Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 2, Episode 25 - The Whistling Bird - full transcript

Sterling Holloway returns as eccentric scientist Uncle Oscar, who while trying to cook up a formula for flavored stamp glue ends up with a powerful explosive. Rather than write down the entire formula, Uncle Oscar teaches vital segments of the formula to his talking parakeet Schuyler. A pair of foreign spies steal Schuyler and substitute a lookalike, then kidnap Oscar and his niece Nancy (Allene Roberts) in order to steal the explosive. This looks like a job for Superman (George Reeves)--but it may also prove to be his undoing, inasmuch as the loquacious Schuyler is savvy to Superman's "Clark Kent" guise.


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.


Mr. Kent, I know you're busy,

and I hate to di...

Mr. Kent, you have a visitor!


Did I wake you?

Oh, why, no, Jimmy.
I... I was just thinking.

We understand, Mr. Kent.

Uh, this is Miss...

Nancy Quinn. I'm
Professor Quinn's niece.

Why, of course.

I haven't seen the good
professor in over two years,

since he retired.

Well, that's why I'm here.

You see, he didn't
actually retire.

Good inventors seldom do.

Don't tell me he's
still experimenting

with molecular hydro-activity.

That's what I don't
know, Mr. Kent.

But for two years, he's been
conducting a secret experiment.

And this afternoon, he's
going to test the results.

And you don't even know
what the experiment is?

Nobody in the world
knows, except Skyler.


Oh, you'll meet him
when we get there.

That is, if you'll come.

Jimmy, grab your camera.

We may have a scoop

on a brand-new
scientific discovery.

Uncle Oscar?


I wonder what I did with
that vial of copper sulfide?

It's in your hand, uncle.

In my hand? That's preposterous.

That's preposterous?
That's copper sulfide.

Thank you.

Oh, thank you, Nancy, dear, yes.

And Jimmy, well, well.

And Kent, well.


Ah, I'm sorry. I
forgot you were here.

We weren't, professor.

I hope you don't mind
our breaking in on you?


You're just in time to witness

the greatest
experiment of a lifetime.

Well, now, that sounds
mighty important.

Oh, it's the greatest
boon to modern humanity.

And I understand you
have a new assistant.

Uh, Skyler?

Skyler? Oh, yes.

He's a great help, a great help.

He's over there, in the cage.

Uh... In the cage.


Please, Skyler, we have guests.

Why, it's a... It's a parakeet.

He doesn't like to
be called a parakeet.

He thinks he's an eagle.

Nancy says he's the only
one that really understands

about your formula?

He is.


Now, I knew parakeets talked,

but I didn't know they
understood things.

They can't.

But uncle was afraid

that someone might steal his
formula if he wrote it all down.

So he left out one essential
step and taught it to Skyler.

And I was right too.

Because last night I guess
I forgot to close the doors.

Anyway, somebody got in
and stole a copy of the formula.

But it didn't do them any good

without the part that
Skyler knew, right?

That's right.

Course, I would've
memorized it myself,

but then, you know
how forgetful I am.

Anyway, Skyler's the
only one who knows.

Listen. I'll show you.

I taught him to associate it
with the sound of this bell.

Now, listen.


CO2 plus, uh,

one liter manganese...


Well, now, that's the first
Chinese parakeet I ever met.

Uncle, aren't you
ever going to tell us

what you're working on?

It's ready now.

This is my experiment.

I wanted to do
something for humanity.

And I said to myself,

what do people hate worst
of anything in the world?

They hate to lick
postage stamps.

And so, I have invented
a new and stronger glue.

But with six delicious flavors.

Beef stew, liver and onions,

ham, lamb, veal
and vegetable plate.

Professor, the
secretaries of America

will erect you a statue.

Thank you.

Mr. Kent, would
you do the honors?

Why, thank you very much.

I might as well. I haven't
had anything to eat all day.

You ready?

Yes, please.


How was it?

Delicious. Just like
mother used to make.

Oh, it was the
old-fashioned beef stew.

I was afraid for a minute
it had too much salt.

Wonderful. Come with me.

You ready?



Nancy, are you all right?

I... I think so.

How 'bout you, boy?

I'm still in one piece. Good.

If that counts.

Uncle Oscar. Oh.

Did you come
through this all right?

Oh, my. Oh.

I think something
must've gone wrong.

[CHUCKLES] Is that
your considered opinion?

Oh, dear. Some
extraordinary chain reaction

that I hadn't counted on.

