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An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.



(creator: Superman), (creator: Superman) | 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
1st Elder
Jeff East ...


Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, young Clark discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor, while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The movie that makes a legend come to life. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for peril, some mild sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Superman: The Movie  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)


$134,218,018 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1980 video release) | (2000 restoration) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Guy Hamilton was originally hired to direct this movie, which was scheduled to shoot in Italy. When production moved to England for financial reasons, Hamilton backed out. He was a tax exile, meaning he could only be in England for 30 days out of every year. See more »


The pilot of Air Force One describes their position as "Ten miles - that's Ten-er miles" from the airport. The scriptwriters have incorrectly extended the aviation custom of pronouncing the number "nine" as "niner" to avoid possible confusion with the German word "nein", which means "no". The -r ending isn't added to any numbers not ending in 9. In addition, for distances of more than one digit, the digits are pronounced individually: "One-Zero Miles", not "Ten Miles". Also, the position report would be quite unnecessary. Air Traffic Control would be tracking the President's plane on radar every moment of the trip and the pilot should know that. See more »


[first lines]
Boy: In the decade of the 1930s, even the great city of Metropolis was not spared the ravages of the worldwide depression. In times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public was the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper whose reputation for clarity and truth had become the symbol for hope in the city of Metropolis...
See more »

Crazy Credits

the credits rise from bottom to top with a 3D like haze behind them, to appear as though they are flying. See more »


Rock Around the Clock
Written by Max Freedman and James E. Myers
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets
(Theatrical version only)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A brilliant Epic for the generations!!
29 September 2005 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This is it ladies and 200th review. I thought long and hard about what I would dedicate my 200th review to...would it be something new and flashy, a movie that I knew was a knockout, something more personal to me?? One of my faves perhaps?? I finally decided on this film.

Since I was a little boy I have loved Superman. Even now many years later I am still fascinated by the character, I mean he has withstood 6 decades of changes and world upheaval and still one of the best selling heroes of our time. Without further ado let's talk about Richard Donner's big screen epic Superman: The Movie. Thanks for reading my reviews!! Superman: The Movie MUST be judged not by today's standards but by the standards set for films of the late seventies/early eighties. That's not to say that it doesn't stand up for itself even almost 3 decades later but it's true brilliance may be lost if you don't remember when and where it was made. Brilliant Director Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon series, The Goonies, and stocks of brilliant TV series) I think really knows what the audience wants out of characters. I'm sure he tread on thin ice when it came to bringing the infamous Man of Steel to the big screen having only comics and TV and radio before him to base it on. Donner took everything Superman stood for, truth, justice, American Way, fighting evil, his estrangement from his home planet, his love for Lois Lane and put it all into this film.

Nothing is left out of Superman, we have the origins including an in depth look into Krypton (which at the time would have been a first.) We see Kal-El's parents and their conflicts, we are given a small introduction to Clark Kent's youth and his coming of age and then everything else we know and love about the Superman legend. Everything from "The Phantom Zone" to Lois and Clark falling in love. I always thought the casting for Superman was it's one downfall but after watching the film again I really see that it wasn't such an error in judgment.

The late and incredible Christopher Reeve truly was built for Superman. He embodied the character and created two completely different people to the point where you believed a pair of glasses and a different part in the hair was the perfect alter ego. His Clark Kent was goofy but pure and honest but completely different from the strength and character of Superman. His Superman was tall, larger than life, strong, honest, too good to be true. He was perfect and he looked both parts perfectly too and he will forever be my The Superman of film. Margot Kidder pretty much had Lois Lane nailed. I always thought she was a little old for the role and wasn't sure she looked the part but the personality was perfect, strong, forceful, pig headed, leap before you look kinda gal. And the chemistry with Reeve's Superman was very good. They established a fast but very bonding romance between the two characters. The supporting cast was also well done...Jackie Cooper was great as Perry White, Marc McClure was perfectly cast as the young, naive Jimmy Olsen, and Marlon Brando was an awesome screen presence for Jor-El and considering the billing he got for his brief role it's good that he had that pull. Gene Hackman is a brilliant actor, I've loved him in many roles...he was not right for Lex Luthor or perhaps even his character wasn't written right. Although diabolical and evil it was done in a comedic way right down to the doofus sidekick which was more cartoonish than it was big budget film. You just didn't truly feel the tension and arch rivalry between Reeve and Hackman's characters. The only other beef I can find with Superman is the overlooking of some key elements of reality. Yes I know Superman must leave reality at the door and that's easy to do with such a brilliant beautifully done Epic but the whole concept of Superman reversing time by making the earth spin backwards, or turning into Superman and having his "human" clothes literally vanish into thin air...these are things that the writers should have looked more closely into. But I think they focused so much of their time on making sure other elements were in place that they let these things slide and that's okay but it's such a minor thing but still with such perfection in other areas they stand out.

Special effects like this had never been seen before and they are still stunning. Watching Superman fly and the explosions and earthquake and his miracle powers are just wonderful and will forever be in the mind of movie goers. This is such a brilliant film and put a stamp on the genre of superheroes that every other film will try to live up to. For the record I am thrilled and excited about the upcoming Bryan Singer Superman film, I think he will take everything that was great about this original and utilize it to continue on the epic. Bravo to him!! Superman: The Movie also had and still has one of the most haunting, beautiful and stunning scores ever created. The music became his anthem no matter where Superman is. This is one of the best films ever, and will always be a classic especially to me!! 9/10

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This was the essence of Superman xDracavelix
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