Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 2, Episode 1 - Five Minutes to Doom - full transcript

Clark Kent and Lois Lane interview Winters, a man on death row. As Clark listens to Winter's story, he checks the convict's pulse. It remains steady and Clark is convinced Winters is innocent. Clark's suspicions are confirmed when he and Lois pick up a hitchhiker on their way back to Metropolis and the hitchhiker leaves a bomb meant for the reporters. The Daily Planet reporters search for a way to clear Winters. They obtain key evidence but a violent electrical storm has knocked out telephone service between Metropolis and the state capital. Superman flies to the governor, convinces him to sign an order staying the execution. But can he get to the prison in time to prevent an innocent man from dying in the electric chair?


than a speeding bullet.

More powerful than a locomotive.

Able to leap tall buildings
at a single bound.

MAN 1: 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.



There he is.

His wife and boy.


Remember what I told
you about Billy's education.

Yes, I'll... I'll remember.

As soon as you can, I want
you to move out of this state.

Get away from here.

All right, Joe.

I'll write out a list of
things I'd like you to do.

I don't wanna talk about it now.

I guess it's time for you to
go, honey, there's the warden.

Joe, what am I gonna do?

Take care of Billy for me.

See that he gets his chance.

Bye, Bill. Bye.

Be a good boy.


You can talk to him now.

Oh, Winters.

Some people to see you.

I'll be in my office
if you want me.

Thank you, warden.

Hello, Mr. Winters.

My name is Clark Kent
and this is Miss Lane.

We're with the
Metropolis Daily Planet.

More reporters?

Do you wanna know what it feels
like to have less than a day to live?

We're reporters,

but that's not what we
came to see you about.

We have a proposition to offer.

What kind of a proposition?

Won't you sit down?

Well, for the first
time in its history,

the Planet will pay $10,000...

To be given your wife and child.

For the exclusive story

on the events leading
up to the crime.

You know I pleaded
innocent, don't you?

But you were
tried and convicted.

Now we want the real
story for our readers.

But I ca...

Ten thousand dollars?

To be given to your wife.

It's a deal.


Well, the morning
of the fight, I...

I was at the field office early.

Let's see, this is on the 19th.


I asked the foreman
where Baker was

and he said in the
checker's office...

Wait a minute.

It was brought out at the trial

the foreman didn't
see you that morning.


I forgot. I...

I guess it wasn't the foreman.

Maybe it was the time keeper.

Well, anyway, I...

I went into the office
to wait for Baker,

and after a while he came in,

we went over to
inspect the upright forms.

We were going to...

Hold it.

Witnesses testified you came
out of that office by yourself.


Well, I-I mean that I...

It's no use.

What do you mean?

I can't confess to
something I didn't do.

I didn't kill Baker.

Here we go again.

Look, do you think I don't want
that 10,000 for my wife and kid?

Do you think I wouldn't
do anything to get it?

Then why don't you tell us?

Because I don't know who killed
Baker or how he did it. That's why.

Come on, Clark,
we're wasting our time.

I don't think so, Lois.

Now, look, Joe.

Why don't you
tell us your story?

The true story.

What good would it do?

Well, you never know.

Go ahead.

Well, as you know, I
was a county building

inspector on the
Metropolis Depot Overpass.

The contractor was W.T. Wayne.

He's one of the
biggest in the business.

Baker was the
superintendent on the job

and he and I had some trouble.

It all started because
he wouldn't wait

for my inspections
before pouring the cement.

One day I...

Baker, I told you

I wanted to see that
steel reinforcement today.

I can't wait around for
you county inspectors

every time I'm ready to pour.

You'll wait for my inspection

or I'll order all that
cement torn out.

Oh, get out of here, Joe.
You're making me mad.

Look, I'm warning you,

I won't stand for you
bypassing me like this.

The next time it happens I'll...

I'll close the job down
until it is inspected.

And stay out.

Or the next time I
won't be so gentle.

Well, after that, everybody
knew there was bad blood

between Baker and me.

Things finally came to
a head a few days later.

You see, I'd ordered him
not to fill in the pillar forms

with cement until I
had had a chance

to put a gauge on the
steel reinforcements.

I got there that morning and
every form was full of cement.

He'd poured during the night.

