Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 13: Hurled to Destruction

Hurled to Destruction once again has the Spider Lady’s goons outsmarting the Daily Planet reporters. In the latter category is also Superman, who delivers a dangerous criminal to the Planet for questioning instead of the police.

Said criminal attacks Pierre Watkin, leading to a pretty good fist fight and then the cliffhanger. There’s some hurling in it, but not exactly to destruction.

The opening resolves the previous chapter’s cliffhanger with another unveiling of new information. It’s an almost okay sequence though, just because it gives Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill a moment together. Sure, he gaslights her, but he’s got to keep his secret identity secret, doesn’t he?

Most of the chapter is the goons trying to steal something from Metropolis University. Tommy Bond gets wise and gets a fist fight of his own. Not as good as Watkin’s, but not terrible.

Alyn’s got more lines than usual as Superman. Opposite Watkin, he doesn’t deliver them well. Maybe the silliness of the scene–Superman handing over a wanted criminal to a newspaper editor–gets in the way.

Hurled has some decent special effects for the cliffhanger, but also the worst Superman flying effects in the serial. Cartoon Superman’s flight pattern doesn’t make any sense. He sort of floats–quickly–up the screen.

With only two chapters to go, it’s safe to say Superman is never going to top its first three chapters. If only the script were better.

CREDITS

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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