Adventures of Superman (1952–1958): Season 6, Episode 4 - The Mysterious Cube - full transcript

Inspector Henderson believes that Paul Barton, a criminal who's guilty of practically every crime known who disappeared nearly seven years ago, is hiding inside a cube-like structure which is made of some material that is impenetrable. He goes to the Planet to air his concern. It seems that by law if a person's been missing for seven years -- which period will be reached in 24 hours -- he is to be declared legally dead. And a dead man can't be arrested. So Clark turns into Superman and tries to get into the cube, but not even he can get in. So he goes to a scientist for help. Barton's brother, who's been keeping an eye on things for Barton, is worried that Superman might find a way in, so he grabs Lois and Jimmy. The scientist postulates that Superman might be able to alter his molecules so that he would be able to pass through anything solid; but he is warned that since the cube is made of an unknown material, he might not get out again. When Superman tries to get through, he learns of Lois and Jimmy, so he gets out before going all the way in. And when Barton's brother tells Superman to stay away until the seven-year mark is reached, he decides to try another ploy to get Barton.

Adventures of Superman!


Faster 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.


It's no use, inspector.

I've been three days trying
to burn through this thing.

It won't even blister.

Why don't you give
up, Henderson?

First, you bulldozed
it with a tractor.

When that didn't work, you
tried to blow it up with TNT.

Then you got an
Army tank destroyer

to fire point-blank with
armor-piercing shells,

and they bounced off
without making a dent.

[SCOFFS] And now this.

Don't you ever know
when you're licked?

I know this much,
Mr. Steve Barton.

If I can get inside this cube,
I'll find your brother, Paul.

No, you won't.

Because you won't
get inside. Nobody will.

Your brother did. He's
hiding in there and you know it.

All I can tell you is that, uh,

Paul built it here
seven years ago,

just before he disappeared.
Isn't that right, Jody?

Well, yeah. If he's inside it,

you sure couldn't
prove it by me.

You might as well
load your stuff up.

Yes, sir.

Well, Kent, I suppose
you'll be writing

another front-page
story for the Daily Planet:

"Read all about it.

Police again fail to break
into the mysterious cube."

Oh, now, Bill,
you know very well

that Perry White
publishes The Planet.

I just write the news.

Yeah, I'm gonna have
a little talk with him.

I don't want him to make a
monkey of me with the headlines.

You don't need headlines
to do that, Henderson.

Let's get out of here. [LAUGHS]



Get the stethophone.

Sure, boss.

You know, I ain't
never been able

to dope out how
this gadget works.

Well, it works on the order

of a doctor's stethoscope. Oh.

That's what they
call it a stethophone.

It can pick up sound
through any thickness of metal

and amplify it electronically.

Oh, so that's it.

But it also can transmit
sound the same way.

Oh... I still don't get it.

No, I don't suppose
you ever will.

Paul, this is Steve.

Can you hear me?

STEVE: Paul, I've
got to talk to you.

What's the matter, Steve?
Anything wrong out there?

Well, the police were
here again today.

This time, they tried to cut
through with an acetylene torch.

Heh. Fat chance.

Is that all you wanted
to talk to me about?

I thought maybe it was
something important.

I wanted to make sure
that you were okay.

After all, you've only
got one more day to go.

I'd hate anything
to happen to you

when you're so near
the end of your stretch.

I'm fine. Nothing's
gonna happen to me.

Now, quit worrying.

Almost noon.

Twenty-four hours and
five minutes from now

and I'll be as free as a bird.

[CHUCKLES] A dead bird.

And won't that make
headlines in the Daily Planet!


This isn't for
publication, Mr. White,

but that cube's got
me running in circles.

You can't get in or out.

And yet, I'll stake
my reputation

that Paul Barton's
been hiding in that thing

ever since he disappeared
seven years ago.

Oh, but golly, inspector,
that's like saying

that he put himself in
solitary confinement.


The trouble, Olsen, is that
you don't think like a criminal.

Do you? Yes, of
course I... Well...

I mean to say, I...

I understand
criminal psychology.

This fella Barton's been guilty
of every crime in the book,

including murder, right?

You can say that again.

Well, if he's
arrested and tried,

he'll be condemned to die.

To a man on that spot,
seven years in solitary

is a cheap price to
pay for life in freedom.

Freedom? Yes, Lois,

when a person's
missing for seven years,

the law has no choice.

And Barton's brother,
Steve, told us quite frankly

at noon tomorrow, he's gonna
have Paul declared legally dead.

