Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 3, Episode 2 - The Talking Clue - full transcript

Inspector Henderson's son, Ray, has a keen hobby: collecting various sounds on spools of tape. He has a lion's roar, a cannon firing, even the sound of bullets bouncing off Superman's chest. Meanwhile, Henderson is searching for a dangerous criminal known as Muscles McGurk. He is shocked and dismayed to find that Ray may be the gangster's accomplice. It seems that McGurk has been making use of Ray's sound recordings for his own nefarious purposes. After Ray is kidnapped by McGurk, it's up to Clark Kent to interpret a cryptic clue the young man left behind; and then it's up to Superman to rescue him from the gunman's clutches.

Adventures of Superman.

Faster 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.



All right, number
one. Uh, step forward.

What's your name, buddy?

Claude James.

Speak up. We can't hear you.

I said, Claude James.

Where do you live, Claude?

On cloud nine.

Don't get smart, mister.

Where do you live?

Hotel on Eighth Street.

Don't remember the name.

Were you in the
First Continental Bank

last Tuesday afternoon, Claude?

What would I be doin' there?

Tryin' to make a withdrawal
with a gun in your hand.

Not me.

I always deal with the
Metropolis First National.

All right, step back.


What's your name, buddy?

Which one?

Well, how many do you have?


Let's just have one.

Lou. Lou Chambers.

Okay, Lou. Step back.


Your name, mister,

and let's have it so
people can hear it.

Glad to help out
any time, inspector.

Hi, Dad. Hello, son.

Uh, Kent, this is my son, Ray.

Yes, we met years
ago. How are you, Ray?

Fine, Mr. Kent.

Must be somethin' big
up to bring you around.

Ah, that attempted bank stickup.

I needed a few extras
to fill in on the lineup.

Say, you certainly
acted the part.

What was that business
about having several names?

Oh, just something
to say, I guess.

Well, all I've got to say is
that Claude James is the man.

Claude and Muscles McGurk.

Well, you can't find McGurk.

And the bank teller won't
identify James, is that right?

That in a nutshell is
the situation, I'm afraid.


Why, Bill, I didn't know

you'd taken up
voice culture, old boy.


That's my tape recorder.

Dad promised I could
make some recordings

of the Teletype machine.

I've the only son in captivity

whose hobby is
collecting sounds.

Sounds? You mean, instead
of butterflies or stamps,

you collect sounds?

It's a super hobby.

Listen, I'll bet even you
can't guess what this one is.


Well, it sounds like shots.

But, I-I can't figure out what
those pings are in between.

It's the sound of bullets
bouncing off of Superman's body.

Where did you get that?

I took him along
in the squad car.

It just happened that
Superman ended up helped us

catch a couple of
crooks that night.

That kind of stuff is
pretty easy to get actually.

The hard things are the
real short, quick sounds.

You mean, like single words?

[CHUCKLES] He gets them all.

He's got about a million
boxes full of sounds

on pieces of tape
about that long.

If you spliced
them all together,

it might be pretty
confusing, huh?

Well, you mind if
I get set up here

just in case the
machine goes off?

No, go right ahead.


If I could only locate
Muscles McGurk.

Is he really that
slippery, Bill?

Well, we think he
and Claude James

have been pulling jobs
around here for years.

But we can't nail them down.


Come in.

I'm just taking him to
the lockup, Inspector.

But the chief wanted me
to deliver a complete file

on this character.

The officer record
said that you had it.

That's right, I was
studying it last night.

That's what I like to hear:
a cop doing his homework.

Someday it'll pay off, Claude.

File's in my safe.

Excuse me, son.


Here you are. Thank you, sir.

Does it say in there how
I kicked my grandmother

down the stairs when
I was two years old?

Take him away. Come on.

He doesn't seem very worried.

Why should he be, when
he's in the driver's seat?


What is it?

They've captured McGurk.

Oh, boy!

And I got it recorded
just as it came over.

And I'd better get it recorded
in the four-star edition.

Excuse me.

