Atom Man vs. Superman (1950, Spencer Gordon Bennet), Chapter 13: Atom Man’s Flying Saucers

All throughout Atom Man’s Flying Saucers, I was waiting for the flying saucers. Why would Atom Man–Lex Luthor (Lyle Talbot)–have flying saucers? Because, as Talbot explains at one point, the final phase of his plan is to go up in his spaceship and attack Earth. He’ll be taking some of his goons with him on the mission.

The chapter does at least address the cave thing. Apparently they’re going from cave to cave, not just the same cave. Or I’m choosing to believe they’re going from cave to cave, just so the good guys aren’t so stupid as they haven’t found Talbot’s hideout (again) yet.

The cliffhanger resolution is lackluster. Then it just turns into Noel Neill and Tommy Bond pursuing some of Talbot’s goons. Kirk Alyn, in tights, shows up to help out Neill and Bond (after Neill nonsensically ignores Alyn’s warnings).

Pierre Watkin is once again proven wrong this chapter and once again gets away without a comeuppance. Ignorance is rewarded in Atom Man vs. Superman; ignorance keeps the serial moving. After a string of rather strong chapters, Flying Saucers is a return to disappointing form.

Worse, the flying saucer (singular, no need for the plural in the title) is an animated effect. Alyn–piloting the Daily Planet plane as Clark Kent–isn’t even surprised by the saucer. It’s just a regular thing.

Blah. Hopefully Atom Man vs. Superman doesn’t do too much damage more to itself in the remaining two chapters.

CREDITS

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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