Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 1, Episode 1 - Superman on Earth - full transcript

Jor-El, Krypton's leading scientist, sends his infant son to Earth in a rocket just as the planet explodes. The rocket is found by Eben and Sarah Kent and Eben gets the infant out before the craft explodes. They raise the child as their own. Years later, after Eben's death and now aware of his super powers, Clark Kent moves to Metropolis. Sarah has made a costume for him, and she tells him that he must use his powers for good. Superman makes his debut saving a man falling from a blimp. As Clark, he hustles the man to the Daily Planet, which scores a scoop. This convinces editor Perry White to hire Clark.


than a speeding bullet.

More powerful than a locomotive.

Able to leap tall buildings
at a single bound.

MAN: Look! Up in the
sky! MAN 2: It's a bird!

WOMAN: It's a plane!
MAN 3: It's Superman!

NARRATOR: Yes, it's Superman,

strange visitor
from another planet

who came to Earth
with powers and abilities

far beyond those of mortal men.

Superman, who can change
the course of mighty rivers,

bend steel in his bare hands,

and who, disguised
as Clark Kent,

mild-mannered reporter for a
great metropolitan newspaper,

fights a never-ending battle

for truth, justice and
the American way.

And now, another
exciting episode

in the Adventures of Superman!


Come with us now
on a far journey,

a journey that takes us

millions of miles
from the Earth,

where many years
ago, the planet Krypton

burned like a green star
in the endless heavens.

Here, civilization
was far advanced.

It had brought forth
a race of supermen.

Men and women like ourselves

but advanced to the absolute
peak of human perfection.

As we near Krypton, we
see high above the city

the magnificent Temple of Wisdom

with its marble columns
and burning torches.

Jor-El, Krypton's
leading man of science,

has been summoned to address

a special meeting of
the governing council.

White-bearded Rozan,
supreme leader of the council,

calls the meeting to order.


Members of the
governing council,

you have been summoned
here on urgent business.

As you are well aware,

Krypton has been experiencing
some strange phenomena.

Only last week on the full moon

a great tidal wave
threatened to engulf this city.

There have been mysterious
quakes and eruptions,

some of which have
caused extensive damage.

This is a matter
of no little concern.

And I, therefore, as
president of the council,

requested Jor-El, our
brilliant young scientist,

to investigate these phenomena.

He is here with us now
ready to deliver his report.

Gentlemen, Jor-El speaks.

Mr. President.

Council members.

I have completed
my solar calculations.

And much as I dread
uttering these fateful words,

I have come to the conclusion

that Krypton is
about to be destroyed.



The sun is gradually
drawing Krypton closer to it.

Within a month,
possibly only a week,

perhaps even in a
matter of days or hours,

the gravitational
pull will be so strong

that Krypton will not be
able to weather the strain.

When that time comes,

when we are drawn into
the burning orbit of the sun,

our planet will explode
like a giant bubble.

It will burst into a
hundred million fragments

and every living thing
on it will be destroyed.

The man is mad. He
talks like one demented.

This is an insult
to our intelligence.

Gentlemen, gentlemen,
please. We must have order.

Sir, with your permission.

As you know, I've been
working these many months

on the model of a spaceship,

which, in its final
form, is designed

to carry the population of
Krypton to another planet.

The model is completed and
will be tested before sundown.

If, as I anticipate,
the test is successful,

I will require the services
of 5000 skilled workers

and unlimited material

to construct a fleet of
spaceships before the end comes.

What does he take us for, fools?

Yes, tell us, Mr. Scientist,

where do we go in these
fantastic spaceships of yours?

JOR-EL: To the Earth, Kogan.

To the planet Earth, Kogan.

My studies tell me

the Earth has an atmosphere
almost identical with our own.

You study too much, my friend.

Kogan is right, Jor-El.

You have been working too hard.



Do you hear that,
Rozan, gentlemen?

I hear only thunder.


It is not thunder.

It is an internal eruption,

gas exploding in
subterranean pockets.


I warn you, the
time will come...

