Atom Man vs. Superman (1950, Spencer Gordon Bennet), Chapter 11: Luthor's Strategy

About the last third of Luthor’s Strategy is Superman trying to save people during a big flood. The sequence is a mix of composite shots, flying shots, newsreel footage of actual floods, and then some connective shots. Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill, separately, driving to the flood location. They just happen to be in an obviously mountainous area while the flood is on flat land.

But it’s pretty exciting stuff, especially since the previous special effects extravaganza in the chapter was Lyle Talbot setting off timed sparklers in his office to throw suspicion from himself.

The cliffhanger resolution is all right, with the “Lois works for Lex” plotline far more diverting than some of the previous ones in Atom Man. Neill doesn’t get much to do this chapter–except tough it out during the flooding while her cameramen run; instead, it’s Pierre Watkin yelling at Alyn about how Talbot’s really a good guy.

Speaking of Talbot, Strategy has some of his worst acting so far in the serial. He’s not terrible, he’s just not good opposite a bunch of nondescript reporters. No personality.

And the Tommy Bond and Alyn Daily Planet dynamic is kind of interesting. Far better than the Neill and Bond dynamic, as Bond’s not a condescending jackass to Alyn. Though Alyn is a condescending jackass to Bond.


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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