I was determined he wasn't
gonna get away with it this time,

so I started out
to look for him.

Listen, Baker, I've had
enough of this runaround.

Why don't you run
along, little boy, I'm busy.

I'll run along all right.

I'll run right to
the county office

and get this job stopped cold.

Get away from that phone!

Look, you don't scare me, Baker.

Something fishy's
going on around here

and I'm going to
find out about it.



Well, later, when the
police searched the place

they found my gun
with one bullet fired

tossed behind some tools.

I didn't fire that gun
and I didn't hide it.

What do you think happened, Joe?

I think they were using

a cheap, sub-standard
grade of steel on the job.

You mean Wayne, the contractor?

If he could get away with it, it
would mean a fortune to him.

I told you you
wouldn't believe me.

You think he was
trying to kill you

and shot Baker by mistake?

He shot Baker and he
framed me for the murder.

See, that way he
got rid of both of us.

The man who was
doing his dirty work

and the guy who knew about it.

Did a perfect job.

But why wasn't all this
brought out at the trial?

Well, even my lawyer
didn't believe my story.

See, he told me that if I made
a fantastic charge like that

against a man in
Wayne's position,

it'd just prejudice the judge
and the jury against me.

The lawyer was right. I
didn't have any evidence,

Wayne is a prominent
and respected man,

and I had been fighting with
Baker, so who'd believe me?

Well, I believe you.

I know you're telling the truth
and I'm gonna try and help you.

JOE: What can you do in
the little time I've got left?

CLARK: Sometimes a great
deal can be done in a few hours.

Especially if
someone's trying hard.

Keep your chin up.

We'll be working for you.

Thanks. I'm afraid even
Superman couldn't do

very much for me now.

I wouldn't be too sure of that.

Come on, Lois.


Bids will be
opened on the fifth,

and all successful bidders
will be notified at once.


Oh, hold it a minute.

That'll be all for now, Marion.

Okay. Go ahead.



Clark Kent and Lois
Lane? Who are they?

Newspaper reporters, eh?

In a blue convertible, you say?

Good. I've got it.

Thanks. You'll get
yours in the usual way.



Sure I can. Jobs like
this are my specialty.

They're in a blue convertible

and I don't want
them to get back here

before Winters
goes to the chair.

Got it?

I got just the gimmick.

It ain't easy to
hitchhike a ride

in any one
particular car, but I...

Don't worry, boss. I can
do it one way or another.


Just the same, Clark.

I don't know why
you're so positive

Winters is innocent.

Very simple, Lois.

You remember I
had hold of his wrist?

Well, I was taking his pulse,

and all during his story,
it was firm and steady.


So do you know how
a lie detector works?

Well, it just measures
the heartbeats

and their reactions.

Don't tell me you think
you're a human lie detector.

Not exactly.

Cut it out.

Only Superman could
do a thing like that.

You can let me out
anywhere along here, Miss.


Thanks a lot.

Don't mention it.

Anything I can do
for you, Winters?

Yeah, warden.
Let me out of here.

I mean, is there's any special
food or anything like that...


I know, "condemned man
ate a hearty breakfast."

Thank you, warden, but I'm not
thinking very much about food.

I'm thinking about
my wife and my kid.

Clark, just occurred to me.

Didn't that man have a lunch
box when he got in the car?


Oh, I'm sorry, Lois.
I'm afraid I didn't notice.

I was trying to think of some
way to help Joe Winters.

Well, anyway, he
didn't have a lunch box

when he got out of the car.


Step on the gas!


Clark! Are you all right?

Sure, I'm all right, Lois.

But would you toss me
down that trench coat

that's on the seat of the car?

I can't very well
come up the way I am.

Here we go.


Thanks, Lois.

I'm sure glad I
had this with me.

Clark, I want you to know

I think that's one of the
bravest things I've ever seen.

You mean it's something you'd
only expect Superman to do?

Well, yes.

Lois, sometimes I think
you underestimate me.

Well, that's about the most
improbable story I ever heard.

But chief, I'm certain that
Winters was telling the truth.

And remember he wanted
that $10,000 for his family.

All he had to do to get it
was to admit he was the killer.

Yes, it makes sense.

Well, someone
thought it was the truth.

Otherwise, why
would they try and stop

Lois and me with a bomb?

You're right. Okay. Get on it.

