Adventures of Superman

Season 1 Episode 24

Crime Wave

Aired Friday 3:30 PM Feb 27, 1953 on
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A gigantic crime wave sweeps Metropolis. Superman is exposed to atomic rays.

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  • Superman vows to bring a current crime wave in Metropolis to an end. He makes a list of the top crime bosses and brings them to justice one at a time. The numuber one crime boss is last and causes trouble for Superman.moreless

    This is an interesting episode. Superman brings to justice the top criminals of Metropolis. However the number one crime boss, who's real name Superman doesn't know, is not going to be easy to catch. Not only does the boss have a scientist to find a way to destroy Superman but he has on film Clark Kent running into an ally and returning as Superman. Too bad, for the crime boss that the scientist underestimates Superman, as they all do. He sets a trap for Superman but it fails. The crime boss is caught and brought to justice. What I didn't understand is when he was caught why didn't the crime boss come out and say, "Clark Kent is Superman and I have it on film!" ? A great episode in my opinion. Not as good as Panic in the Sky but great none the less.moreless
  • George Reeves-Superman Phyllis Coates-Lois Lane John Eldrige-Walter Canby John Hamilton-Perry White Robert Shane-Inspector Henderson Jack Larson-Jimmy Olsen

    There are two versions of this episode. The first one has a monologue to it's montage at the very beginning to set up the story line. There is also stock footage from previous episodes of season one. The second version was supposed to be toned down by Kellogg's, but the monologue is gone, we just see the montage. The stock footage is slightly different, but not a whole lot, but you still see a lot of violence. In my opinion, the version with the monologue is the better one because it explains what the story plot is about.

    Perry White is giving a speech to the press on how organized crime can be stamped out by pointing to Inspector Henderson and saying that he will get full cooperation from the police department. Then Perry points to Walter Canby, a prominent attorney, who promised full support for the campaign. Then Perry adds that the first citizen of Metropolis is going put every mobster behind bars, of course, that is Superman.

    The Daily Planet has printed headlines that Superman will put an end to the current crime wave. The episode then proceeds with more stock footage, and a scene where Superman is speaking into many microphones, and to the side of him is a chalkboard with 12 names on it. These names are the public enemies that Superman is capturing. If you watched all the episodes from season one, you can tell what scenes they used, and what shows they took those scenes from, to piece together this particular one.

    The big boss who is lying down getting a massage, with his face away from the camera, he tells his mobsters to open fire on Metropolis after they tell him, they are on the public enemy list and they do not want to get captured. Next comes more stock footage, and a radio announcer reads that Superman rounded up most of the mobsters, and is waiting for one of them to say who the big boss really is.

    The next scene we see is where Superman is telling Perry White, Inspector Henderson, Lois Lane, and Walter Canby, that he will find the number one crime boss and bring him in, and then Superman leaves Perry White's office. The scene changes again, where the boss is lying on his back with a towel around his face telling the other gangsters not to worry, because he is going to kill Superman.

    The boss' girlfriend leaves to take some home movies of Superman's friends. She comes back with the videos, and they see a scene where Clark Kent runs into an alley, and comes out as Superman. The amazing thing is that this is not mentioned again. The girlfriend then calls Clark at Perry White's office and tells him that the boss will surrender to Superman. Clark tells the chief (Perry) to hold page one until he hears from him, and then Clark runs out of the office.

    The next scene we see is two crooks playing cards, and a man named the Professor. The Professor is working in a room to trap Superman. Superman walks in, the Professor throws a couple of switches and electricity comes from one side of the room to the other. Superman prances back and forth to get away, and then falls down. The professor examines him, and says he is dead, go get the boss.

    The boss walks in, and Superman gets up. He then tells everyone that the light show did not affect him, and that he could have gotten out at any time. A fight occurs, and Superman knocks them all out. The final scene is where Superman delivers Walter Canby, the prominent attorney to Perry White and shows him that he is the number one crime boss.

    This is one of the best episodes from season one, a series classic.moreless
John Eldredge

John Eldredge

Walter Canby

Guest Star

Philip Van Zandt

Philip Van Zandt

Nick (as Phil Van Zandt)

Guest Star

Al Eben

Al Eben

Ed Bullock

Guest Star

Jack Larson

Jack Larson

Jimmy Olsen

Recurring Role

John Hamilton

John Hamilton

Perry White

Recurring Role

Robert Shayne

Robert Shayne

Inspector Bill Henderson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This almost qualifies as a "best of" episode. Short clips of many other Superman episodes are used in the story line including Part One of "The Unknown People" (Clark Kent running into an alley and Superman leaping out), "The Mind Machine" (the fight in Lou Cranek's hideout), "Czar of the Underworld" (Superman knocking out two hoods in a car's front seat from behind), and one where Jimmy is being tied up and held.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Nick: (Pointing to Superman lying on the floor) Look at him boss, deader than a doornail.
      Walter: (laughs) He was gonna get me.
      (Superman jumps up from the floor)
      Walter:You stupid fools! He tricked you!
      Superman: I'm amazed that any of you thought that display of fireworks bothered me... or that I couldn't get out of this room if I wanted to.

  • NOTES (3)

    • There are two significantly different versions of this episode in circulation. Videos and DVDs released by Warner Brothers include the original 1951 edit. In this version, the opening montage does not have any narration and includes shots of violent deaths, such as a man being crushed to death between a truck and the wall of a loading dock.

      The version shown in syndication is the edit made after Kellogg's became the show's sponsor. The montage is edited differently, removing some of the violence, and has narration added, apparently to make it easier to understand what is happening. The Kellogg's edit also ends with a shot of Superman superimposed in front of fireworks. The original edit does not have this shot.

    • This is the only episode to end with an image of Superman while fireworks explode behind him.

    • The narrator mentions in this episode that Perry White was once the mayor of Metropolis. (This may refer to the Superman radio series, where Perry was Mayor from 1947 through 1949.)


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