Oh, now I'm going
to have to build

this whole thing over
again from scratch,

just so I can
trace the difficulty.

Thank goodness Skyler
remembers what I taught him.


Skyler. Oh, Skyler!


Oh, thank heaven.

He hasn't even
lost a tail feather.

Professor, you
couldn't have had more

than half a drop of solution
on that stamp, right?

Well, less than that.
But why does it matter?

I think I see what Jimmy's
getting at, professor.

By accident, you
seem to have invented

one of the most powerful
explosives ever known.

And all I wanted
to do was to invent

the most delicious
glue ever known.

Well, I'm not sure why,

but I figure this must
be a historic moment.

So, uh, turn around
and hold it, huh?

Turn around?

Yes. Excuse me, dear.

It may be quite some time
before you can use that.


Because unless I'm wrong,

the government is going to
want to keep this top secret.

Uncle Oscar's mistake
can be very valuable.

In fact, I fully intend
to go to the authorities.

Come on, uncle.

I think you better
go take a nap.

Nancy, go away.

Not gonna take a nap at all.

I'm going out in the park,
with Skyler, like I always do.


Well, now, come on, Skyler.

You and I are going to
have to start all over again.


Why were you calling the
federal security commission?

All right, I'll tell you.

A local professor
invented a new kind of glue,

which blew up right in his face.

If you don't tell me the truth,
I'll find out some other way.

All right, bye.

Ooh, I'm sorry, Ms. Lane.

Look at this.

Oh, yes, it's the
picture you took of us

in the professor's lab.

What about it?

Remember that window in the lab?

The one that opened
on the outside stairwell.

Take a good look.

Oh, yes.

Two people looking
in that window.

Looks like we
weren't the only ones

who saw the big mistake.

Then you weren't kidding
about that exploding glue.

I wish I were, Lois.

Then I wouldn't be worried
about those two faces.


Oh, the answer's
got to be some place.

I'm going to find it if it
takes me the rest of my life.

After all, the way it is now,

a person goes to mail a letter,

boom, they're blown to bits.

Blown to bits, blown to bits.




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Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk.


Uh, please, I-I...

I wouldn't want you to think
for a moment that it was...

The bird.

He must've learned that
whistle from somebody.

I assure you, I have no idea
where he picks up such things.

It might not be a bad
idea if you'd find out.

Mind if I sit down?

Well, no.

Isn't he cute?

birdie, pretty birdie.

QUINN: He's just
feathers, after all.


Professor, am I
interrupting something?

Oh, Clark. Clark Kent.

That's right.

Uh, I want you to meet, uh...?

Dorothy. Dorothy Manners.


My pleasure, Ms. Manners.

And of course you know Skyler.

Oh, naturally.

Oh, Ms. Manners,
would you forgive me

if I borrowed the
professor for a moment?

I have a personal
message for him.

Of course not.

Thank you.

Who is she?

I never saw her
before in my entire life.

And if it hadn't
been for that Skyler,

if he'd have
minded his own bi...

What's the matter? I'm not sure.

You remember that
picture Jimmy took?

[WHISPERS] Nice...

What on earth would she be
doing outside my lab window?

Maybe you can find out.

Go on back to that bench.

She'll probably
try and pump you.

Let her.

Yeah, give me a
chance too to tell Skyler

what sort of a woman
he's taken up with.

Mr. Kent!

She's gone!

The bird. I forgot
all about him.

Oh, Skyler. Skyler?

It's all right.


Do you know what?

I bet you if she knew that
Skyler knew the formula,

she would have taken him.

You're right, professor.

Chalk up a lucky
break for our side.

You better go back to the lab.

Jimmy's already
there, with Nancy.

Yeah, okay. Where are you going?

Back to the office.

I'm waiting to hear from
security commission.

They ought to tell us something.

Yes. Well, goodbye.

Oh. My, I'm tired.

I... Oh.




Uh, let's go home,
Skyler. Let's go home.


Kill the umpire,
kill the umpire.

DOROTHY: Stop squawking or
I'll put you back in the handbag.

Come on, give, give!

Formula, chemicals.

Get him, giving a
bird the third degree.

I suppose you could do better?

I was only supposed
to get the bird,

not guarantee him to talk.

Come on, pal. The
sooner you talk,

the sooner you'll
get something to eat.

Sure, Skyler,

he'll take you out for a
nice hot-beef sandwich.

That's what I need, wisecracks.

My scientific mind
is not amused.

I would hate to
report to our superiors

that you have resorted
to practical jokes.

