This is a great serial. What people tend to forget when watching it today, is that it was made in 1948 and was aimed at the Saturday matinee crowd.
The special effects, to be sure, are primitive by today’s standards, but take a closer look. Remember this was 1948. The opening sequence and Superman’s flying effects were achieved through some excellent animation.
Don’t forget that Superman IS a comic book character. The transition from live action to animation in the flying sequences, is performed seamlessly and realistically. I thought that this was pretty innovative for its’ time.
Kirk Alyn was born to play Superman. He gives a realistic and credible performance as both Superman and Clark Kent. The diminutive Noel Neill makes an excellent Lois Lane, girl reporter, Timmy Bond (Formerly “Butch” of the Our Gang comedies) is good as Jimmy Olsen and veteran Pierre Watkin is suitably cranky as Perry White.
Carol Forman brings a cold and icy sexiness to the role of the Spider Lady, Superman’s chief nemesis. Serial veterans Charles Quigley, Charles King, Terry Frost and Rusty Wescoatt round out the cast in various villain roles.