Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 2, Episode 20 - Beware the Wrecker - full transcript

A steamship, an airliner and a train have all been destroyed over the past year. Perry White receives a telephone call from someone calling himself the Wrecker. The Wrecker claims ...


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!


began about a year ago.

Metropolis murmured with
the usual hum of activity

as the wheels of
industry turned,

breathing life into the city.

Shortly before noon,
at the city airport

the Silver Star was
taking off on its regular run

to span the continent.

The plane had already
passed the city's outskirts

and was gaining
altitude when it happened.

Minutes later the phone rang
in editor Perry White's office

at the Daily Planet.

An obviously disguised
voice asked that a notice

be published in
the next edition,

demanding $100,000 from the city

or the Crane Steamship
Lines would be next

on the list of the Wrecker.

White realized that
whatever destroyed

the Silver Star was no
accident, but sabotage.

There was only one thing to do:
warn the steamship authorities.

All company vessels operating

in the Metropolis coastal waters

were alerted to search
for concealed explosives,

time bombs, or any
other suspicious devices.

Every passenger and crewman
boarding or disembarking

was to be carefully watched.

Then, on the
morning of the 17th,

the liner S.S. Colossus
steamed out of port

under close guard.

The ship had just cleared
the breakwater when it came.

Swift, sudden and
without warning.

The Wrecker had
carried out his threat.

In all Metropolis,
only Perry White

had had any contact with him,
knowing the mysterious saboteur

only as a telephone voice.

The voice of a ruthless killer,
who he and Inspector Henderson

feared might strike
again at any moment.


And once more came
that strange, clipped voice,

warning that the
Transcontinental Limited,

now 10 minutes out of
Metropolis, would never arrive.

The morning papers screamed
a lurid account of the smashup

but could shed no light
on the Wrecker's identity

or how he had caused the crash.

Public apprehension was
mounting like a tidal wave

as demands and pleas
poured in on the authorities.

It was then that
Inspector Henderson

arranged a private meeting
in Perry White's office.

You gentlemen control the
three major transportation systems

operating within this area.

I brought you here
because we need your help.

Are you suggesting
that we submit

to this Wrecker's demands?

Hardly. You don't starve a
blackmailer by feeding him.

And you don't run a railroad
by permitting its destruction.

Or a steamship line.

It seems to me we are
up against an enemy

capable of striking
out of nowhere.

We haven't much choice
except to buy him off.

Then I say pay him
whatever sum he demands.

Do you realize you'd be playing

directly into the
hands of this criminal?

Well, I don't want to be a
hero. I'm a practical man.

But that wouldn't
stop the sabotage.

What will?

A united defense.

Now, we don't know how
the Wrecker accomplishes

his purpose, but we do know
he's operating somewhere

from within the Metropolis area.

By joining forces, we
stand the best chance

of closing in on him.

If we only had some
clue to his identity.

He's as anonymous as a shadow.

Just a mysterious
voice on the telephone.

What about that voice, Perry?

Was there anything
about it that might give us

the slightest lead?

Not the voice, no,

but ever since I
got that first call,

I've been trying to identify
a strange sound behind it.

A what kind of a sound?

Well, uh...

like a repeated thump,
followed by the clang of a bell.

Church bell? Traffic bell?

No, it was different somehow.

It was more like the ring
of a blacksmith's anvil.

Well, that might be anything.

Have you tried to
trace those calls?

Mr. Kent here did.

Without much luck, I'm afraid.

Whoever it is that's making
these calls must be using

a portable telephone,
tapped into an existing line.

We'll get nowhere
in that direction.


Yes? Yes, he's here.

The switchboard operator
has a call for you, Mr. Crane.

CLARK: Mr. Crane.

This might not be just
an ordinary call, you know.

Yeah, Kent's right.

Now, Clark, you listen
in on the extension.

Hello? Crane speaking.

MAN'S VOICE: Holding secret
meetings at the Planet office

won't help you, Crane.

Who is this?

I'll talk. You'll
listen. [BELL RINGS]

I wanted to remind
you that the S.S. Rector,

one of your
prized luxury liners,

is scheduled to sail from
Pier 19 at 2:00 this afternoon.


Unless you agree to
pay $100,000 as I instruct,

the Wrecker will destroy
that ship at exactly 1:45.

What is your answer?

My answer is no.

Very well, Mr. Crane.

Just remember: 1:45.

Did you hear it? That
strange background noise?


