Starring George Reeves as Superman and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane, Superman and the Mole Men was the first theatrical feature film based on the Superman characters. Produced by Barney Sarecky, directed by Lee Sholem and with the original screenplay by Richard Fielding, it was shot in 12 days on a studio back lot. Fifty-eight minutes long, it served as a trial run for the syndicated TV series Adventures of Superman, for which it became a two-part episode titled The Unknown People.
Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent and Lois Lane are sent to the small town of Silsby for the inauguration of the world's deepest oil well. Unbeknownst to the drillers, however, the drill shaft has penetrated the underground home of the "Mole Men", a race of small, furry (though bald-headed) beings. The Mole Men come up through the shaft at night to explore the surface.
Their peculiar appearance, plus the fact that everything they touch then becomes phosphorescent and glows in the dark, scares the townspeople into forming an angry mob, led by the violent Luke Benson, in order to kill the "monsters". Superman is the only one able to resolve the conflict, saving one of the creatures from falling into the towns water supply and helping the other after it's been shot by taking it to hospital. Later a doctor reveals that unless the creature undergoes surgery to remove the bullet, it will die. Clark Kent is forced to assist the doctor when the nurse refuses to out of fear of the creature. Soon after Benson's mob show up at the hospital demanding to have the creature turned over to them, leading Superman to stand guard outside the hospital. Lois Lane stands at Supermans side, until a shot is fired from the mob narrowly missing Lois. Superman sends her inside and begins to remove the mob of their guns, sending the mob away. Later several more mole creatures emerge from the drill shaft, this time bearing a weapon. They make their way to the hospital. Benson and his mob see the creatures and Benson goes after them alone, but when the creatures see him they use their weapon and fire on him. Superman sees this and quickly jumps in front of the blast, saving Bensons life, which Superman says is "More than you deserve!". He gets the wounded creature and returns him and his companions to the shaft, which they soon destroy so no-one can come up or down ever again.