Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 11: Superman's Dilemma

Superman’s Dilemma has a scene where Kirk Alyn, as Superman, talks to a conscious Noel Neill. She’s telling him how Tommy Bond stupidly has gotten himself in trouble with the goons again. Bond’s apparently trouble-proof to some degree, however; at the end of the previous chapter, he was being held hostage. At the beginning of this one? Free as a bird. He, Alyn, and Neill have their joint scene with Pierre Watkin, who informs them the only reason he cares about them living or dying is so they can dig up a story before the cops.

The opening cliffhanger resolution has another unconscious Neill–the second rescue has her passed out too, but this time Alyn waits around for her to regain consciousness.

There’s some more with Spider Lady Carol Forman forcing good guy scientist Herbert Rawlinson to help her. George Meeker apparently tortures him (but very courteously).

Neill and Bond get into trouble at the end because Neill hijacks Alyn’s story assignment and schemes a way to get him arrested. If only Neill put her powers to good.

There’s a fun, gentle screwball sequence in the Daily Planet newsroom with Neill sneaking around Alyn and hiding his hat. The acting from Neill and Alyn is good in it–not Bond, but he’s got problems throughout Dilemma–and it’s a shame there isn’t more like it in Superman. Bennet and Carr direct comedy better than anything else.


Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr; screenplay by Arthur Hoerl, Lewis Clay, and Royal K. Cole, based on an adaptation by George H. Plympton and Joseph F. Poland and characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; director of photography, Ira H. Morgan; edited by Earl Turner; produced by Sam Katzman; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Kirk Alyn (Superman/Clark Kent), Noel Neill (Lois Lane), Pierre Watkin (Perry White), Tommy Bond (Jimmy Olsen), Carol Forman (Spider Lady), Herbert Rawlinson (Dr. Graham), Forrest Taylor (Professor Arnold Leeds), Nelson Leigh (Jor-El), Luana Walters (Lara), Edward Cassidy (Eben Kent), and Virginia Carroll (Martha Kent).


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