What did it sound like to you?

Well, offhand, it
sounded vaguely familiar,

but I... I can't identify it.

Then you should have let
me agree to pay the demand

while I had the chance.

If the Wrecker
destroys that vessel,

I'll hold you
personally responsible.

That gives us three hours.

We can concentrate every
police officer and plainclothes man

the city can spare in
and around the pier.

I suppose I should be grateful,

but we're not dealing
with any ordinary criminal.

And he wouldn't be dealing
with any ordinary opponent

if Superman could be there.

That's an idea.

Between Superman
and an army of guards,

the Wrecker wouldn't
stand a chance.

You think you can contact
him before deadline?

We could try.

The early morning
edition of the Planet

is about to go to press.

Perhaps a page-one
notice would alert him.

If Superman shows
up at that pier,

I'd like to be there, chief.

So would I.


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WHITE: Don't call me chief!

Mr. White? Could I
talk to you for a minute?

Come in and close
the door. There's a draft.

You know, I been thinkin'.

You've been thinking?
Well, now, there is a twist.

I've been thinki"
about the Wrecker.

What do you know
about the Wrecker?

You weren't even in here.

Somebody left the key on
one of your intercoms down,

and I was in Mr. Kent's
office, so I just happened...

So someone left one of the
keys in my intercom down, eh?

Couldn't have
been you, of course.

I guess it could
have. But anyway,

I got it all figured out
who the Wrecker is.

You have? Who?

Well, it could be anybody.

I blame myself. I hired you.

Hundreds of boys, bright
boys, applied for the job,

and I chose you.

You won't be
sorry either, chief.

I'm sorry already.

You won't be if I figure
out who the Wrecker is.

All right, Mr. Olsen.
What is your theory?

Who is the Wrecker?

Well, it could be Mr. Kilgore.

Or Mr. Crane. Or
Mr. Morgan. Or even you.


Yes. Yes, I guess
you're right. Yeah.

I called myself
on the telephone...

and asked myself if I
could speak to Mr. Crane.

Oh, golly, chief, I don't really
think you're the Wrecker, I...

Get out of here!
Get out of here!

Cover a story. Go to lunch.

Go anywhere.
But get out of here.

Thanks, chief.

Thanks for what?

For telling me to
cover the story.

Great Caesar's ghost!

In spite of all those guards
at the pier, Clark, I'm worried.

We don't know who
we're looking for.

We've never seen the Wrecker.

Perhaps we have, Lois.
What do you mean by that?

Well, that meeting
in the chief's office

was held in
strictest confidence,

yet whoever called
Crane knew all about it.

Then somebody at that
meeting tipped off the Wrecker.

Unless somebody at that
meeting was the Wrecker.

Ms. Lane? Mr. Kent?
The chief said for me

to go along to
the pier with you.

All right, Jimmy. Get in.


Got here as soon as
we could, inspector.

Is Superman here yet?

I haven't seen him.

Maybe he hasn't read
the notice in the Planet.

It's 1:45. Sure wish he'd show.

I wouldn't worry
about it, Ms. Lane.

I don't think the Wrecker
will risk trying anything

with armed guards
covering this dock area.

Inspector, I'd like to
stroll down the pier

and take a look at
that last-minute loading.

Sure, go ahead.

Thank you.

I'm afraid you are not gonna
get your story today, Ms. Lane.

One minute before deadline.

And still no sign of Superman.

Never mind. We've got
the situation under control.



One forty-five exactly.

I don't see anything
or even hear anything.

Of course not.

We've stopped the Wrecker cold.

Look! There's Superman.

Well, the danger's
passed. What's he here for?

innocent-appearing little toy

isn't as harmless as it looks.

It's equipped with a
high-explosive warhead

and a radio-controlled unit
that will guide it to its target.

How did you get hold of it?

Superman brought it
here and left it in my care.

If he hadn't intercepted
that in midair,

it would have destroyed
the steamship Rector.

So that's how the Wrecker
caused those disasters.

The trick is to find
who's been causing them.

It's obviously a man
that's very familiar

with guided missiles
and aerodynamics.

Well, I'll take this little
plaything down to the crime lab.

Maybe they can trace it down.



Hold on. It's the Wrecker

He wants you, inspector.

Now, look here, whoever
you are. I'm warning you.

On the contrary,
I'm warning you.

Superman's powers
cost me a victory,

but he has one weakness.