But remember,

this is a mighty
tricky proposition.

W.T. Wayne is a big man in
this town, has a lot of influence.

If you make any mistakes,

we can end up with a
million-dollar libel suit!

I know, chief, but a
man's life is at stake.

An innocent man.

Just be sure you can
prove he's innocent.

And, Kent... Sir?

If I can help, I'd like to.

Thanks, chief. There is
something you can do.

Will you contact
the steel companies

and try and find out what
type of steel that Wayne bought

for that job? It'd
be a great help.

I'll do it right away. Thanks.

And Jimmy, you and I
will go over to the shack

where the murder was committed

and try and find
out what we can.

Lois, go to the State Building
and get me the exact specs

of the steel to be
used in that overpass.

We'll get back here
as soon as we can,

or keep in touch by phone.


Gosh, there isn't much to see.

What we looking for, anyway?

Just wanna check and see
if the shot that killed Baker

came from outside.

But there's just that
double-window there,

and according to
the coroner's report,

it couldn't have
come from that angle.

Hey, Mr. Kent, look here!

Oh, yes. It's rigged
that way, Jim,

so the workmen
can get at the tools

without coming
inside this shack.

Yeah, but don't
you see, a man...

I know what
you're trying to say.

Someone could have
come in, fired a shot,

and gone out the same way.

Golly, then maybe Joe
Winters didn't kill Baker

and Mr. Wayne did.

Then all we've
got to do is prove it

before Winters gets
the chair. Come on!


Yes? Yes.

That's it?

Thank you. Thank you very much.

There's a complete list
of the steel Wayne ordered

for the overpass. Good.

And here are the
specifications for that steel.

According to the contracts
those sizes and qualities

were to be used on the job.

Now we're getting somewhere.

Are we?

Of course we are!

Can't you understand
what Kent's driving at?

It's like this, Jim.

If Wayne put cheap
steel in the overpass,

and if he filed false
inspection reports,

and if we can prove all this,

then we have enough evidence
for a new trial for Winters.

That sounds like
a lot of ifs to me.


I'm gonna examine
the inspection reports

Wayne filed with
the county clerk.

Lois, do you suppose you could
get an interview with Wayne?

You bet I can.

I want to know what
his reaction will be

when he hears an investigation

of the construction of the
overpass might be coming up.

Well, you be careful,
young woman.

If Wayne is involved,

just remember somebody tried
to dynamite you earlier today.

This is the very
middle of a big city,

it's bright daylight,
and I'm a big girl.

Chief, I'll go with Miss Lane.

I won't let anything
happen to her.

And don't call me "chief,"
you young whippersnapper!

You better wait here, Jim.

He's likely to get suspicious if
we go in a body, so to speak.




Why should the
Planet be interested

in the amount of steel I
bought for the overpass?

Now, I don't' want your
opinions. I want facts.

Find out what this is
all about and do it fast.


A Miss Lane to see you
from the Daily Planet.

Well, tell her I'm busy.
Tell everybody I'm busy.

Young lady, I...

I didn't mind being kept
waiting at all, Mr. Wayne,

so you needn't apologize.

That's very nice
of you, I'm sure.

But if you'll excuse me
now, I'm a very busy man.

I know you are.

But you wouldn't be
too busy to discuss

a possible investigation
of the construction

on the new depot
overpass, would you?

Investigation? What
in heaven's name for?

Probably nothing to it.

There seems to be a rumors
that cheap, substandard steel

was used in the reinforcing.

That's a lie!

Then why not let
the Planet print

some of the inspection reports?

That should settle
the whole matter.

Well, I can't. I... I
haven't got them.

Uh, we don't keep them.
They were destroyed!

LOIS: I see.

WAYNE: It would
only clutter up the files

if we had all those papers here.

LOIS: That's too bad, isn't it?

You're mistaken, Mr. Wayne.
We didn't destroy those reports.

Here they are.

These are not the inspection
sheets from the overpass.

They're from a different deal.

And don't tell me
I'm mistaken again.

If I could just see...

I've had enough of this.

There are no reports to be seen,

and I have no
more time to waste.

Is that the only statement
you wish to make?

It is. Good day.

It's getting late. Good
night, Mr. Wayne.

When I want anything
from you I'll ask for it!