Well, you better
run it on page one

and hope it turns out
to be something big.

I'll keep after it, chief.

Should be more details
by the next edition.

Sorry we're late, chief.

Just got word you
wanted to see us.

And here's the glue you
wanted from the supply r-room.


Mr. Olsen,

I've lived a
reasonably good life.

I've given money to the poor,

taken care of my mother,

kept my shoes polished
and my nose clean.

And now I'd like to ask you

just one simple little question.

What's the question?

What have I done
to deserve you?!

You're just lucky, I guess.


Maybe we'd better come
back a different time.

Uh, say, next year.

Chief, I'll be glad to
pay for the pot of glue.

No, thank you. No, thank you.

Get out!

Get out! Uh, Jimmy.


I don't think he likes
to be called chief.

Now, come on back to my office,

and I'll explain your
assignment to you.

What's the matter with you?

Old maid. Old maid.

Is that what we're gonna do?

Sit around here all
day, playin' old maid?

I like it.

But it don't look right.

Listen, McGurk.

I've been to a lot
of movies, see.

And I ain't never seen a
couple of hoodlums like us

sittin' around playin' old maid.

Okay, so we'll play
something different.

Jack straws?

Maybe you'd like to go out

and have a quick
game of hopscotch.

I don't know what's
eatin' you, Claude?

I'll tell you what's eatin' me,

that 5000 bucks we
had to put up for bail.

That's all the dough we own.

You're a very difficult guy.

You don't like old maid.

You don't like jack straws.

Tell me,

how would you like makin'
a chump out of a cop?

An inspector-type cop?

You mean like, uh,
Inspector Henderson?


This is the type of
game I could really go for.


You want it, you get it.


But how you gonna make
a chump out of Henderson?

Gonna have help.

His own son is gonna help us.

I keep it in my room here

when I'm not out
making recordings.

I don't know what this has
to do with McGurk case.

It has nothing at all to
do with the McGurk case.

Mr. Kent thought Ray's hobby
of collecting unusual noises

would make a good
feature story. I agree.

Sit down, I'll play you some
of the things that I've got.

I keep all my sounds
catalogued in here.

Now, this first
one is pretty easy.


I know what that is.

It's Perry White in a bad mood.

Jimmy and our editor had
a little run-in a while ago.

Where on Earth did
you get a lion roaring?

The zoo, at feeding time.

Try this one.


Wait, Superman, he's coming!


Sounded so real, I
forgot it was a recording.

That's one of my favorites,
Superman coming to Earth.

Here's one.


Sounds like my alarm
going off in the morning.

Mm. The bell in the firehouse.

Nope. That's the burglar alarm

on Marshal's Credit
Jewelry House.

I got the idea 'cause
Dad's doing some research

on the whole city alarm system.

Now, you'll have to listen
real close for this one.

One tick of a watch?

Or a feather falling
on a haystack?

You've heard them
talk about being so quiet

you can hear a pin drop?

That's the sound
of the pin dropping.

You mean, your tape recorder
is actually that sensitive?

Sure. Why, I can even pick
up sounds that we can't hear.


That's easy, it's a door knock.

Only that one came
from the real door.

Excuse me.

Front door was
open, so I came in.

I'm the guy that called
you earlier, remember, kid?

Oh, sure. I'd like you to
meet some friends of mine...

Never mind.

I'd like to make this
little transaction alone.

You heard the man, Jim. Come on.

Okay, kid. Get me the tape.

The latest one you've
been workin' on.

It's right over here.

Here you are.


Here's 100 bucks, kid.

Remember, mum's the word.

You don't have to
worry about a thing.

Thanks a lot.

It's a pleasure.

I'm sorry for the interruption.

No harm done. You
know, I think, uh,

this may turn out to be a
bigger story than I thought.

What might be?

Your hobby, of course.
Let's hear some more.

All right.

Now, let's face it, Bill.

Ever since I wrote
that McGurk story,

the Chief's been on my
neck for the follow-up.

