Still Watching the Skies: Episode #103 “Superman and the Mole Men”

Robert, Nat, and Cody journey back to the very first superhero feature film, SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN. We also have a lot of fun in our outro segment discussing the Video Archives podcast, and directors’ Wikipedia pictures.

For better or worse, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman essentially created the superhero genre and defined the comic book industry as we know it today. Superman was an immediate hit, and was adapted into different mediums in no time with cartoons, comic strips, movie serials, and radio programs swiftly following along with more merchandising than you can shake your fist at. Still, there’s no reason to think anyone had any idea of the heights that the genre would soar to when the much more modest SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN was conceived of.

Preceding the television series, albeit not technically a pilot, SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN finds Clark Kent (George Reeves) and Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates) visiting the small town of Silsby, home of the deepest oil well in the world, for a story. Unknown to Clark and Lois, the oil well has broken into a subterranean world home to a race of Mole Men who follow the shaft up to investigate the intrusion into their world. Soon, it’s a job for Superman to prevent a xenophobic race war from bursting out between the Mole Men and humankind, represented by local hothead Luke Benson (Jeff Corey) and his mob.

While SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN certainly does not engage in the spectacle of modern superhero films, it certainly does have points of interest. In particular, the general thrust of Superman standing against Xenophobia and judging beings by their appearance is a superhero story for which Superman is imminently suited to address.

Superman and the Mole Men

George Reeves also makes his debut as Superman. A Superman perhaps made of sterner stuff than will be displayed in the long running television show that followed. We have a lot to say about the depiction of Superman as well as the film’s messaging.

Superman and the Mole Men

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Superman and the Mole Men

Time tracks:

SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN Discussion 0:00 to 43:33
Next Movie, Assorted Hi-Jinks, and Outro: 43:33 to End

Next month, we utilize the greatest streaming service ever, Tubi, and discuss CALTIKI, THE IMMORTAL MONSTER. We hope you’ll join us.

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