And we can't arrest a dead man,

no matter what he
did while he was alive.

I see,

but how could he stay sealed
up in a cube for seven years?

What could he eat?
How could he breathe?

Oh, I'm sure he must have had

some kind of a
scientific apparatus

that would purify and,
uh, recirculate the air.

And I'm also sure he
had a very good supply

of concentrated food
tablets and some vitamin pills.

Well, now, come to think of it,

just how would a man who's
been locked up seven years

keep his sanity?

Willpower, chief.

Don't forget, this
is a master criminal

with his whole future at stake.

Why, just the mere fact

of getting off scot-free
would keep him sane.

And you mean to tell me

if this Paul Barton stays
in that thing one more day,

the law can't touch him?

Unless we can get him
out by noon tomorrow,

he'll be legally free.

And how can we get him
out when we can't get in?

Well, inspector, are you sure

you've tried everything
on that steel cube?

Everything, Mr. White,

and we're not
even sure it is steel.

If it is, it's a tougher alloy

than the world has
ever known before.

Why, it's so tough
that I don't think

even Superman
could smash through it.


Yeah, chief, Superman's
the guy for this job.

Don't you think so,
M...? Mr. Kent, where...?

He's gone.

Gone where?

Oh, who knows.

He's the most annoying,
unpredictable man...

All right. All right.
Never mind. Never mind.

Thing for us to do is
to figure out some way

to get in contact with Superman.


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What's the matter, Jody?

[CHOKING] Look. Behind you.

Behind you. Look. Superman.

That's right, Mr. Barton. What's
wrong with your friend there?

I told you, boss. I'm
getting out of here.

Oh, shut up and sit down.

There's nothing to be afraid of.

I wouldn't be too sure of that.

You can't bluff me,
Superman. What do you want?

I want your brother, Paul.

Paul? Haven't you heard?

He disappeared seven years
ago and hasn't been seen since.

I know, because he's
sealed inside that cube.

Oh, is he really?

Don't tell me you can see
him with your x-ray vision.


Maybe you need glasses,
Superman. Can't you see through?

No, I can't
understand it either.

What's that cube made of?

Why don't you find
out for yourself?

I understand those
x-ray eyes of yours

can burn through anything.

Oh, you're slipping, old boy.

It's not even hot.

I asked you a direct
question, Barton.

What's that cube made of?

Well, unfortunately, I
never knew the formula.

It was perfected by
a scientist who, uh,

isn't with us anymore.

Oh, what a pity. He
had a splendid mind.

Imagine. Inventing a metal
that can even resist Superman.

Well, we'll just see about that.


A new experience, eh, Superman?

Well, I don't mind telling you

those walls are
over three feet thick.

In fact, uh, I don't mind
telling you something else.

Paul is inside the cube.

Oh, so you admit it, huh?

Ix-nay, boss, ix-nay.

You're spillin' too much.

Why, not at all, Jody.

Do you realize we're the
first criminals in history

who've ever got the
best of Superman?

And by this time tomorrow,

Paul will be out of
there with a clean slate.

And there's not one
thing you can do about it.

All I can say is,

if your brother can
get out of that cube,

I'll certainly find
a way to get in

and it'll be before
noon tomorrow.



Well, that's the
last we'll see of him.

Jody, Yeah?

Bring me the stethophone.

Boss, will you explain to me
just once more how this works?

Well, it's on the
order of a doc... Yeah.

No, we've been
through that. Never mind.


Paul, can you hear me?

STEVE: I wanna
ask you something.


Go ahead. What is it?

Are you sure you can get
out of there by tomorrow noon?

Is the acid still okay?

Sure, I'm sure.

Just as good as it was when I
brought it in seven years ago.

That's all I wanted to
hear. Be seeing you, Paul.

Everything all right, boss?

Everything's fine. [SIGHS]

And yet, I keep thinking
what Superman said.

You mean, about him
busting into the cube

and getting Mr. Paul
before noon tomorrow?

Eh, he can't do it.

You just seen what
happened to him when he tried.

Yeah, I know.

But I still think we need a
little insurance against it.


You mean, there's companies
that sell policies against Superman?

This will be a different
kind of insurance, Jody.

Go get the car.

We're going downtown to
the Daily Planet building.


Ah, professor.


How are you, sir?
It's been a long time.

Too long, my friend, too long.

I've missed our little talks.
What brings you here now?