The D.A.'s working on it now.

But we can't revoke the bail
or submit it to the grand jury

until we have enough evidence.

And I don't think
we're gonna get it.

But why can't you
do...? [PHONE RINGS]

Inspector Henderson?


Yeah, uh, thanks.

What's up, Bill?

There's a patrolman on duty

at the secret
weapons laboratory.

He thinks there's
some prowlers inside.

How could anybody break in there

without the alarm
going off here?

I don't know, but I better
go over there. Want to come?

No, I'll see you
there later. Okay.



I guess that's all we
can get our mitts on.

Grab a couple and let's blow.

We could turn this burg
inside out with these, McGurk.

I'll go out and wire
that, uh, burglar alarm.

You see what else you can find.

All right.


Isn't it a bit late
for you to be up?

Stay back, Superman.

This ain't no ordinary gun.

Look, uh, I'll show you.

I don't wanna hurt anybody,
Superman, not even you.

But I will if I have to.

I warned ya.

It's gotta hurt you.

It's gotta, it can
melt cold steel.

I guess you'll keep until
Inspector Henderson gets here.

But someone has a
lot of explaining to do.

What am I supposed to do, Kent?

Even with Claude James in jail,

there've been five big
robberies in the last five days.

And each of these places,
plus the weapons lab,

has an alarm system
connected directly here

at headquarters, right? Right.

And each of these systems
has been short-circuited

so it wouldn't
go off, am I right?

Right. And that's
what I can't understand.

Well, there's only one
possible explanation.

Whoever's pullin' these jobs

knows the weak
points of each system.

Therefore, there has to be an
information leak somewhere.

All right, Kent.

I've gotta tell somebody,
so it might as well be you.

Our whole network of
burglar alarms is pretty old.

So a couple of weeks ago,

I got hold of all
the wiring plans.

I studied each one,

looking for possible places
the lines could be shorted,

particularly from the outside.

Right, you did study
electronics, didn't you?

Exactly, so I know
what I'm talking about.

Well, I found a
couple of weak spots.

used my son's tape recorder

to dictate my report
and suggestions.

I had a secretary type it
out and send it to the mayor.

The plans themselves
and a copy of the report

are in that safe there.

Are you sure
they're still there?

I checked an hour
ago, still there.

But you did put the report
on tape, didn't you, Bill?

Sure, what's the
matter with that?

Well, I don't like to say this,

but I'm afraid I have your
information leak for you.

Well, all right. Let's have it.

I don't like doing
this to you, Bill.

I don't like it a little bit.

Hello, son.

Hi, Dad.

What's this all about?

I don't know.

You better explain, Clark.

Well, this morning, Lois
happened to remember

something that ties in.

I'll let her explain.

The other day,
Jimmy and I saw Ray

sell a man a spool
of tape for $100.

What's that got to do with it?

The report was on
tape, remember? Yeah?

Well, the man that bought
it was Muscles McGurk.


I didn't know he was McGurk.

What was on the tape
you sold to McGurk?

Just sounds, that's all.

I told you to erase the tape

as soon as I was
through with it.

I did, Dad. Honest.

I wanna believe you, son,
but you make it awfully hard.

Why would McGurk
be interested in sounds?

I didn't know it was McGurk.

Look, I got a phone call.

A guy said he heard about my
hobby and wanted to buy a tape.

What for?

He said he was having
a party and he wanted

to use my sounds for some
new sort of a guessing game.

It doesn't make sense, son.

How would McGurk even
know about your hobby?

I don't...

Maybe he saw it in the paper?
The article Miss Lane wrote.

But the article didn't come
out till the next day, Ray.

Dad, I know how it sounds.

But you have to believe me.

I didn't sell you out.

You better go along home, son.

I'll talk to you later.


I, uh... I guess I
better go too, Bill.

I'm sorry.


Come in.

Oh, hello, Bill.

Hello, Clark.

I've been expecting you.

I know you're gonna
blame me for a lot of things.

