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George Reeves' Superman on DVD


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264 replies to this topic

#1 of 265 OFFLINE   Richard Stammer

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Posted November 29 2003 - 09:00 AM

OK, How come I very rarely, if ever, see anyone on the Home Theater Forum mention the need for the original Superman series with George Reeves on DVD? The need is discussed regularly on George Reeves' websites like Jim Nolt's THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE. What is the problem with Warner's? Boomers like myself are just waiting to spend our money on season sets of this show. How about other Home Theater Forum members?

#2 of 265 OFFLINE   Paul Drake

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Posted November 29 2003 - 09:19 AM

Hi,

I put this in the "predictions for 2004 TV Box Sets" thread. The only basis I have for this is that:

1. 2004 is the 65th anniversary of the 1st Superman comic.

2. the "Smallville" sets apparently have done well which keeps the character popular

3. the overall excellent job Warners is doing with getting their product out.

I have no doubt that this still fun to watch show will eventually be released even if it's not next year. I just hope it happends while Noel Neill, Phyllis Coates, and Jack Larson are still able to contribute to any supplemental material.

You know, it's not just boomers who would buy this show. I used to watch this as a kid in the early '70's. I don't know if it's still on the schedule, but TV Land and Goodlife were showing this show within the last year.

There were only about 100 episodes made (the later seasons were only 13 episodes) so the entire run could be done in 3 or 4 box sets.

#3 of 265 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted November 29 2003 - 10:22 AM

I firmly want this one, too. I tend to agree that it's probably on Warner's mind, esp. with the anniversary coming up. Superhero releases are definately on their minds.

I frankly think we'd get "Lois & Clark" before we got this one, but there's no reason we couldn't get both in the same year. I wish I knew what was going on with it, but in all honesty I don't.

In another thread I point out that George Reeves showed up on an episode of I Love Lucy - in full Superman gear - during Season 6. I mention there that I'm really hoping that this one makes it onto the S6 release of I.L.L. with no problems. I'm not sure how much that has to do with THIS topic, but I decided to bring it up.
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#4 of 265 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted November 29 2003 - 10:47 AM

Count me in for a COMPLETE set of George Reeves Superman shows!

#5 of 265 OFFLINE   alan halvorson

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Posted November 29 2003 - 11:52 AM

Well - George Reeves wasn't the original Superman. That would be Kirk Alyn in the 1948 movie, Superman. With Noel Neil as Lois Lane! But George Reeves is the original in my mind.

I've always considered George Reeves to be the best Superman. Christopher Reeves was too much of a wimp, both as Clark Kent and Superman, for me. Plus the 50's series had much more majestic theme music, more befitting the character, and despite the cheap special effects, I always believed Superman could fly, whereas I never did in the Chris Reeves films.

So, I'm in for a purchase of the original Superman TV series.
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They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
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#6 of 265 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted November 29 2003 - 12:09 PM

It would be great if WB released both the TV show, serials, and the Max Fleischer/Famous Studios cartoons to DVD.

#7 of 265 OFFLINE   Doug_B

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:15 AM

Hadn't given this series any thought before, but I'm game if it comes out Posted Image

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#8 of 265 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:40 AM

I have never seen this before, so I would jump at the chance of buying this

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#9 of 265 OFFLINE   Jim Moore

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Posted December 01 2003 - 03:47 AM

Something I always found hilarious on that show was when a bad guy would shoot a gun at Superman. He would stand there and let the bullets richochet. After running out of ammo, the villain would then resort to throwing the gun at Superman and Superman would actually duck so as not to get hit by it. That's rich!

#10 of 265 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted December 01 2003 - 04:34 AM

I agree, this is a DVD MUST. There were 104 episodes of the series produced from 1951-1957, the latter half in color, though they didn't start airing until 1953. As this is the 50th anniversary of the series' premiere, it would be really nice to see a new DVD collection of the series.

To date, Warner Home Video has released only eight episodes of the series, on four tapes, two episodes per tape. They also released the original 60-minute pilot film, Superman and the Mole Men, which came out in 1951, complete and unedited since its theatrical release. This would have to be included in the set as well.

In addition, Columbia House has released collector's edition tapes of about 60 percent of the series on video, and the rarely seen episode "Stamp Day for Superman" has been fodder for low-budget VHS tapes from GoodTimes Home Video and other "el cheapo" labels.

I agree, this series DESPERATELY needs a DVD release! In addition to new production features and commentaries from Jack Larson, Noel Neill, and Phyllis Coates, they could include the A&E Biography special on George Reeves, along with any lost outtakes or behind-the-scenes clips that may survive. I know of a few home-grown tapes that contain these lost BTS clips. In addition, they could throw in the Kellogg's promos that Reeves, Larson, and John Hamilton filmed.

On the final set, they could even include Whitney Ellsworth's pilots for Superpup and The Adventures of Superboy as extras, along with the plans for the scuttled Jimmy Olsen spinoff series. According to Larson, they wanted to pull clips from past episodes together with new footage, but Larson wouldn't have any of it, saying it would have cheapened George Reeves' death.

BTW, Christopher Reeve's Superman was no wimp. He is still the man, IMHO.
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"Attention all personnel. Tonight's movie is a holdover from last week and will be shown right after supper, which is also a holdover from last week."