Well, professor,
I need your help.

I have a very serious problem.

You need my help?

[CHUCKLES] You're joking.

No, I wish I were.

I've just encountered
a secret metal alloy.

And I can't break through
it. I can't burn through it.

I can't even see through it.

[SCOFFS] That's impossible.

No, I... I wish it were.

I'm depending on you for
help to try and penetrate it.

Oh, Miss Lane. Mr. Olsen.

I hope you'll
forgive my boldness,

but aren't you both good
friends of Superman?

Well, we have contact
with him from time to time.

Contacts? Why, the
three of us are like that.

Oh, that's what I
was hoping you'd say.

May I ask you where
you're going now?

We're on our 3:00 coffee break.

And we just have 15
minutes, so if you don't mind.

Oh, have coffee
with me. Be my guest.

Well, that's very nice of you,
but we don't even know you.

That's right, so you don't.

My friend here
will introduce us.

His name is Gunn.

Thirty-Eight Caliber Gunn.

I simply insist that you
have coffee with me.

I take cream and sugar in mine.


If you had the ability

to rearrange the
molecules of your own body,

merge and mesh them

with the alloy's molecules...

Well, you know how
water soaks through

blotting paper no
matter how thick it is.

Yes, yes, now, now,
just a minute, professor.

Let me try to understand this.

You mean that I might be able

to just pass through a wall?

Hm. Have you ever tried it?

No. No, I can't say as I have.

I've crashed
through a lot of walls,

but I've never just
passed through one.

Try it.

Of course, if it
is at all possible,

it, uh, will require an
extraordinary degree

of concentration and will.

Yes, I know.

A challenge truly
worthy of Superman.



By George, you did it!

Can you hear me?

Yes. I'm on the outside.

I'll try coming through again.

Here you are,
professor, you were right.

Theoretically, it was possible

for a person of your
remarkable abilities. But I-I just...

Oh, now, come, professor.

You didn't think I was
going to make it, did you?

Well, for a moment,
neither did I.

I'm completely flabbergasted,

but of course, as
a... As a scientist,

completely delighted.

Tell me, what was it like?

Well, sir, it's... It's
difficult to describe.

At first, it seemed as
though I ceased to exist,

and then I became
part of the wall

but always with a conscious
effort of will to get through.

Amazing. Truly amazing.

And was it difficult?

Well, it wasn't easy.

However, we do know
one thing now for sure:

I can get into that steel cube.

But don't forget one thing.

This wall is... Is concrete,

comparatively porous.

In other words,

so you mean that once
I got into the steel wall,

I might not be able

to reassemble my
molecular structure?

I should say that was
a definite possibility.


You might

remain forever

in that mysterious metal.

Well, now, professor,

that's just a chance I'm
going to have to take.

Thank you so much for
your kindness and help.

Good luck, Superman.

is just for practice.


There's really
nothing to be afraid of.

If your friend
Superman is a good boy,

nothing's going
to happen to you.

But if he puts his nose
where it doesn't belong,


You see this basin of acid...

and this pellet?

If the pellet should
drop in the basin of acid,

it will fill the room
with lethal gas

that works in seconds.

Let me show you.

Now, as I was saying,
you're both perfectly safe

unless Superman does
something I don't like.

If he does,

we'll pull this string
from outside the house.

And this time,

nobody will catch
the little pellet.

All right, Jody, let's go.



Well, well. Look
who's here again.

I told you I'd be back.

And now I'm going after
your brother inside that cube.

Yeah, you wanna bet?

I wouldn't advise either
one of you to try and stop me.

Why should we try to stop you?

The cube will take care of that.

Let's sit down, Jody.

This ought to be
very entertaining.



Boss. Boss, he done it.

He just oozed through.

Get over by the string.

Paul. Paul. Superman's
coming on in there.


Aw, you must be
out of your mind.

I don't see any sign of him.

STEVE: He's coming
after you, Paul.

He melted into the wall
as if it soaked him up.

If he shows up in there,

tell him we've got Lois
Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

If anything happens to you,
something will happen to them.

I think maybe he's
stopped already.

PAUL: Hey, wouldn't it be
funny if he got stuck in the wall

and never could get out?


I knew you couldn't make it.
Now, scram and don't come back.

Otherwise, Jody
will pull that string,

and it will be all up for
Olsen and Miss Lane.

All right. I guess
you win this one.

We win, period.

If you come back here
before tomorrow noon,

it'll be just too bad for them.

