Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 2, Episode 11 - The Man in the Lead Mask - full transcript

Marty Mitchell, a wanted criminal, offers other crooks something they can't pass up: for $50,000 each, they'll get a new face, courtesy of plastic surgery, and changed fingerprints. Experts say changing fingerprints is impossible but Mitchell appears to have done it. Clark Kent, in both in his civilian and Superman identities, is determined to solve the mystery.


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.

And now, another
exciting episode

in the Adventures of Superman!


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Now... where are the facts?

All the facts we've got.

Police report on
the post office.

Photograph of the shot-off
section of the lead mask.

Our newspaper file
on Marty Mitchell,

the most wanted
criminal in the country.

Now, here are the questions.

You answer them.

Why would anyone
raid a post office

to steal a police poster?

And why Marty Mitchell's?

Unless that person's found
out something about Mitchell.

Or has seen him in the city.

Or he is Mitchell.
And why the mask?

Well, it figures, chief.

If you're a wanted
man like Mitchell,

your face is too well-known.

Well, after all, a trick mask
is not exactly inconspicuous.

And why a lead mask?

Metropolis and Superman
go together, don't they?

And isn't it generally known
that lead is the only substance

that Superman's x-ray
vision can't penetrate?

What do you think, Clark?

Well... it's a thought.

Sounds good to
me. Get the story.


Took you long enough.

Well, I had to
hide out for a while.

Somebody was looking for me.

Yeah, we heard some cop

shot off part of your lead mask.

Yeah, not a bad shot, that guy.

But I got what I went after.

Now, you took a little
chance, didn't you, Marty?

Or maybe you're just crazy
about the way you used to look.

Well, I had to
prove it to you guys.

You wanted to be
sure, didn't you?

You got a set of my prints
on the card. Go ahead.

Check them with what
the police have on file.

They're different.
He's changed his prints.

Let's get it straight, boys.

I didn't do it.

Let's give credit
where it belongs.

Doc, you did a perfect job.

There's not another
surgeon alive

can use a knife like you can.

Boys, he's a genius.

The first time in history
he's changed them.

New fingerprints.

Thank you, Mr. Mitchell,

but it was your idea.

Now, you're all wanted men.

You know the
score as well as I do.

New prints mean a new life.

The freedom you never
even thought you'd have.

The Doc here does a package job.

Well, look what he did for me.

First, he changed the face.

Then he fixed the fingers.

I'm sold, Mitchell.
You know that.

But it's still a question of
money. We haven't got it.

The price is too steep.

For what you're getting?

Why, the Doc is
doing you a favor.

Twenty-five thousand for the
face. The same for the prints.

Only 50 grand.

We've been on
the lam for months.

Some of us even longer.

We haven't got that kind
of cash, and you know it.

What's more, we don't dare
go on the outside to get it.

Our faces are too well-known.

You think this
lead mask last night

was grandstanding, don't you?

Well, it wasn't.

I don't waste time.

I set out to prove
something, and it worked.

Now, with masks, they
don't recognize you.

And with lead masks, even
Superman can't see you.

And your new faces
will be covered too.

I've got masks for
all of you. Okay?

Listen, Mitchell...

you're smart, plenty smart.

Maybe you're too smart.

Sure, we know you went
out and stole the poster.

But how do we know
you didn't switch it

for a fake one with
new fingerprints?

Now, listen, Scott!
I don't like to...

Police science
says you can't do it!

And something tells me
I'm not so sure you can.


Okay, Scott.

You're gonna be sure.

You're gonna get
it right from the top.

Maybe that will convince you.

Oh, thanks for the
cup of coffee, Mr. Kent.

Uh, Mr. Kent?

Hm? Oh. I enjoyed the company.

Oh, I'm sorry Lois.

I was thinking about
that Mitchell case.

Yes, I know.

Twelve o'clock and
not a mask in sight.

Hello. Hello.

That's the Daily Planet
building across the street, isn't it?

Yes. Many reporters
hang around here?

Sure. There's a
couple over there.

