using the tip of his pinky. Furthermore, no one can equal John Hamilton, Phyllis Coates, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, or Robert Shayne. On top of all that, no announcer can top Bill Kennedy, and I dare say no composer will ever come up with a more spectacularly stirring Superman theme than Leon Klatzkin.

If you could meet George Reeves today, what would you most want to say to him?
I would tell him that he was the greatest Superman there ever was, period. I would definitely want to hear his opinions about Kirk Alyn, Chris Reeve, Dean Cain, and what he thinks of Nicolas Cage playing the role without the traditional blue and red costume. I would also ask him what were his favorite episodes. Finally, I would ask him how he felt to see himself on television flying to the tune of Leon Klatzkin's score. Then, I would give a steel-firm handshake and a giant heartfelt thank you for all the joy he brought to millions of people.

 "Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"