Well, if I agree
to do as you ask,

will you let them go?

The minute my brother,
Paul, is legally clear,

we'll turn them loose,
unharmed. Is that a deal?

I guess it has to be.

Oh, and by the way, when
I say noon, I mean noon.

Paul's got a clock that runs
on Naval Observatory time

by radio from Arlington.

So don't try any tricks.

Boss, look. Look, he's walking.

JODY: He's too shook up to fly.



Believe me, admiral,
this is an emergency,

or I wouldn't dream of
asking you to do such a thing.

This Paul Barton is not
only a master criminal.

He's an enemy of our country.
He's even guilty of espionage.

I understand, but even
my authority has its limits.

That's why I relayed your
request to the White House.


Maybe that's our answer now.


Yes, sir. Oh, yes,
Mr. President.

Yes, sir. I see.

Well, very good,
sir, I'll tell him.

Thank you, Mr. President.

He says, "If Superman
wants something done,

we'll do it!"

Paul, this is Steve,
can you hear me?

Today's the big day.

It's time for me to
go down to court

and have you
declared legally dead.

STEVE: Everything's
all set for 12:00 sharp.

That's when the judge will
be forced to sign the papers.

Okay. Have you seen
any more of Superman?

No, and I don't expect to.
He's licked and he knows it.

Okay, Steve. Uh, just a minute.

Now, this acid takes
a half-hour to work.

I'll start using it at 11:35,

and at five minutes past noon

I'll walk out of
here a free man.

Swell. I'll be seeing you, Paul.

Throw this away now, Jody.
We won't be needing it anymore.

We won't?

No. The next time
we talk to my brother,

it will be face to face.


Oh, and, Jody. Yeah?

The minute Paul
comes out of the cube,

you pull that string on
Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane.



Paul. Paul, it's
good to see you.

Jody. Jody, it's
good to be free.

Oh. Aw, man.

Paul Barton,
you're under arrest.

Oh, I'm afraid you're
mistaken, inspector.

You've got the wrong man.

I'm not Paul Barton.

Ever since 12:00 noon,

Paul Barton has
been legally dead.

It's now five minutes past noon,

and the law says
you can't touch me.

That's where you're wrong.

It's exactly five
minutes before noon,

and you're going to jail.

Five minutes before noon? Mm-hm.

[CHUCKLES] That's impossible.

My clock couldn't
be running that slow.

It runs on Naval Observatory
time by radio from Arlington.

Superman found that out.


He had Arlington
speed up its time signals.

Since yesterday, your
clock has been gaining

a fraction of a
second every minute.

It's now 10 minutes fast.

You... You mean...?

I mean you walked out of
that cube 10 minutes too soon.

Instead of being legally
dead, you're still legally alive

and you'll pay for your crimes.

But my brother, Steve?

We picked him up
on his way to court.

He's going to prison, too,
and so is Jody Malone.

Uh, n-no, no, please don't.

I can't stand being
cooped up. I...

To think I spent seven
long years in this cube

so I could be free.

And the whole scheme was
ruined in a short 10 minutes.

At least I have
one satisfaction.

Superman may have beaten me,

but he couldn't save Lois
Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

Wrong again, Barton.

I had them out of that
house over an hour ago.


On your way.

Golly, Superman, you did it.

Even if you had to
use the timetable trick

instead of your superstrength.

Jimmy, sometimes brains
are better than brawn.

Yes, but when you
tried to go through

that steel wall and got stuck...

Stuck? Why, Miss
Lane, I was just fooling.

But it was the only way I
could think of to save you both.

You mean, you could have
gone on through if you wanted to?



And to think we doubted you.

Wait till Clark Kent
hears about this.

JIMMY: Boy, will he be
sorry he didn't see it happen.

Kent. We've gotta
get back to the Planet

with the story so we can
scoop him. Come on, let's go.

Take a look at that, Miss Lane.

I'm afraid you're too late
to scoop Kent on this story.

He phoned it in through
Inspector Henderson

hours before it happened.

We had an extra on the
street at the very moment

Barton was being arrested.

But golly, Mr. Kent, how did
you find out about it in advance?

I don't understand it.

I think I do.
Superman's the answer.

Eh, who do you mean?

Well, you have a
private pipeline to him

is what I mean, haven't you?

Now, Miss Lane,
you know very well

a good reporter never
reveals his sources.


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

in the amazing
Adventures of Superman.

Superman is based
on the original character

appearing Superman magazine.