Even Superman can only
be in one place at a time.

I'll defeat him
merely by destroying

a dozen targets
simultaneously. [BELL RINGS]

You wouldn't dare.

Must I prove it?

Or are you ready
to meet my terms?

All right. I... I guess you win.

What's the rest of it?

I want $100,000 in small bills,
wrapped in an unmarked parcel.

At 8:00 tonight place the
package on the tree stump

you'll find in the city park,

fifty feet east of the bridle
path, just north of the lake.

Is that clear?

I understand.

Now we got him.

I don't see how.

That park is hemmed
in by city streets.

I'll post hidden spotters
at every entrance

and in the shrubs
around the tree stumps.

And they'll close
in on the Wrecker

when he tries to
escape with the package.


Hm. I wonder who will
show up to claim that money.

It's 8:00.

And the trap is baited.

All the Wrecker has
to do is to walk into it.

Shh. Quiet everybody.
Get out of sight.

This might be it.

Good evening. Oh.

Clark Kent. So it's only you.

What are you trying to do, Kent?

Scare us out of
ten years' growth?

No, inspector, I was just
checking with the guards.

They've nothing
suspicious to report.

I'm giving the Wrecker an
hour. So relax, everybody.

We may be in for a long wait.

Well, we've waited long enough.

The Wrecker isn't gonna show up.

Maybe the cordon of police
we staked out scared him off.

Well, there's nothing
left to do but go up

and get the package. Come on.

Well, this is interesting.

What do you know.

Well, jeepers. The money's gone!

It was lying there a moment
ago in plain sight. I saw it myself.

You just told me that the area
was surrounded with police,

so how could anybody
have taken the package?

Then what became of it?

Well, I think I know
the answer to that, Lois.


This stump is hollow.

Uh-huh. The trapdoor on the top.

So all the Wrecker had to
do was to lift up from beneath,

grab the package and disappear.

If only Superman had been here,

his x-ray vision
could have seen him.

I'm afraid not, Lois.

You see, this stump is
lined with the one thing

that Superman can't see through:

sheet lead.

But where does the hole lead to?

I can tell you that. I
should have remembered it.

This shaft connects with
an abandoned water main.

The passage runs under
this section of the city

for a mile in either direction.

Then all the Wrecker had to
do was run along the passage

and escape from a manhole.

Along with 100,000
beautiful dollars.

Well, he's welcome to it.

All he got for his trouble
was a nice bulky package,

containing strips
of blank paper.

Well, tough luck,
inspector. Come on, kids.

Oh, come on. Let's go.

"Planet Exclusively Covers
Capture of Wrecker at City Park."

What a lovely headline that would
have made for the morning edition.

And what a lovely
headache it turned into.

We have a chance to
capture the Wrecker,

and we let him slip
through our fingers.

Don't worry, Lois. We'll
hear from him again.

He'll give us another clue.

What other clue?

All we've got to go on
are those strange noises

we heard each
time he telephoned.

Maybe we'll find out what
those strange noises are.


What are we doing here, Clark?

Oh, I think we've been
working a little too hard.

How 'bout a little relaxation?

Gee, I think that's a
wonderful idea, Mr. Kent.

It's getting late, Clark, and
I'm in no mood for revelry.

We might pick up another
clue about the Wrecker.

Here? At a carnival?

Here at a carnival.

It brings you mirth. It
brings you merriment,

It brings you muscles.

Ring the bell and win the
Superman Medal of Merit.

If you can prove
it, take a chance.

If you can't, try it, anyway.

Here's a gent who's going
to make like Superman.

So watch him, folks.

You missed, buddy. Try it again.


That's my boy.
Congratulations, bud.

You've just won the
Superman award.

Now, is there anyone else
who'd like to be Superman?

How about you, Jim?
Show him how good you are.

Oh, no. Not me. I'm no Superman.

What about Mr. Kent?
He's bigger than I am.

Oh, no.

If he's Superman,
I'm Queen of the May.

Don't let that bother you, bud.

Maybe you're not exactly
the Superman type,

but take a crack at it, anyway.

All right.



Brother, now I've
seen everything.

Golly, Mr. Kent. You... You
wrecked the whole thing.

I-I'm very sorry. I'll be happy to
pay you any damages you w...

I don't want any pay. I just
wanna know how you did it.

Well, I guess sometimes I
don't know my own strength.

Come on, Lois.

I hope you've had
enough fun for the evening.