What will you have today?

Buttermilk. Large glass.

Oh, if we could only
get that $10 raise,

I could get a new hat.

Lois, look at that
man at the counter.

This is a pretty quiet city.

Needs waking up.

You're certainly
right about that.

Well...? Did you hear his voice?

Sounds just like Marty Mitchell.

Look at the way he's
drumming his fingers.

Just like Marty used to do.

I'll bet you that is
Marty with a new face.

Listen, Clark... this is a
long shot that's really long.

You've gotta be careful.

Accuse an innocent man
because he talks like Mitchell,

or does something like him,

you'll end up with a
suit for false arrest.

I've got a hunch it is Mitchell,
and I'm gonna find out.

In fact, I'm gonna try
and get his fingerprints.

Now, you stay here
and keep an eye on him.

I'll be back as quick as I can.

Uh, miss, could I have
a glass of water, please?

Oh, certainly. Thank you.


Uh, excuse me, please.


Would you hand me that, please?


Thank you.



Hello? Olsen speaking.

Hello, Jimmy?

Oh, hi, Mr. Kent.

What did you say
you did with my car?

What happened to your car?

You ran it off a bridge?

But I didn't say that. I...

Wh-what is this, a gag?

Oh, I get it. You
can't talk, huh?

Where are you?

Well, listen, chowderhead...
I'll take care of you later.

I'm at Pep's Diner.

Pep's Diner.

Hold page one for a re-plate.

Yes, until you hear from me.

It's a possible lead
on the Mitchell story,

and it might be a big one.


Now, chief, you're not gonna
spoil those prints, are you?

Ha! After 20 years
as a police reporter?

In my day you had
to know how to use

this fingerprint equipment.

But just relax.

We'll know soon.

Hi, Miss Lane! What's
up with Mr. Kent?

Shh, Jimmy. Sit down and smile.

Smile? Why? What's happy?

We'll know pretty soon.

Clark thinks the man at
the counter is Marty Mitchell.

Marty Mitchell?

You don't mean Marty
Mitchell the public enemy?

Thank you.


He's leaving.

Oh, and Clark's still
checking those prints.

Well, we can't let him
leave. What about the story?

Well, we're not positive.

Yeah? Well, if Mr. Kent
thinks he's Mitchell,

that's good enough for me.

What's the idea?

Just hold it, Mitchell.

Mitchell? My name ain't
Mitchell! It's Canfield!

He's bluffing. Miss
Lane, call the police!

Police?! You're crazy!

Maybe so, but I'm not
taking any chances.

Composing? White.

False alarm. Kill that replate.

After this count 10 before you
ask me to hold the front page.

And there's no chance
that could be Mitchell, huh?

Not unless he's
done the impossible

and changed his fingerprints.

And I've got it from
experts, that can't be done.

Well, thanks anyway, chief.

Well, I better call
off my watchdogs.


Lois and Jimmy,
they're babysitting.

Why didn't you stop Jimmy, Lois?

This false arrest business
could be very serious,

as you yourself
pointed out to me!

But Jimmy grabbed him
before I could say boo.

I had to see it through
with him. I'll go down

to police headquarters and
see what I can do. Come on.


Pretty good gag,
that water glass.

Did it give you a
good set of prints?

Well, if you knew
what I was trying to do,

why didn't you
stop me? What for?

Not everybody can be taken
for the great Marty Mitchell.

Well, are you?

Maybe. Maybe I am.

The cops don't think so.

And they just this
minute checked me over.

Hey, wait a minute, Sherlock.

Maybe I fooled the cops

into thinking I changed
my fingerprints.

Yeah, that's it.

You know, there's a 20
grand price on my head.

Why don't you turn me in?

That's a lot of dough, Kent.

How long does it take a reporter
to make that kind of money?

You can't change
prints, you know that?

Well, what do you know?

We learn something
new every day.

Uh, listen Mr., um...

Canfield. Marty Canfield.

Mr. Canfield,
what are you after?