But you were lying. Why?

What I do is no
concern of yours.

Mr. Wayne, I've been
with you for six years.

And during that time,

I've seen you pull some
pretty strange deals.

Business deals.

Well, sharp deals, let's say.

But when it comes to
using substandard materials

in a building project...

Those are lies, Miss Cummings.

The structure might collapse.
People would be killed.

That would be murder, Mr. Wayne.

You use that word very easily.

You're young and you're healthy.

Take my advice
and remain that way.

Get anything?

Enough to convince me

he doesn't want
an investigation.

He tore up some papers

and threw them
in his waste basket.

I want those papers.

Hold everything.

I'll get them for ya.

I'll meet you
back at the office.

WOMAN: I'm sorry,
I told you, you can't...

Good day, Mr. Wayne!
I'm James Olsen

of the Little Giant
Vacuum Cleaner Company.

Glad to meet ya!

I'm prepared to offer you,
absolutely free of charge,

an amazing demonstration
of our sensational machine.

The Little Giant sweeps,
cleans, buffs, polishes

without fuss or bother.


Listen to the hum of that motor.

A powerful, two-phase,

electrical monster.

What do you mean...?

Don't thank me yet, Mr. Wayne.

Wait until you see
with your own eyes,

the magic of the Little Giant.

What a sloppy ashtray!

I musta had it in the wrong end!

Listen, you!

See how she sweeps
as she cleans?

Take that thing
and get out of here!

Don't worry about a thing...



Listen, you.

Take that monstrosity
and get out of here

before I break your neck!

Well, it's about
time you got here.

You should have seen
the thousands of reports

I had to wade through. I
could have used Superman.

Jimmy, go down to the

and tell 'em I'm in a big
hurry for these prints. Will ya?

Any luck? Yes.

I found a whole
bunch of reports,

all filed together and
all signed by Winters.

How about you?

Not bad. Take a
look for yourself.

Say, where did you get these?

From Wayne.

But not with his cooperation.


Lois, The pieces are really
beginning to fit together.


These are Winters'
original reports.

Definitely stating that the
steel used is substandard.

Here's your first picture.

Thank you, Jimmy.

Look at this.

These are the
reports filed by Wayne,

and supposedly
signed by Winters.

Obvious forgeries.

Then Winters was
telling the truth.

And Wayne is
probably the real killer.

There's one way
to clinch it, Lois.

Get the District Attorney's
office on the phone

and ask them to
do some more work

on the fingerprints
on the murder gun.

But the testimony
at the trial said

the only prints on
the gun were Winters'.

Yes, but that was
only on the gun.

Sometimes people make mistakes.

Ask them to get the prints
on the bullets in the gun.

It could be just that!

Not that phone, Lois.

We've got to try and get
through to the governor.

Get me the Governor's
mansion in State City and rush it!

Winters will be going
to the chair in an hour

and he may be an innocent man.



Oh, no!

What is it?

This storm. It's worse upstate.

All the wires are down
between here and State City.

Well, I'm gonna try and get
through to the governor myself.

We've got to get that reprieve!

You can't possibly get
to State City in an hour!

I can try.


Is it time?

Yes, Joe.

It's time.



Quick, governor. I have evidence

that Joe Winters is not guilty.

Not guilty? What proof have you?

You'll have to
take my word, sir.

Your word is good
enough for me, Superman.

The phones are all out, sir.
You'll have to sign a reprieve.

He's got 30 seconds to live.

Kent could never have
gotten through in time.

Thank you, governor.



I'm sorry I destroyed
your wall, warden,

but here's a
reprieve for Winters,

and time was
getting a little close.

Take Winters back to his cell.

And thanks, Superman.

And another thing...

How did Superman
happen to take over

when you could
never have made it?

Well, I really don't know, Lois,

but I suppose he's
been interested

in this case right along.

Well, the important thing is
that an innocent man was saved

and that a guilty
one was caught.

Golly, you were right
about those bullets, Mr. Kent.

They were covered with
Mr. Wayne's fingerprints.

And his secretary talked plenty.

I wonder how a real
smart man like Mr. Wayne

could turn out to be so stupid.

Perhaps he wasn't so smart, Jim.

You know, I betcha
if I'd really tried,

I coulda sold him
that vacuum cleaner!


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