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SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN, 1951
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  MOVIE POSTERSUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN, 1951
Movie Reviews

Director: Lee Sholem

Stars: George Reeves and Phyllis Coates

Review by Russell Hill

SYNOPSIS:

The Man of Steel stops a small-town from murdering creatures which emerge from a deep oil well.

REVIEW:

For many Superman fans, Richard Donner's 1978 film was the first time that they saw the Man of Steel on screen. However, long before Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, Kirk Alyn was the first actor to play Superman in 1948 in two serials. However, Kirk was replaced by George Reeves and Superman and the Mole Men was the first big screen adaptation of the Last Son of Krypton.

Clark Kent (Reeves) and Lois Lane (Coates) cover a story for the Daily Planet in a small town about the deepest ever oil well. Six miles deep, it might be a big story but isn't a riveting one. That all changes when strange looking mole creatures emerge from the oil well and start to scare the locals. A mob crowd soon forms and want to kill the harmless creatures but Superman steps in. However, will the Mole Men be hurt?

George Reeves' interpretation of Superman is unlike Christopher Reeve's. His portrayal of Clark is not as a mild mannered reporter but a confident person who will do anything to get a story. However, this is not a criticism at all and George Reeves' Clark is stupendous, as is his portrayal of Superman. Superman and the Mole Men might seem quaint which was shot on a very low budget but there are moments which genuinely made me believe that Superman was flying. There is a shot captured by a crane cam which is meant to indicate Superman's POV. Other moments include when Superman flies off screen and a gust of wind blows behind him to represent him taking off. Although it might be primitive compared to CGI, it certainly convinced me that Superman was in full flight.

Superman and the Mole Men was released at the height of the Cold War when it was feared that Communists would take over America. When the locals want to kill the Mole Men, Superman reassures them that, although they might be different, there is nothing to be afraid of. An allegory of Communism, a different ideology should not be feared.

Who would have thought what such an impact an orphan from an alien world who has superpowers would have on the world's imagination? With a latest adaptation of the Superman legacy due for release in 2013, the Last Son of Krypton remains as popular as ever.

ACTORLee Sholem
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORGeorge Reeves
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ACTORPhyllis Coates
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ACTORJeff Corey
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ACTORWalter Reed
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ACTORJ. Farrell MacDonald
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ACTORStanley Andrews
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ACTORRay Walker
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SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN, 1951