I only wish there were
some other way to say it,

but all I can say
is that I'm sorry.

Oh, that's not
why I came, Clark.

I'm a cop, you're a reporter.
We both have our jobs to do.

And we both have to hurt
people at times we'd rather not.

Thanks for letting
me off the hook.

Look out there, Bill.

Pretty big town, isn't it?

Too big at times.

Well, what I'm trying to say is,

somebody gave Muscles McGurk

some very valuable
information. All right.

For the present it looks
like it might've been Ray.

But there are over a
million people out there.

And it could've
been any one of 'em.

Yeah, but which one?

That's what we've
gotta find out.

Meanwhile, the important
thing is that you realize

it couldn't have been Ray.

[CHUCKLES] No son of yours

could go wrong,
Bill, you know that.

I appreciate you saying
that, Clark, I really do.

Of course, in my
heart I know it too.

I've got to believe it.

Having trouble believing it?

That's my trouble.

In my business
I've seen it happen

to lots better men than I am.

Aw, there aren't any
better men than you are, Bill,

and I don't think there's a
better kid than Ray, either.

But the kid could've gotten
himself in a jam, you know?

And even if he is a good kid,
he could've made a mistake.

Anybody can make a mistake.

That's when you gotta
really stand behind him.

I intend to.

Ray could be the
wrongest kid in the world,

but he's still my kid.

But perhaps it's been my fault.

Maybe I failed him.


Well, it hasn't been easy
trying to raise the boy

without a mother.

But I've tried, Clark.

I've tried. And
if I have failed...

You haven't failed him.
It's all gonna work out.

I-I'm sure of it.

Well, I hope so.

So in the meantime,

I've suspended
myself from the force.

You've done what?

That's what I came to tell you.

There's a lot of
things a cop can do,

but arresting his own
son isn't one of them.



Get up, kid.

We're goin' for a little ride.

A ride? Where?

I guess it won't
hurt to tell ya.

It's a place called Echo
Canyon. Nice and quiet.

You'll like it, kid,
if you behave.

I ain't goin' anywhere
with you, McGurk.

So you know my name now, huh?

Then you should
know I'm not afraid

to use this on your old man.

You win.

I've caused him enough
trouble as it is already.

I'd sure like to know
what this is all about.

Where are we goin' and why?

Sure, I'll tell you, kid.

But not with that
machine running.

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

Then I'll tell ya.

You and me are gonna
take that machine of yours,

and we're gonna go
to a nice quiet place

with all the tapes.

Then you're gonna play
me every one of them things.

What good's that gonna do you?

Well, if you've got
anything on them tapes

as valuable as what
was on the first one,

I wanna know about it.

There's nothin' on
those tapes but sounds.

Sure, and that's all that
there was on the first one.

Now, I'll take the machine,

you pick up the
rest of the stuff.

Come on. Let's get outta here.

Come on, kid, we
haven't got all day.

Hey, what are you
doin' over there?

Some of these
tape ends are loose.

You don't want spools
unwinding all over town, do ya?

Okay, okay, but let's get goin'.

When will I be back?

You shouldn't worry
about when, kid,

you should worry about if.

Now, grab your coat.
You might need it.


Kent speaking.

Oh, hello, Bill.


I'm sorry.

Of course, I'll be right over.

The boy's gone, Clark.

It doesn't mean he's
gone for good, Bill.

His tape recorder's gone.

Yes, but he took that
with him a lot, didn't he?

Sure, but his whole
collection of sounds is gone.

They were his most
prized possession.

He wouldn't take them unless
he were leaving for good.

It does look like he's run away.

Yeah, go ahead. Finish it.

It also makes him
look ten times guiltier.

He didn't leave any
notes, I've looked around.

Well, just a minute.
He did leave something.

What's that?

Just two little pieces
of tape recording.

Hey, they don't
tell us anything.

Well, not yet, but
let's give it a chance.

Look here, Bill. See the edges?

They're all ragged, like
they were torn off in a hurry.

You think he left
them deliberately?

