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The Adventures of Superman: The Complete Third & Fourth Seasons [5 Discs] [DVD]

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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (44 out of 45)

    Special Features


    • Three fabulous featurettes -- "Adventures of Superman: The Color Era"; "Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Special Effects of Adventures of Superman"; "Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman" excerpts from the new documentary produced by Bryan Singer and Kevin Burns
    • Closed Captioned

    Synopsis


    For its third season on the air, the popular action series The Adventures of Superman switched over from black and white to color photography, a move designed to boost the series' profitability once color television became the rule rather than the exception. The switch to color put a strain on the show's already attenuated budget, which is one of the reasons that only 13 episodes were filmed this season, rather than the usual 26. By now, producer Whitney Ellsworth had abandoned all pretense of aiming the series at an adult audience, and was gearing the scripts almost exclusively towards the kiddie trade. To their credit, stars George Reeves (Superman/Clark Kent), Noel Neill (Lois Lane), Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen), John Hamilton (Perry White) and Robert Shayne (Inspector Henderson) did not "play down" to their audience, though their tongues were firmly in their cheeks when delivering the more puerile dialogue passages (witness Clark Kent's playful interpretation of the phrase "a hot deck" in the episode "Bully of Dry Gulch"). Otherwise, the series' youthful following was acknowledged by an overemphasis on purely comic episodes, the best of which is "Flight to the North", featuring all-purpose Superman supporting player Ben Welden and a young Chuck Connors. There is also a tendency to lay the series' "fantasy" angle on a bit too thick, as in the season opener "Through the Time Barrier", in which a wispy inventor (Sterling Holloway creates a time machine which thrusts the entire cast back to the Stone Age. And on occasion, the writers succumbed to the temptation to be satirically self-referential-- never more so than in "Great Caesar's Ghost", the title of which invokes the oft-shouted catchphrase of the dyspeptic Perry White. ~ Hal Erickson

    Cast & Crew


    • George Reeves - Superman/Clark Kent
    • Jack Larson - Jimmy Olsen
    • John Hamilton - Perry White
    • Robert Shayne - Insp. William Henderson
    • Phyllis Coates - Lois Lane




    Customer rating

    Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 45 reviews

    98%
    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

    See all customer reviews
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Surprisingly Entertaining, and Reeves is Superb!

      Posted
      kenn
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

      I've written often about the deterioration in quality of "The Adventures of Superman" after color was introduced, in 1954, and I'll still stand by the statement, for the last seasons of the series...But having just sat through this collection of the third and fourth seasons' color episodes, allow me to "eat crow"...these episodes are VERY entertaining, and certainly are far better than I remembered! The decision to shoot in color was a bold move, by sponsor Kellogg's, producer Whitney Ellsworth, and the series' home studio, Motion Pictures for Television Inc,(MPTV), as the technology to even air color programming would not be widely available to local television stations for nearly a decade. Series like AOS, "The Cisco Kid", and "The Lone Ranger", in choosing to use the far more expensive process, understood that these programs would have a 'lifespan' far beyond the 1950s audience. Certainly, in the case of AOS, the continuing popularity of the show, and the sales of these collections prove their point! Because of the expense of color, the seasons would be slashed from 26 to 13 episodes per season, which was a godsend to the cast, particularly George Reeves. Lighting for color was MUCH brighter and hotter than for black and white, and the costume department realized Reeves' original brown-and-gray, frequently sweat-stained "shoulder-padded longjohns" would be even more of a problem in future. A 'genius' decided to redesign the costume, creating a thicker, full-body red and blue suit of foam rubber, which would not 'show' perspiration (but would, sadly, make the actor appear much stockier). While in theory this was a great idea, in truth, it was a disaster, as the suit didn't 'breathe', with 'locked-in' sweat causing severe rashes and frequent heat exhaustion for Reeves. A half-hour stretch was the maximum he could wear it, safely, making for long 'shooting days'...and the physical torture of the suit would 'age' Reeves, rapidly, over the remainder of the series. Knowing this, my respect for Reeves' professionalism has increased, and this collection offers some of his really terrific performances, as well as some of Noel Neill and Jack Larson's best work, as well. Among my favorites are "Superman Week" and "King For a Day" (which shows Reeves still willing to manhandle baddies...something that would soon be completely eliminated as Kellogg's bowed to parental pressure for less violence); "Jimmy the Kid", offering Larson a meaty dual role, as both 'comic relief' Jimmy Olsen, and a notorious gunman; and, best of all, "The Wedding of Superman", an acting tour-de-force by Neill, in a remarkably sensitive (and prophetic, for "Lois & Clark" fans) episode of Lois and Superman finally acknowledging their love. This episode is acclaimed as one of the finest episodes of the entire series, and shouldn't be missed! So, if you harbor an illusion that the color episodes will be a disappointment, like I did, I strongly urge you to reconsider, and buy this collection...I think you'll be in for a VERY pleasant surprise!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Bringing back memories

      Posted
      mcroz44
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

      I purchased series 1 and 3 and 4 for my small Grand kids. The picture quality is very good and they love Superman and they love the video. What else can you say. It's a bird---It's a plane----It's superman!! Great original is so much better than the new Superman cartoons and movies. Just built on originality and no super crazy special effects.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Brings back memories

      Posted
      Boris13
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      I used to watch this growing up and it is just as good now as it was then. It is not the best acted or written show but still holds up in this day and age of special effects and computer generated objects. Anybody who has a feel for nostalgia or just wants a good clean fun show will not be disappointed.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Old school

      Posted
      Jackburton619
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Well this was way before my time but it's cool to watch. I always loved how he would stand in the way of bullets but when someone threw a gun at him he moves out of the way. Anyways classic stuff for a Sunday afternoon.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic Superman

      Posted
      Superscifi
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      I love classic TV series. And this is one series to have in your collection. Before special effects and computer graphics, this is what superhero TV series were like. Using your imagination as a kid watching Superman was great.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      My favorite show when I was a Kid (Still Is)

      Posted
      Smartshopr
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      No CGI.Just action and adventure along with a cast that worked well in the series. Great collector's gift. If you have fond memories of shows you watched as a kid then you will enjoy the entire series. Ah to be a kid again..

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Theres only One Superman

      Posted
      Raymond
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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      There will always be one Superman and that's George Reeves. Of course the newer versions have the special effects but this show had the heart. I remember watching this show right after coming home from school as a kid.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      My Favorite Super Hero

      Posted
      Moviebear
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I have been a fan of Superman since I was a child and read and collected Superman comics. I am 67 years old now. I loved watched the original television series and wanted to add seasons 3 and 4 to my collection.

      I would recommend this to a friend


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