The fun is just about to start.

Tell me. Did those noises
back at that concession

remind you of anything?

Should they remind
me of anything?

All I heard was the thudding
noise from the mallet.

And the clanging of the bell.

That doesn't make
you think of anything?

The telephone warnings. Ah-ha.

The thudding and bell
clang are the identical

background sounds
we couldn't place.

That's what I was
hoping you'd say.

Then the Wrecker must have
his headquarters at a carnival.

I think so, Jimmy. And it
must be somewhere near

where a phone wire can
cut into an extension line.

Anyway, you cover
that area of the grounds.

I'll cover this, and I'll
meet you back here.


Well, end of the line,
not a clue in sight.

Maybe Mr. Kent found something.

Jimmy, look.

Jimmy. This wire is tied
on to the telephone pole.

Let's have a look inside.


You're wasting your time.

There's nothing in that
package but blank paper.

Who are you, and
how did you get in here?

We saw where you hid the key.

We looked for you in
the park, but then you did

your traveling underground.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Don't give us that. There's
the package you got away with.

There's a tapped phone
wire outside leading in here.

These model airplanes
speak for themselves.

You are the Wrecker, all right.


Who's that?

There's one way to find out.

Answer it, Jim. Watch
what you're saying.

Who is it?

MAN'S VOICE: You know
very well who it is, Hatch.

Did you get that package?


Then hold on to it.
I'll be there shortly.

Who was it?

You got me, Ms. Lane.

But we're soon
gonna have company.

Good. The more the merrier.

Take that wire and
tie up this character.

We'll let Clark
in on the finale.

Where have you two been?
I've been worried about you.

It took us a little
longer than we expected

to capture the Wrecker.

To what?

We got him hog-tied in a shack

just outside the
carnival grounds.

No. You left him alone?

Well, come on.
He might get away.

Well, that's exactly
what I was afraid of.

Someone got to
him after you left.

And killed the Wrecker.

Now, wait a minute, Lois. If
this man was the Wrecker,

then who killed him?

Come on.

I got the reports on Emile
Hatch from the police files, chief.

He's got a criminal record as
long as a coast-to-coast ticket.

That doesn't prove
he was the Wrecker.

Maybe this'll convince you.

He was last employed by
the government as consultant

on missiles and aerodynamics
before suddenly disappearing

with a fistful of
top-drawer secrets.

Well, that seems to
ruin Clark Kent's theory.

I don't see Mr. Kent hanging
around to defend his theories.

He went down to that shack
this morning to search for clues.

He hasn't returned yet.

Here we are,
Mr. White. Right on time.

Time for what?

Well, didn't Superman tell you?

He asked me to bring these
gentlemen here this morning,

promising to produce the
Wrecker no later than noon.

And, gentlemen, I
intend to keep my word.

Did you bring the
Wrecker with you?

No, Inspector Henderson,
I didn't. You did, however.

He's present in this room.

Are you accusing one of us?

This is ridiculous!

What about Hatch, the
criminal that was found

last night in that shack
near the carnival?

Hatch was a wanted man.
The Wrecker knew this

and threatened exposure
unless Hatch followed orders.

So in exchange for freedom
and the promise of power,

Hatch was forced to construct
these miniature robot planes

and give the warnings
on the telephones.

But Hatch made the mistake
of letting himself be captured,

so he had to be killed to
protect someone's identity.

Whose identity? Which one is it?

Inspector, meet the Wrecker.

You're crazy. You've
got nothing against me.

You gave yourself
away, Mr. Crane,

when that harmless
miniature plane came at you.

Only a man who knew the
danger of those guided missiles

would have tried to
escape. You ran true to form.

But this means Crane was
sabotaging his own steamships.

That's right, inspector.
For the insurance money.

But he had to attack the other
two main transportation systems

in order to divert
suspicion from himself.

And any extortion money
he might have collected

would have been
an added windfall.

Come along, Wrecker. This
time, you missed the boat.

Thank you, Superman. Yes.

My pleasure.

What I don't understand
is how this gadget

flew in here all by itself.

It didn't, Mr. White.

Jim Olsen directed
it from the rooftop

across the street, there.

He used a remote-control
unit that Kent found

at Hatch's hideaway.

You'd better call
him back here, Lois.

After all, we've got
a paper to get out.

And where's Clark Kent?
He ought to know better

than to stay away this long.

Oh, I think he's
around somewhere, sir.