Superman Screenshot of the Day
Who is this greasy, leather-jacketed punk? And what's he doing staring at the old lady peeling potaters?
Why, it's Clark Kent, age 12 (Jeffrey Silver), in the origin episode of the TV series, “The Adventures of Superman,” from 1952, having a heart-to-heart with Ma Kent (Frances Morris).
In this version, Ma is Sarah, Pa is Eben (Tom Fadden), but Pa is mostly comic relief, which is why the advice tends to come from Ma. It's she who has “the talk” with him:
Clark: Mom, why am I different from all the other boys? … Why can I do things that nobody else can do?
Ma: Why land sakes alive….
Clark: Today in school, for instance. We were playing baseball and the ball got lost. Nobody could find it. But all I had to do was look around and there it was behind a rock.
Ma: You’ve got good eyes is all.
Clark: No, ma, it’s more than just good eyes. I didn’t see the ball behind the rock. I saw it right through the rock. My eyes were an x-ray machine. Like the rock wasn’t even there.
Ma: Son, your pa and me have been meaning to have a talk with ya. … I’ll tell you why likely you’re different from other boys. And why you gotta be extra careful …
Just 12, Clark takes the news with suprising equanimity.
Narrator: The boy listened. And he understood.
Frances Morris was born in 1908, debuted in 1929's “Thunder,” starring Lon Chaney and last appeared in an episode of “The Virginian” in 1964. She lived until 2003.
Tom Fadden, who played Uncle Ira Lentz in the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and Ben Miller in mulitple episodes of “Petticoat Junction,” was born in 1895, and made his last movie, “Empire of the Ants,” in 1977. He died in 1980.
Jeffrey Silver's last role was in the 1961 Tony Curtis movie “The Outsider,” about Ira Hayes, the Native American who helped raise the flag at Iwo Jima.