And that time is
perhaps very near at hand

when you will wish you'd
heeded the words of Jor-El.

When Krypton is shattered
into a hundred million stars.

When the glorious civilization
we have built is no more.

When you and your families

are swept from the face
of this planet like dust.


Oh, Lara. I didn't
hear you come in.

You were too
intent on your work.

What did the
council say, Jor-El?

They laughed at me,
marked me for a fool.

No matter. Let them laugh.

The model's ready
to be launched.

I'll send it on its way

and watch its flight on
the scanning screen.

If it arrives safely, I'll
immediately build one

large enough to transport
all three of us to Earth.

My one prayer is I
haven't waited too long.

What do you mean, Jor-El?

The clouds are dark.

All day there's been a
strange glow in the western sky,

different from anything
we've seen before.

It seems to be oppressively hot.

Is that because we're being
drawn closer to the sun?

Yes. The sun that
will finally destroy us.

Where is Kal-El?

Asleep now, but he's
been restless all day.


Jor-El, what was that?

An internal
explosion, a bad one.


Jor-El! Easy, Lara, easy!



Lara, listen to me. This is the
end. Krypton is breaking apart.

What can we do? Nothing.

I was a fool to have
waited this long.

It wasn't your fault, Jor-El...

I should have built a
larger ship months ago.

Now we have only the model.

Lara. Yes.

The model can carry
only one of us. You, Lara.

No. If only one of us can be
saved, it should be the child.

All right. Get him. Wrap him in
the blanket and bring him here.

Here he is, Jor-El.

Do you have him well wrapped?

Yes. He's so good.
Not even a whimper.

The model might
carry both of you, Lara.

No, I'm not going.

You must.

My place is here with you.

Lara, please, there isn't time.

The take-off pressure is
building up. In a few seconds...

I'd be lost in a new
world without you, Jor-El.

If anyone is to survive,
let it be our son.

It's gone, Lara.

Our son is on his way to Earth.

Must be getting a head cold.

Got a funny ringing in my ears.

Ain't only your
ears. I hear it too.

You do?

Eben, it's getting
louder. What is it?

I don't know.



Sarah, look!

Merciful heavens.

What is it?

Looks like one of them
newfangled rockets.


There's a baby in it.

Land sakes alive!



You can't do nothing!
You'll get burned.

Gotta do something.


Burned much?

Not burned at all.

Blanket ain't even scorched.


Sarah, look.

SARAH: It's gone!

EBEN: Like it was never there.

But the baby, Eben.
We can't be dreaming.

The baby's real.

Real as rain and just as pretty.

What do you reckon
we ought to do with it?

Suppose we ought to turn
it over to the authorities.

Well, I suppose so.

But who's gonna
believe all this, Sarah?

We got nothing to show
but the baby and a wild story.

They'll say we're crazy.

Let's keep the baby.

We always wanted
children of our own.


Eben, you think
maybe we could keep it

and bring it up like our own?

Well, now, I don't know.

We could bring it up good, Eben.

Oh, reckon we could.

Then we can keep it?

We'll try, Sarah.
We'll sure try.


so the infant child,

sole survivor of
a lost civilization,

last of a race of supermen,

found a home on Earth
with the kindly farm couple

Sarah and Eben Kent.

They named him Clark
and raised him as their son.

And with each passing year it
became more and more evident

that he was endowed with
strange powers and abilities

far beyond those of
ordinary human beings.

Then one day, when
the boy was 12...


That you, Clark?


Hi, Mom.

What's the matter, son?

Don't you feel well?

Clark, what is it?

Mom, why am I different
from all the other boys?

Merciful heavens! Is
that what's bothering you?

You had me scared for a minute.

Thought maybe you
was coming down

with the measles or something.

But, Mom, why am I different?

Why can I do things
that nobody else can do?

Why can I run
faster, jump higher?

Why am I stronger than anybody?

You've known all them
things for a long time, Clark.

Why, land sakes alive,

when you was a tiny little
shaver no bigger than this,

why, you was strong
as a grown man almost.

It's not just being strong,
Mom. It's other things.

