Atom Man vs. Superman (1950, Spencer Gordon Bennet), Chapter 5: Atom Man Tricks Superman

Atom Man Tricks Superman disappoints in just about every possible way. It doesn’t have a good cliffhanger resolution–it might even be a cheat from the footage shown last chapter–and no one is at all surprised Kirk Alyn didn’t vaporize. Well, almost no one. Noel Neill is surprised until Alyn gives her his lame explanation. But none of the bad guys. It’s not even clear how Lyle Talbot would know Superman didn’t die. He just knows he didn’t.

Then Alyn comes up with another plan to catch Atom Man, since he doesn’t know it’s Talbot yet. Oddly, given it’s the same trick he played last time–planting a fake story in the Daily Planet–Talbot doesn’t fall for it. Alyn then turns around and falls for Talbot’s counter-trick.

There’s some almost good stuff, like Neill and Alyn (as Clark Kent) on stakeout on a train, but it doesn’t end up going anywhere. Neill gets dropped for more Superman action, which would be fine if it weren’t just Alyn getting duped into something. It’s not like Talbot’s plans are ingenious. Alyn’s just an inexplicably over-confident numb skull.

This chapter’s cliffhanger has goons change their mind about kidnapping Neill; after telling her they’re not going to kill her, they decided they’re going to kill her.

Tommy Bond tries to rescue her but he’s a dope too. Though, arguably, less of one than Alyn.

I really hope this chapter’s not indicative of how Atom Man is going to play out. If so, it’s going to be a very long ten chapters.


Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet; screenplay by George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, and David Matthews, based on 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), Lyle Talbot (Luthor), Tommy Bond (Jimmy Olsen), Pierre Watkin (Perry White), Jack Ingram (Foster), Don C. Harvey (Albor), Paul Stader (Lawson), George Robotham (Earl), and Fred Kelsey (Police Chief Forman).


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