Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)
Plot: Clark Kent (George Reeves) and Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates) visit the town of Silsby to write a story on one of the largest oil wells. However, it’s drilled so deep into the earth that it’s unleashed a race of mole-men who hold radioactive powers. The townspeople want to kill them, but Superman intervenes to try and understand what they want.
Alright, this is 1951 so we have to be fair when judging it. I must say though, it’s not a bad little movie for its time. Sure, there’s a scene where an old man dies and he’s clearly still breathing afterwards. And yes, the mole-men are wearing painfully obvious bald caps, but come on, don’t be mean. It moves pretty swiftly with a solid suspenseful ending. The absolute worst part though is in the middle when the three antagonistic townspeople chase one of the mole-men. This is a boring chase scene that doesn’t even have Superman and it’s excruciatingly long. The dialogue is surprisingly not terrible and it’s not even an hour long. If you really like Superman, I would check this out.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout)
Best Performance: George Reeves as Superman/Clark Kent
-As much as I would love to give it to the funny little mole-men, George Reeves is a legitimately very good Superman. His Clark Kent sucks though. He’s too stern and confident, but Lois Lane insists that he’s pathetic and weak but it doesn’t match up with the performance. Clark is always taking charge so it doesn’t make sense.
Worst Performance: Walter Reed as Bill Corrigan
-This guy holds a lot of weight in the movie but is completely flat and uninteresting.
Best Line: “Let me take the first shot Luke. Old Betsy here will knock em’ off like sitting ducks.” –Chuck Weber
-It’s an old guy who calls his shotgun Betsy…I mean, come on.
Worst Line: “Well you give the impression you’re leading a double life.” –Lois Lane to Clark Kent
–None really, but there’s a scene where Superman pushes through a mob of grumbling townspeople which was pretty funny.
–Okay, the bad guy here is Luke Benson (Jeff Corey). He’s just some random town guy who shoots at Superman, punches out the Sheriff and demands him to be taken away as he takes over the mole-men operation. And he’s never dealt with at the end. He shoots at someone and punches a police Sherriff. He doesn’t even go to jail…WTF!
–The kooky mole-men fire their radioactive gun at Luke Benson and Superman jumps in front of it. He stands there and takes it and gives the mole-men a look that basically says: “Are you kidding me this…please.”
–The dumb and boring chase scene I mentioned earlier. Yawn.
–The mole-men trying to communicate with Superman. This was hysterical. They look like senile Oompa Loompas.
Bad Ass Moment:
–Superman is fired at with a gun. He calmly takes it and twists the gun. Hey, it’s an oldie but a goodie. For all I know this could have been the first time that move was presented on film.