Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 12: Blast in the Depths

Blast in the Depths resolves the previous chapter’s cliffhanger with a reveal–something happened the viewer didn’t get to see, changing the outcome. It’s a cheat, but Superman hasn’t had a decent cliffhanger so it doesn’t really matter. In fact, the serial’s structured not to have them.

Pretty soon the action ends up back at Pierre Watkin’s office; he’s happy his staff has finally captured some of the Spider Lady’s goons. Blast is when I realized I’m not sure there’s ever been a cop in Superman. They’re always off-screen.

Watkin sends Noel Neill on assignment. She ends, no surprise, kidnapped. Kirk Alyn and Tommy Bond go after her–after missing her kidnappers walking right past. There’s a lengthy, not particularly suspenseful sequence with Alyn and Bond roaming the Depths looking for Neill.

When they do find her, the goons knock out Bond and presumably Alyn. The chapter ends with him unable to save Neill because it’d reveal his secret identity. Though it’s unclear why Alyn didn’t use any of his powers earlier to save the day. The script leaves a lot to be desired.


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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