A reason for not suing you
and your paper for false arrest.

And I think I've got it.

I'll settle for a full story
in the afternoon edition.

All about the arrest
and my being cleared.

Maybe I just like to see
my name in the papers.

But I wanna see it. Deal?

All right. We'll run your story.

But if you should
be Marty Mitchell,

you aren't gonna be happy.

You've got a story
to write, sonny.

Go ahead. Make your deadline.

So you haven't been
fired yet, eh, Kent?

Nope, inspector, not yet.

But I'm working on it.

Seems to me you're
doing pretty well at it.

I can't think Perry White
will be any too happy

when he finds that Bert Canfield

has filed a false arrest
suit against the paper.

There isn't gonna be any
false arrest suit, inspector.


Nope. He's let us off the hook.

He did, eh?

Yup. Seems to me he
had a pretty good case.

You had him arrested
as Marty Mitchell,

and it turns out he hasn't Marty
Mitchell's face or fingerprints.

And therefore, he couldn't
possibly be Marty Mitchell,

is that it?

It sure looks that
way, doesn't it?

Yes, it does, inspector.

But Canfield, or whatever
his real name happens to be,

seems to want us or somebody
to believe that he's Mitchell.


I don't know.

Do you believe
that he's Mitchell?

Well... I'll say
this much, Kent.

His voice is Mitchell's voice...

his mannerisms are
Mitchell's mannerisms...

and his Bertillon measurements
correspond with Mitchell's.

Yes, but...?

But he hasn't Mitchell's face.

Well, now, inspector...
could be plastic surgery.

Could be, but he hasn't
Mitchell's fingerprints!

I'm sick and tired of
hearing about fingerprints.

Kent, they can't be changed,

and someday I'm gonna
prove it to you. You do that!

And meanwhile,
with your permission,

I'll go back to the office
and make Perry White happy.

You do that, Kent.

There's nothing I like better
than to see somebody happy.

Glad to hear it, inspector.

Meanwhile, you owe
me another dinner.


"And although there was
a striking voice similarity

"between Canfield
and the missing Mitchell,

"as well as definite
similarities of mannerisms,

"a fingerprint checkup
at police headquarters

"this afternoon revealed a
clear case of mistaken identity.

The suspect was
immediately released."

Well, if the police released
you, that convinces me.

Me too. I'll go along.

No hard feelings, Scott.

I like a man that thinks.

Well... the masks are ready.

And so are the
jobs. All lined up.

Here they are. Take your pick.

RADIO]: Calling all cars.

Calling all cars. Attention.

Mysterious robbery reports
coming in from all areas.

Criminals are armed and are
wearing those same lead masks.

Stand by for emergency orders.




Cars 46, 42, 49, attention.

Masked burglar fleeing
from jewelry shop,

1200 block, Branwood Boulevard.

Now driving south.



We're trying to
help you, Morrell.

What is it?



He's still raving, Kent.

Even that lead mask didn't
save him from a concussion

when his head hit the dashboard.

He keeps saying the same things.

He's the same Jack Morrell
the FBI have been looking for,

isn't he? For a long time.


I've got to get to the money.

I've got to get to the money.

Sure, Morrell. Sure.

You'll get it.

Tell us...

what do you want the money for?

The face.

First... the face.


Then... I'm going
to take care of them.

Take care of the hands.

I've got to take
care of the han...


I guess he'll be out
for a long time, now.


You know, inspector, in
spite of the police clearance

of Canfield today, this
lead mask business

definitely connects the
Mitchell case to this one.

We know that, Kent.

Now, just a minute.
Let... Let me think this out.

You just heard Morrell. He
said "the face" and "the hands."

Well, Canfield
had a different face

and a different set of
fingerprints today too.

But I'm convinced
he's Mitchell in disguise.

Come with me, Kent.

I'll show you something
at the police lab

that will dispel your
doubts once and for all.

These are comparison sets, Kent.

First, you'll see the original
prints of known criminals.

Then you'll see the same prints
after attempts have been made

to disguise them.