I tell you, doc, this bird
can fill in the formula.

I won't know what it
means, but you will.

So far, all I've heard is,

"Kill the umpire,"
"Hit the deck"

and, uh, two choruses
of "Yankee Doodle."


If I can't make this
pinhead monster talk,

I know who can.

Come on!


You know, two years I
spent working out on paper

what it takes less
than two hours to do.

I think it was getting in
the vitamins that threw me.

I'd say it threw all of us.



And now, with a
little help from Skyler,

I'll be able to go back,
recreate the original experiment

and, in that way,
find out my mistake.

Skyler's been awfully quiet,
hasn't he, Uncle Oscar?

He should be, after the
way he carried on in the park.



I seem to be picking
up things from him.

What does he charge for lessons?


Now, for the formula.


Skyler, this is no time to sulk.


Jeepers, what if he forgot?


But suppose he has?


There'd be no way to
complete the formula.

No wonder he's not talking.

This isn't Skyler!

What is it, professor?

QUINN: You know
that woman in the park,

she switched birds on me.

Yes, the one I have
here is an imposter.

Are you sure?

QUINN: Absolutely.

It's the difference in the eyes.

You know, Skyler's eyes
were sort of a soft pale blue.

This one's are sort
of a muddy brown.

Oh, yes, that's right.

And, uh, I... No, I...



Mr. Kent, eh?

That's right.

And if he can get in
touch with Superman,

you don't stand a chance.


Speck, let's beat it.

I don't wanna get
tangled up with him.

I think the professor can
help us outwit Superman...

can't you, professor?


Ms. Lane. Where are the others?

What others? There's
nobody else here.

Well, when did you get here?

Just a few minutes ago.

There was nobody
home, so I came in

and started looking around.

I don't understand how
they could've gotten away.

Unless it was a trick

and they weren't here
at all in the first place.

Well, how who got
away? What trick?

Oh, never mind, Ms. Lane.
We can't do any more good here.

I guess you'd better
get back to your office.

If you don't tell me
what this is all about,

I'll get it out of
Clark some way.

Come on, you two. Over there.

A very well-equipped
room, professor.

You think so?

For nuclear experiments.

Thank you, thank you.

I'm referring, of
course, to the lead walls.

They keep the gamma rays in.

And Superman's vision out.

But, uh, how come the
sliding-wall business?

Oh, you see, before I retired,

I used to use that
room extensively.

I didn't want anyone to know
what kind of work I was doing.

But we knew, professor.

That's why we thought
it logical to assume

that this latest
experiment of yours

was of the same nature.

Yeah. I was
attempting to make glue.

We are only interested in
the explosive that resulted.

So if you will be kind enough

to reproduce another
batch of the same substance.

He doesn't really think I would?

Do you? Mm-hm.

We sure do, professor.

Unless you want something
to happen to these kids.

Pardon me.

Clark, I just talked
to Superman,

and something
terrible has happened.

Yes, yes. I know
all about it, Lois.

You do? How?

Oh, uh, Superman told me.

Well, what does he
intend to do about it?

What can he do about it?

He doesn't know
any more than I do.

Which is?

Which is that we have
these two faces in the window

about whom we know
nothing, absolutely nothing.

No names or anything else.

Oh, that's just great.
And in the meantime...

And in the mean...

And in the meantime, I
just remembered something

the good professor
told me in the park.

Come on.

Now, professor, all we
need is this vital segment

of the formula to fill in here.

So get that bird to
talking, professor.

We don't have all day.
And I mean right now.

All right, Skyler.

I guess we'll have to
give 'em the formula.




If this is some
sort of a joke...

Skyler's a very
good judge of looks

and a very bad
judge of character.

Hey, I resent that.

He better come up with the
right answer this time, professor,

or it's goodbye to the kids.

Oh, no. All right.

Skyler, just this once, please?



CO2 plus, uh...

Awk, one liter
manganese acetate.


Soluble catalyst.


Zinc oxide, awk.

Saved by the bell.

Would you kindly tell me

What you expected to
find in the public park?

Or did you just
feel like a stroll?


Oh, thank you, Clark. But I
have two dozen of my own.

No. The professor said she'd
dropped her handkerchief.

But he was so
immersed in his work,

it probably didn't register.

Then that belongs to the
mysterious lady bird watcher.



Oh, Clark, look. It's initialed.


That's right.

It isn't much to go on,
Lois, but at least it's a lead.

You've got the formula,
and you've got a sample.

Now, I wish you would just
get out and leave us alone.