#11 of 265 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted December 01 2003 - 05:47 AM

I heard the early 90's tv series of Superboy is in rights hell. The guy that played Superboy after the first season, Gerard Christopher, sells a few of the episodes on vhs at his site for a lot of money.

www.gerardchristopher.com


ps-He tells a story that he was one of the finalists for the role of Supes/Clark in Lois & Clark. But, they rejected him when they found out he played Superboy.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#12 of 265 OFFLINE   John Sparks

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Posted December 01 2003 - 06:33 AM

They started to release episodes on LD and quit after 4 discs.

On the first disc, they put the first episode(b&w) along with the last episode(color). They also included one of the Fleischer cartoons from the 40's.

During this time, they released "Superman and the Mole Men" by itself, which would mean 5 LD's.

Funny thing, when they released all 17 Fleischer cartoons on LD, the cartoon on the LD with the Superman episodes was much clearer and a better print.

On the "I Love Lucy" volume 4(I think)LD, it has the episode with Reeves, but alas, it's b&w, as was "I Love Lucy" at that time...but it's a classic episode!!!

I remember as a child in the early 50's, tying a large towel to my neck along with red rain boots and jumping off walls. Of course, my mom's constant yelling at me that I was going to kill myslf if I didn't stop still echos in my ears...such memories...count me in. Posted Image
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#13 of 265 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted December 01 2003 - 09:54 AM

I remember the series fondly. I'll buy if they come out.
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#14 of 265 OFFLINE   James Sarno

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Posted December 01 2003 - 11:42 AM

I used to watch the shows when I was a kid and I loved them...I would definitly purchase it if Warner would do a nice box set with all the episodes,including the "Molemen" pilot/movie...

The Fleischer cartoons are excellent,I have all 40 on video...I would like to get a DVD set of the cartoons,but I have only seen one DVD that looks like it would be in a bargin bin...Would be nice to have a difinitive set...

#15 of 265 OFFLINE   Matt Rexer

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Posted December 01 2003 - 03:59 PM

I'd snap these episodes (season sets, of course) up in a second, and I was born 26 years after it premiered.

Sort of on-topic: can anyone tell me which -- if any -- of the various Superman Fleischer cartoon DVDs are safe to buy? I know that many of them have "enhanced" sound FX that completely maul the soundtrack (done so they can copyright their variations of these PD cartoons, I heard). That ain't cool at all.
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#16 of 265 OFFLINE   Rick P

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Posted December 01 2003 - 04:40 PM

I'll take Superman, Lois and Clark *and* Superboy

#17 of 265 OFFLINE   pitchman

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Posted December 01 2003 - 05:52 PM

Quote:
I heard the early 90's tv series of Superboy is in rights hell. The guy that played Superboy after the first season, Gerard Christopher, sells a few of the episodes on vhs at his site for a lot of money.
I may be wrong here, but I think Bill is referring to the 1961 pilot for The Adventures of Superboy, starring Johnny Rockwell as Clark Kent/Superboy.
Quote:
The Fleischer cartoons are excellent,I have all 40 on video...
Are you sure about that number? According to every historical source I have seen, the Fleischer brothers produced 17 Superman cartoons from 1941 to 1943.
Quote:
Sort of on-topic: can anyone tell me which -- if any -- of the various Superman Fleischer cartoon DVDs are safe to buy?
Image Entertainment has issued this twice on DVD. The first release is called The Superman Cartoons of Max & Dave Fleishcer which duplicates the contents and packaging of the earlier Image 2-disc laserdisc release. The DVD includes all 17 Fleischer cartoons, plus a bonus cartoon SNAFUPERMAN produced in 1944 as a special wartime parody of the Fleischer cartoons from Warner Bros. A couple of years after this release, Image reissued the disc with new artwork and a name change (which escapes me at the moment.) I don't know if this is a remastered version or not (I am sure someone here can shed light on that.) In general, the consensus over the years has been that the Image releases are the best ones in terms of overall audio/video quality and the most complete in terms of content.
Gary

#18 of 265 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted December 02 2003 - 12:41 AM

Quote:

I may be wrong here, but I think Bill is referring to the 1961 pilot for The Adventures of Superboy, starring Johnny Rockwell as Clark Kent/Superboy.


That's exactly right, Gary. That's the original Adventures of Superboy pilot which Whitney Ellsworth produced back in 1961. He had written or supervised the writing of 13 scripts for a potential series and filmed only one, "Rajah's Ransom". Johnny Rockwell looked like a smaller scale version of George Reeves, and Smallville looked a little more like Mayberry, to be honest. Fortunately, the series never took flight (no pun intended). But since Ellsworth had intended it to be a replacement for the Adventures of Superman, it would make for an interesting extra on a final season set of the series or could even be put on the first season DVD set of a potential Superboy DVD collection, along with the alternate pilot that was used for that series (basically a little longer and with a couple of added lines, but otherwise the same).
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#19 of 265 OFFLINE   John Sparks

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Posted December 02 2003 - 01:54 AM

The only DVD of the Superman catoons from the 40's to get that is the most complete and has the best sound and picture quality is "The Complete Superman Collection-Diamond Anniversary."

The Complete Superman Collection-Diamond Anniversary
...retired at last...and Ray Harryhausen at my side!!!

 

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#20 of 265 OFFLINE   James Sarno

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Posted December 02 2003 - 08:03 AM

Gary/
Sorry for the misprint...I ment to say...
"All 17 on video"...Thinking..."from the 40's"


Thanks for catching that Posted Image ...


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