Atom Man vs. Superman

Atom Man vs. Superman

Infobox Film
name = Atom Man vs. Superman

caption = Promotional poster for "Atom Man vs. Superman"
director = Spencer Gordon Bennet
producer = Sam Katzman
writer = David Mathews
George H. Plympton
Joseph F. Poland
starring = Kirk Alyn
Lyle Talbot
Noel Neill
Tommy Bond
music = Mischa Bakaleinikoff
cinematography = Ira H. Morgan
editing = Earl C. Turner
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = Flagicon|USA July 20, 1950
runtime = 15 chapters (252 min)
country = USA
awards =
language = English
preceded_by = "Superman"
amg_id = 1:74865
imdb_id = 0042211

"Atom Man vs. Superman" (1950), Columbia's 43rd serial, finds Lex Luthor (Lyle Talbot), secretly the Atom Man, blackmailing the city of Metropolis by threatening to destroy the entire community. Perry White (Pierre Watkin), editor of "The Daily Planet", assigns Lois Lane (Noel Neill), Jimmy Olsen (Tommy Bond) and Clark Kent (Kirk Alyn) to cover the story.


Lex Luthor, the Atom Man, invents a number of deadly devices to plague the city, including a disintegrating machine which can reduce people to their basic atoms and reassemble them in another place. But Superman manages to thwart each scheme. Since Kryptonite can rob Superman of his powers, Luthor decides to create a synthetic Kryptonite and putters about obtaining the necessary ingredients: plutonium, radium and the undefined 'etc.' Luthor places the Kryptonite at the launching of a ship, with Superman in attendance. He is exposed to the Kryptonite and passes out. Superman is taken off in an ambulance driven by Luthor's henchmen, and he is now under the control of Luthor. Superman is placed in a device, a lever is pulled, and the Man of Steel vanishes into "The Empty Doom" (which bears a similarity to the Phantom Zone of the comic books). Most of chapter 7 is a repeat of the origin story from chapter 1 of Columbia's first "Superman" serial, and this serial also finds a way to work in stock footage from Ken Maynard's 1936 "Avenging Waters" (also directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet [] ). The serial features several elements re-used in later Superman features: the Man of Steel is exposed to synthetic Kryptonite during a public function, as he is the motion picture Superman III. When he escapes from "The Empty Doom", the headline of the Daily Planet proclaims: "Superman Returns", the title of the most recent Superman movie.


*Kirk Alyn as Superman/Clark Kent
*Noel Neill as Lois Lane
*Lyle Talbot as Lex Luthor/The Atom Man
*Tommy Bond as Jimmy Olsen
*Pierre Watkin as Perry White
*Jack Ingram as Foster (dapper henchman)
*Don C. Harvey as Albor (lab henchman)
*Rusty Wescoatt as Carl (beefy henchman)
*Terry Frost as Baer (medium henchman)
*Wally West as Henchman Dorr
*Paul Stader as 'Killer' Lawson
*George Robotham as Earl, TV truck cameraman-driver


Lyle Talbot as Lex Luthor, wore a rubber scalp for baldness.cite book
last = Harmon
first = Jim
coauthors= Donald F. Glut
authorlink = Jim Harmon
title = The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury
origyear = 1973
publisher = Routledge
isbn = 9780713000979
pages = pp. 215-217
chapter = 9.

When not shooting Talbot and Alyn spent most of their time exchanging recipes as both actors shared an interest in cookery.

The final set piece shows Metropolis under attack by "poorly animated" flying saucers and a torpedo.


Home media

In 2006, the "Atom Man vs. Superman" serial was still available for purchase on videotape, where it was first released back in 1989. It was officially released on DVD by Warner Home Video, along with its predecessor, 1948's Superman, on November 28, 2006 as "Superman - The Theatrical Serials Collection".

Critical reception

In their book The Great Movie Serials, Jim Harman and Donald F. Glut describe the serial as "far more gimmicky and gadget prone" than the first Superman serial. In addition to this, they also found it to be "flawed by the same Katzman cheapness.”

Chapter titles

# "Superman Flies Again"
# "Atom Man Appears"
# "Ablaze In The Sky"
# "Superman Meets Atom Man"
# "Atom Man Tricks Superman"
# "Atom Man's Challenge"
# "At The Mercy Of Atom Man"
# "Into The Empty Doom"
# "Superman Crashes Through"
# "Atom Man's Heat Ray"
# "Luthor's Strategy"
# "Atom Man Strikes"
# "Atom Man's Flying Saucers"
# "Rocket Of Vengeance"
# "Superman Saves The Universe"Source: [cite book
last = Cline
first = William C.
title = In the Nick of Time
origyear = 1984
publisher = McFarland & Company, Inc.
isbn = 078640471X
pages = pp. 250-251
chapter = Filmography

ee also

* List of film serials by year
* List of film serials by studio


External links

* []

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Columbia Serial
before="Cody of the Pony Express" (1950)
years="Atom Man vs. Superman" (1950)
after="Pirates of the High Seas" (1950)

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