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Superman (1978)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  15 December 1978 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 104,915 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 463 user | 155 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Superman (1978)

Superman (1978) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Unable to convince the ruling council of Krypton that their world will destroy itself soon, scientist Jor-El takes drastic measures to preserve the Kryptonian race: He sends his infant son Kal-El to Earth. There, gaining great powers under Earth's yellow sun, he will become a champion of truth and justice. Raised by the Kents, an elderly farm couple, Clark Kent learns that his abilities must be used for good. The adult Clark travels to Metropolis, where he becomes a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet...and a caped wonder whose amazing feats stun the city: Superman! Meanwhile, Lex Luthor, the world's greatest criminal mind, is plotting the greatest real estate swindle of all time. Can't even the Man of Steel stop this nefarious scheme? Written by Gregory A. Sheets <m-sheets2@onu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll believe a man can fly. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Superman: The Movie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$134,218,018 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1980 video release) | (2000 restoration)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black and white photograph of a mustachioed man seen on the table in the background of Lois Lane's apartment when Clark Kent first visits is in fact a gatefold copy of the album "Traffic" (1968) open at a picture of Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi. See more »

Goofs

In some shots the Daily Planet building is the tallest one in its neighborhood. At other times - such as the scene with the helicopter - there are several taller buildings nearby. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jor-El: This is no fantasy - no careless product of wild imagination. No, my friends. These indictments that I have brought to you today, specific charges herein against the individuals. Their acts of treason, their ultimate aim of sedition. These... are matters of undeniable fact. I ask you now to pronounce judgement on those accused.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the first few opening credits, the graphics 'soar' towards the viewer. Following the appearance of the 'S' symbol, they change direction and from the film's title onwards, recede into the distance. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Dunston Checks In (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Around the Clock
(uncredited)
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

 
Miles better than the 2006 disaster!
15 March 2007 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

I had only ever seen the TV version of the original Superman movie until I bought the HD-DVD. So, as you can imagine, on TV it was in hideous pan and scan and with several scenes missing. In reality, I have never seen the 'full' movie until now. And I have to admit, it's far, far superior to Bryan Singer's self-indulgent mess of Superman Returns.

It actually takes quite a while to get going, but there's so much going on that the running time certainly doesn't seem two and a half hours. Richard Donner shot it back to back with Superman II, so there's an extended opening act that establishes the plot of the sequel at the same time.

Anyone who doesn't know the story of Superman must be from another galaxy, but for those people I will give you a quick soundbite. Kal El is the orphan of the planet Krypton, which has recently blown up. He comes to Earth as a baby and lands in Smallville where he is quickly adopted by a farmer and his wife and renamed Clark Kent. His dense molecular structure and his ability to defy Earth's gravity give him advantages over humans and ultimately he becomes...SUPERMAN! But who doesn't already know that?

Clark Kent assumes an exaggerated, clumsy, meek newspaper reporter persona to distance himself from the Superman guise. Somehow everybody, including secret love Lois Lane, falls for it even though the glasses and the hair are all that is different. Hypervillain Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) doesn't take well to the man of steel as he might interfere with his plans for Real Estate Domination (the modern term for World Domination). But does he really think he can win? Hypervillains never know when to be humble.

Just about everything that was terrible about Superman Returns is completely right about this one. The cinematography, the music, the editing, the pacing. I won't call the SFX fake, since it doesn't ever take you out of the film, so I'll just call them 'quaint'. For 1978 they're good and even though they are all done optically it's still better than the CGI crapfest of Singer's interpretation.

Christopher Reeve's ultimate fate does kind of upset me, so it's good to see him in his prime and being made immortal in a way. The cast of this film does have a lot of big names. Along with the huge scope and spectacle, such a large cast adds to the epic feel of it. Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Margot Kidder, Terence Stamp and Glenn Ford just seem like a far more dynamic bunch of actors than Kate Bosworth and Kal Penn. Don't you think?

It's been 29 years since this film was released and people still make a big fuss over it today. In 29 years, will be still be talking about Superman Returns? Outside of ridicule, I think not.


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Glaring and obvious plot holes tgb-4
Anyone who saw this when it first came out back in 1978... petekrug17
Superman Movies: The Ultimate ranking Kelex_the_robot
7.3? For this film? mpitts-3
Why was Jeff East used as young Clark? jon7057
4 Hour Longer Version (KCOP) International Cut Lawr77-35
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