What things, son?

Well, today in
school, for instance.


We were playing baseball
and the ball got lost.

Nobody could find it.

But all I had to do
was look around

and there it was behind a rock.

You've got good
eyes, that's all.

No, Mom, it's more
than just good eyes.

I didn't see the
ball behind the rock.

I saw it right through the rock,

like my eyes were
an X-ray machine,

like the rock wasn't even there.

Son, your pa and me have been
meaning to have a talk with you,

but somehow we just
never got around to it.

Looks like now the time's come.

I'll tell you why likely you're
different from other boys

and why you gotta
be extra careful.

About 12 years ago, son,

your pa and me were driving
along down by Jones farm.

And all of a sudden, we
seen something up in the sky.

It was making...

NARRATOR: Searching
back in vivid memory,

Sarah Kent tells young Clark

the amazing story of
how he came to Earth.

Of how a rocket streamed across
the sky, almost deafening them.

Of how his father snatched
him from the flames.

Of how, miraculously, neither he

nor the curious blanket
in which he was wrapped

were scorched or burned.

The boy listened
and he understood.

And so the years went by,
spring melting into summer

and summer into fall
and fall into winter.

The boy Clark grew
into tall young manhood

while Eben and Sarah
Kent grew older and grayer.

Gosh, ain't you through
house-cleaning yet?

Don't you track
any barn dirt in here.

Look at them shoes
and look at them tracks.

They're the same
shoes I had on yesterday

and the day before
and the day before that.

Well, today ain't yesterday

or the day before or
the day before that.

Well, what in
tarnation is today?

All forenoon you was
a-cookin' and a-bakin'

and a-fussin' around.

You got no idea
what this day is?

Well, let me think.

Don't strain your brain, Pa.

It's just 25 years
ago this very day

you pulled the baby
out of that burning rocket

or whatever it was.

April 10th. Land o' Goshen!
It plumb slipped my mind.

Didn't nothing occur to you
when I asked Clark to ride into town

and fetch me a few yards
of something I didn't need?

Well, I kind of wondered...

Had to get him out of the way

while I iced the cake and
tidied up the parlor a bit.

Few of the neighbors are
coming in to help us celebrate.

You better go get
your chores done.

And change them
smelly old clothes

'fore he gets back, hmm?

Chores is done. All I gotta
do now is put the tractor away.

Twenty-five years.

Doggone, it don't
hardly seem that long.

No, sir, it sure don't.


Eben, what's the matter?

Help. Couch.

Ring the doctor, Sarah.

Is he...?

Is he all right, doctor?

I'm sorry, Sarah.

He was a good man, son.

He was a good husband.

And a good father.

Bus will be along
any minute now, Clark.

I still hate to
leave you, Mother.

I'm gonna be just fine

with Cousin Edith coming
on to live with me and all.

Besides, you got a
great responsibility

to the world, Clark.

You've gotta accept it.

Make use of your great powers.

You sure you packed that
costume I made for you?

It's in the suitcase.

Nothing will
ever hurt it, Clark.

Not acid, nor fire,
nor nothing else.

It's made out of the
red-and-blue blanket

you was wrapped in
the day your pa and me...

I know, Ma.

Here comes the bus.

Goodbye, Mom.

Goodbye, son.

NARRATOR: And so Clark Kent,

strange visitor
from another planet,

takes the first step toward
dedicating his amazing powers

to the cause of justice.

He has resolved to keep
secret his Superman identity

and to adopt a pose of
mild-mannered timidity as Kent

in order to safeguard
the masquerade.


And in order to be at a place
where he can learn immediately

of any emergency that
might require his help,

he seeks a job as reporter on
a great metropolitan newspaper.


Mr. White's on the phone.

As soon as he's through,
I'll tell him you're still waiting.

Thank you.

I don't care what it costs.

That's the way I want it.
That's the way I'm gonna get it.

Tell that to Mr. Maguire. If he
doesn't like it, he can lump it.


White speaking.


White speaking. What?

Absolutely no. Certainly
not. And that's final!



man is still waiting, Mr. White.