There's one way to find out.

We'll go to the office and
use the chief's tape recorder.

Then I'll splice these
onto a new spool and...

And we'll hope
we hear something.

What are we standing
here for? Let's go.

For heaven's sakes, Clark,

you thread that tape like
a man threads a needle.

It's just about through, Lois.

There, I think that's got it.

I thread the two little pieces
on the beginning of a new reel.

Well, turn it on, Clark,
and let's get it over with.


Jeepers, it sounds to me like...

Quiet, you young idiot.


Hello. Hello.

Well, it was worth a try.
Even if it came to nothing.

Well, I don't know, Bill.

When a hunch is all you
got left, I say work on it.

Do you still think those
sounds mean something?

An explosion and
somebody saying, "Hello."

I don't get it.

Let's try it again.



Hello. Hello.


Ah, it's no use.
We're up a blind alley.


Lois, get your pad and pencil.

Now, I want you to write
down just what everyone says.

Jim, I think I'll
start with you.

What did those
sounds mean to you?

I told you.

An explosion and
somebody saying, "Hello."

Just a voice.


I'll go along with
Olsen on the first one.

But the second one, I'd
say that Ray was trying

to get an echo rather
than just a voice.

And I think you're
right about the echo,

but the first sounded
more like thunder to me.


Sounded more like a cannon.


Let's see what we've got.

Explosion, explosion.
Thunder, cannon,

voice, echo. echo.

Well, where do we go from here?

Well, let's try putting
any two together.

And remember, they
may be backwards.

Explosion echo.

Echo thunder.

Thunder voice.

Voice cannon.

Echo cannon.

Voice... What did you say, Jim?

Echo cannon.

Clark, that sounds
like Echo Canyon.

And that's where Muscles
McGurk had a hideout 10 years ago.

Now this is making sense.
Why don't you all go there?

What are you gonna do?

I'll go to the jail and check
with McGurk's partner.

But never mind about
me, I'll see you later. Go on.


And what was that one?

Happens to be a
parakeet squawking.

One more smart remark,
and I'm gonna get mad.

Here's one you'll enjoy.


Hey, what did I tell you
about being a wise guy?

It's just the sound of a jail
door closing, Mr. McGurk.

Well, it ain't
gonna close on me.

Jail door closing.


Hey, what's that
noise I hear outside?

Oh, I don't know.

It's probably the wind.

No, no.

I've heard that sound before.

Sounds like something flying.

That's it. That's it.

It's Superman.

He's flying over the canyon.

Superman? But how could he...?

I don't know, but I
ain't waitin' to find out.

Too bad this is just a tape.

I could sure use Superman now.



He can't do this to me.

Oh, I wouldn't say that.
Would you, McGurk?

That kid with his sounds.

Some hobby.

You better find a
hobby for yourself.

You're gonna have a
lot of time on your hands.

I bet that reporter Clark Kent
had somethin' to do with this.

I'll bet he did.

Now, if you remember,

this microphone
was on top of this safe

when Inspector
Henderson had to open it.

I just meant to leave
it there for a minute.

Nobody's blaming
you for anything, son.

We've done too
much of that already.

This is the original tape
that McGurk bought from Ray.



Did you hear the tumblers click?

Four, two, seven.

I don't hear anything.

How can you?

Oh, uh, Bill and I listened to
that earlier at McGurk's hideout

with the doctor's
stethoscope we found there.

I see, they listened to the
tape with the stethoscope,

counted the clicks, that
gave them the combination.

And Claude
dressed like a janitor,

got into the office and
photographed the documents.

They sure came close
to getting away with it.

It taught me a lesson.

And I don't mean
about police work either.

Forget it, Dad. I have.

Incidentally, Mr. Kent,

the next time you get
in touch with Superman,

tell him I said thanks.

I think he's already
had his thanks, Ray.


NARRATOR: Don't miss
the next thrill-packed episode

in the amazing
Adventures of Superman.

Superman is based
on the original character

appearing in Superman magazine.

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