TAC Table of Contents
Roy Stuts of Westchester County, NY
What was your first reaction to George
Reeves and/or the Superman series?
George Reeves was so good at playing his part as Kent/Superman. If you notice throughout the series, he does not use the words "I don't know," or "I am not sure" very much. He was that certain, serious, and knowledgeable. It is just a terrible shame he did not live many years after the series to really see the effect he had on people and the series had on the world.
What are your ten favorite episodes?
Wow. Only pick ten episodes? Well here are mine:
What are some of you favorite scenes from the series?
What interesting mistakes or inside jokes have you detected?
In "No Holds Barred" as the crooks head back to Mortimer Murray's place their we see an overhead shot of the car pulling up to the curb. If you look closely, you'll see that the film was reversed -- the steering wheel is on the right hand side! Also just before the scene ends, this car with the steering wheel on the wrong side, begins to roll backwards! The parking brake was not set!
Another early show has one of the first flying scenes. The copy that Nick At Nite ran shows Superman as he jumps out the window. We see over George's body and the background of Metropolis as he flies. Look closely, the cape is over his head flapping in the breeze! Maybe they weren't sure the shot would work or look good.
On "The Mind Machine" watch the outside shots when Superman takes off as he tries to stop the bus with the mad man driving it with school children inside. You can plainly see George being pulled up with a pulley and his legs hang as the pulley first lifts him.
Now my favorite "mistake." On "The Big Squeeze" when Dan Grayson is locked in the fur vault, Superman appears through the window in the room. When Superman pulls the vault door off and places it on the floor, he has to hold the door up against the wall so it does not fall. He tries to let go of the door, and it starts to fall, so he holds it in place. He finishes his lines and as Superman leaves the scene, the door begins to fall to the floor. The scene cuts to show Superman leaping out of a window. When the scene returns to the vault door and Dan Grayson, it is up against the wall, but this time leaning at a steeper angle so it stays there.
Aside from Superman/Clark Kent, who was your favorite character on the show, and why?
My favorite character would have to be Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson). I love his young attitude. He's eager to learn and jumps right in there with the veterans to get the bad guys or write the story. I like both his naivete and frustration when he is left at the office to answer the phones or some other menial task. It reminds me of almost anyone I see fresh out of school on their first job or at a first internship eager to prove they have what it takes to get the job done. He has great chemistry with Perry White (John Hamilton) but also has great chemistry with any of the characters, even the bad guys.
How do you view the series today, as an adult, differently from when you were a child?
I feel the shows have stood the test of time and have not aged at all. They are not topical like "All In The Family" or "Laugh In" which rely on then current issues for their humor. Superman relies on some of the basics of story telling: good versus evil, heroism, some romance, some thrills and mystery. I also see the clothes fashions of the fifties and the beautiful cars from that era which seem so simple compared to living today with our sophisticated electronic communications and gadgets. We are better equipped today, but our lives are much more complicated than in the 1950's.
Why have you continued to watch the series and why do you consider yourself a George Reeves fan?
Viewing the series today has still given me many surprises. For many years I thought I had seen all the shows. It wasn't until Nick At Nite ran the series that I realized at least half the black and white episodes were held out of syndication. I work in the television business, so I know first hand that a few Perry Mason episodes were held out of syndication (including the only episode in which he lost a case). Knowing this and viewing the shows that I had never seen before, I realized why they might have been held back. Some of these shows are very intense for young children to see, and some episodes don't feature all the characters, or some of the special effects don't come off looking too good.
I consider myself a George Reeves fan because of how he handled that part. He really commanded that dual role, which is difficult to do. It is almost like getting two actors for the price of one. I hope they paid him for two roles because he certainly deserved it! Any modern attempt at Superman has been no comparison to George Reeves. I had high hopes for Christopher Reeve -- having a similar name was a good omen I thought. But I now know that no one can do what George Reeves could do. He was, and still is, Superman as far as I am concerned.
If you could meet George Reeves today, what would you most want to say to him?
If I could meet George Reeves, I don't think I could speak, but I would hope to tell him how much I admired him. I think you pick up life influences early in life. It was about this same time I found out about the Beatles music group and I really enjoy their music to this day. George Reeves was an early influence on me to be honest and truthful. I was brought up this way, and I feel it really uncomplicates my life. I don't have to lie and cheat to get what I want. A lot of times if I can't get it fairly and honestly, I don't want to have it after all. I would tell him that he influenced me in this way helped me to learn that telling the truth and fighting for what is right is the only way to live. How wonderful it would be to let him know.