What young man?

Clark Kent. WHITE: Who's he?

A young man who's
applying for a reporter's job.

He's been here
since 3:00, Mr. White.

You told me to...

I don't care what I told you.

I'm not hiring reporters
at 20 minutes of 6:00.

Anyway, I'd like to fire
some instead of hire 'em.

Send Lois Lane in here.

Yes, Mr. White.

Well, obviously Mr. White
doesn't want to see me.

I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Kent.

He's not in a very
good humor today.

Perhaps if you
come back tomorrow.

Oh, that's all right, miss.

I'm gonna get to him somehow.

But thank you very much.

You wanted to see me, chief?

Nothing works
around here. Nothing.

What's the trouble?

I just can't get the
top off of that thing.

Here, let me try.

I'll be a monkey's uncle.

Who the blazes are you?

My name is Clark Kent, sir.

I told that girl not to...

Please don't blame your
receptionist, Mr. White.

She doesn't even
know I'm in here.

What do you mean she doesn't
know? How did you get past her?

Well, I didn't. You see, I
came in through the window.

Is that supposed to be funny?

That window's 28
stories above the ground

and the side of the
building is as flat as this desk

except for a narrow ledge.

Mr. White!

Who gave you permission
to barge in here like a bull?

Got a flash, there's a
dirigible flying over the airport

with a guy hanging from a rope.

Let's see, Jim. I
still wanna know...

Listen, chief.

"An oil company blimp attempting
to land at Metropolis Airfield

"in a high wind
pulled 11 men aloft

"clinging to the landing ropes.

"Ten dropped off safely but
one man is still hanging to a rope

"while the blimp cruises

"1000 feet above the
field, unable to land.

More to follow."

You get down there
right away, Lois.

And you too, Olsen.

Tell Ludlow to assign a
photographer, two of them.

Okay, chief. Come
on, Jim. Right.

Hello, Pete. Hold the Seven
Star for a page one replate.

No, I don't know
when. Just hold it.

Mr. White...

Now, look here, young man,
I'm too busy to talk to you.

Well, if I could...

That is, if that man
could be rescued

and I got his
exclusive story, sir...

What? Would you give me a job?

Don't bother me. Well,
would you, Mr. White?

Yes, yes. Now leave me alone.

Thank you, sir.


Crazy. Just crazy.



Step on it, Jim.

The speed limit's 35, Miss
Lane. I don't wanna get a ticket.

You're right.

Just like I told Mr. Kent,

there I was hanging there
for what seemed like years...

Then your hands
slipped from the rope?

A thousand feet up.
I knew I was a goner.

That's enough pictures, Joe.

Get them on metal
for the next edition.

Then I thought I must
have flipped my lid

from being so scared

because right then this guy
in a red-and-blue costume

comes flying through
the air and catches me.

It's ridiculous.

There can't be any such thing
as a man who flies through the air.

Well, I know it,
Mr. White. But it happened.

I'm here, ain't
I? And I'm alive.

It happened all right, chief.

Just as we got to the airport,

we saw something streak
across the sky and catch this man.

We thought we were crazy too.

My brain was whizzing
around in my head,

and the next thing I
knew, this... this superguy

landed me behind one of the
hangars like on a featherbed.

Then I made like a schoolgirl
and passed out, fainted.

And when you came
to, Kent was there?

Yes, sir, and he
hustled me around

by the side of the
administration building,

got me into a cab, then
we came straight here.

Pretty smart, Kent.

We've got a clean beat over
every other paper in town.

Does that mean
I get the job, sir?

There's your answer, son.

CLARK: Oh, thank you,
Mr. White. Thanks a million.

There are one or two things

I haven't got quite straight
in my mind, Mr. Kent.

For example, how did you
leave here later than we did

and beat us to the airport?

Is that all? Not quite.

How come you found
the man behind the hangar

at just the right moment
to get his exclusive story

when every top, experienced
reporter in the business

was breaking his neck...

Or her neck. Or her neck

to get that story?

Maybe I'm a superman, Miss Lane.