Watch. Uh, lights, please.

Now, here's a
skin-graft attempt.

See how the same patterns
continue to come through.

Crude mutilation.




There's always some scar
tissue to betray the criminal.

Lights, please.

It never works,
Kent. And it never will.

Or at least we don't think so.

If the underworld would
ever successfully change

its fingerprints, it would
be the most disastrous blow

to law and order that
has ever been received.

It would make our system of
criminal identification obsolete.

I can quite understand
that, inspector.

But there's one other thing.

Would it be possible to
backtrack the tire prints

of Morrell's car
and find his hideout?

Well, theoretically, yes.

But, practically,
I'm afraid not.

It would be a microscopic job

and would require super-sight

to follow such a trail.

I see. Oh, one other thing.

Can I ask you for
one small favor?

Sure, go ahead.

Well, can I borrow
that lead mask?

One of our staff artists wants to
make a sketch to go with the story.

All right. But I want it
back in the morning.

You'll get it. Thanks
a lot, inspector.


Nice going, Paulie.
Thirty thousand.

That will take care of the job
on my face, and then some.

But how about the
new fingerprints?

Doc will start your
face surgery tomorrow.

Your prints will be done when
you get another 20 thousand.

But, Boss, I gotta have
the new fingerprints!

I'll take care of the money
later. I gotta have the new...

They'll do your prints when
you get another 20 thousand.

You buckled that
job good, didn't you?

We heard it on the radio.

Well, we got one
more big job left.

Then we're clearing out.

Morrell, I'm taking you with me.

Wait outside in the
car. I'll be right out.

We don't want any
mistakes this time.

This is the biggest job
yet: The Daily Planet.

They put the payroll in
the safe this afternoon.

Ha-ha-ha-ha. Just so
we can take it out tonight.

Come on. Let's go.



Give me the drill.

Wipe the grease off it.


What's that?

Who's that?

Jim Olsen. He's a reporter.

How do you know that?

I know lots of things.

In fact, I know
exactly who you are.

You. You're not
Morrell. Who are you?!


Hello, Jimmy. Golly, Superman!

Did I hurt you?
No, of course not.

But you wanna be more
careful with gadgets like that.

You know, you're right.

If it had been anybody but
you, I'd have slaughtered them.

[LAUGHS] Oh, it's
just a disguise, Jimmy.

I bet you if I could find
out whose pants those are,

I'd know who you really were.

No, Jimmy, I only
paid $2 for these

in a secondhand clothing store.

But this is much more important.

This surprise package here
represents a story that belongs

to you and Miss Lane. It does?

Yes. Now, you get hold of
Miss Lane and go out Route 12.

Go out about 14 miles
and turn left the first cutoff.

There's a small shack there,
and we'll be there waiting for you.

Thank you, Superman. Golly.

Soon as I correct my attire,
my friend, away we'll go.

You mean, you're
gonna fly me there?

Ha-ha. That's right.
You'll be crazy about it.



I'm surprised at
smart fellas like you

falling for a racket like this.

What are you talking about?

Mr. Canfield knows, and
so does his friend here.

Take off that mask.

it's Marty Mitchell.

The face... it's
never been changed.

And the fingerprints...
We've been conned!

How did you guess, Superman?

Or if I know you, it was
more than just guesswork.

Mitchell was thinking
so hard about fingerprints

that he forgot
all about his own.

Naturally, I'd seen his
prints on the wanted posters.

So when one showed
up here on the handle,

I knew that Canfield
was just a front.

He must have learned
Mitchell's every mannerism,

every voice inflection. Not bad.

Fifty thousand a piece
from the four of us, and then

Mitchell, Canfield and the
Doc blow town and split it up.

I don't think that Mitchell
was planning any split.


Here's an airplane
ticket. But it's only for one.

JIMMY: Help!

Help! Please,
Superman! I can't get

um, out of this thing!

Help! Help!

Superman, I can't
get this thing off!

I'm sorry, Jimmy.
I can't help you.

Oh, no!