One hundred years ago today, the second but arguably most famous pre-Christopher Reeve era Superman was born. George Reeves didn't rocket in from outerspace, landing like a meteorite in the backyard of some kindly adoptive farm couple in Kansas. He was born the normal way a few hours to the northeast in Iowa. But by the time he was 38, the struggling movie actor who had had minor roles in two Best Picture winners (Gone With the Wind and From Here to Eternity) was a national celebrity in Superman's trademark blue longjohns with red underpants... albeit in black and white on the telly.
Remember when Ben Affleck played him in Hollywoodland (2006)?
I hadn't heard people mention this movie in years (here's a good review of it from Erik Lundegaard) until they announced that the sequel to Man of Steel would co-star Ben Affleck as Batman. At that point, pictures of Ben in the Supes suit resurfaced with a vengeance online.
I always thought George Reeves deserved a better biopic than the one he got in Hollywoodland. Not that it was a terrible movie but you have to focus to make an impression and Reeves somewhat controversial death (suicide or murder?) made that impossible. In there somewhere was surely a potentially universal and moving story about bad luck, personal demons and thwarted potential via typecasting (or as non-actors know it: being pigeonholed or underestimated). But the movie, if I recall it correctly, flattened out while trying to also be a costume drama about the tumultuous 50s in showbiz (when TV first truly freaked the movies out) and a romantic drama and a movie about Detective Adrien Brody (huh?). Focus, people!
I'm sympathetic to focus problems as anyone who reads the blog for more than a week will realize. So my mind is already wandering away but not before stopping at this pressing poll of imaginary consequence!