I will have to take
this to our superiors

and show them a controlled
percussion demonstration.

And all I can say, professor,

is it better go boom.

What shall we do with them?

You take care of
the chemistry, doc.

I take care of the details.



Come on, get in there.

Oh, no, really.

With the door shut
and the ventilator fan off,

I figure the air should
last about an hour.

Where you going with that thing?

I think he's kind of cute.

You'd think anything was
cute that whistled at you.

Come on, let's go.

Well, at least the light
isn't on the same circuit

with the fan and the door.

That's a big help.

Now we can watch
each other not breathing.

I almost have it.

What, uncle, a way out?

No, the mistake in the formula.


I'm sorry, Mr. Kent.

The commission is
doing everything it can.

You've looked through
our files yourself,

and my men are checking
every possible lead.

All we can do is
just sit and wait.

Well, I've never felt
so helpless in my life.

Clark, if Superman's helpless,

there's certainly nothing
you can do about it.

Please, uncle,

what good will it do to try
to correct your mistake now?

But, Nancy, my
dear, I must know.

I just must know.

Professor, professor, I got
it. That sprinkling system.

QUINN: Well, very fine, Jimmy,

except that none
of us are on fire.

Yeah, but if there were a fire,
the heat would melt the cap.

It would set off the sprinkler
system... and the fire alarm.

You're right.

JIMMY: Have you got a match?

QUINN: A match?
Oh, I don't smoke.

Yes, thank you, dear.

You're wonderful!
Give me a boost.

Up there? Well,
now, wait a minute.

Here. Whoa.


Listen, listen!

Oh, well, that's very fine

except that nobody
knows this room is here.

And they'll go the
lab, looking for a fire.

They won't find one. They'll
think it's a short circuit.

And this whole room
will fill up with water.

Oh, why was I born so clever?!



What? Where?

At Quinn's house?

There's been a fire
at Quinn's house.

Well, at least
something's happening.

Well, come on. Huh?

There's nothing I can do now,

and if it's already happened,

there's no sense in my going.

You two go ahead.
Old, reliable Clark.

Well, I'm glad there's
one man around here.

You were right about
that fire alarm, professor.

They turned it off without
even suspecting we were here.

Yes, yes, of course.




Superman, you're
a sight for wet eyes.

NANCY: We couldn't
have lasted much longer.


There you go, Uncle Oscar.


Are you all right?
Nothing to worry about?

I've got it. I've
got it! The formula!

You see, two of the chemicals

react on each other
after a given time.

And somehow the other
chemicals aid in this reaction,

a hundred-fold or more.

And that's why we got
such a big explosion.

Well, how long does
this reaction take?

Well, it depends
on the quantity.

But this, I do know.

Before the mixture explodes,
it will begin to bubble.




Oh, good heavens.

There's no time
to get rid of it.

We'll all be blown to bits.


Oh, if you hadn't smothered
the force inside of you,

the whole neighborhood
would've been blown to bits.

But what about the other
beaker, the one they took?

Well, that has a
larger amount in it.

But the reaction will
take a little bit longer.

But when it does,



When do we eat? When do we eat?


When do we eat? When do we eat?

Well, come on, come on.

Bubble, bubble,
toil and trouble.

Come on. Yes.


I guess he must've
escaped and flown home.

It's a little late to
do us any good now.

SKYLER: Eldorado, Eldorado.

Oh, at least he picked up
a new word in his travels.

A new word?

Yeah, Eldorado. He
never said that before.

Eldorado. That's what they
call that old ghost town upstate.

That's right, Jimmy.

It isn't much of a chance,
but we'll have to take it.


As soon as our superiors arrive,

we'll fly across the border.

It's about time.

Speaking of flying,

I'll get even with you
for letting that bird loose.

I'm not gonna have somebody else

whistling at you all the time.


What's that?

Look, bubbles!

You're the scientist.
Tell us what it means.

Oh, no, not again.

Look, you're not worth saving.

But run for your lives. This
may explode any minute.


Why did you save us?

I don't know
myself. But I do know

I'm not going to
save you from the law.

Come on.

Well, Mr. Kent,

while you were sitting here
mooning, Superman saved the day.

Oh, fine, then I
can write the story.

You write the story?

Well, I like that.

Awk, hello, Superman.
Hello, Superman.


Professor, until now,

I thought Skyler was
a pretty smart bird.

But when he starts to
call Clark Superman...


He just whistled at you, Lois.

What do you think
of his mind now?



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