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Superman (1978)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  15 December 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 116,619 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 480 user | 161 critic | 11 from

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)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
1st Elder


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Action | Drama | Sci-Fi

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?


Richard Lester agreed to come on board as he was still owed money from the Salkinds for working on The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974). See more »


When Superman first grabs the wing of Air Force One, his "S" is backwards, revealing a flipped shot. 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

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 »


Referenced in Face Eater (2008) See more »


Only You
Written by Buck Ram
Performed by The Platters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Christopher Reeve Will Be Missed
11 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I thought I would pay tribute to one of Christopher's Reeve's best role ever; and that role is Superman. As many comic book fans follow, the film tells the story of Clark Kent who was born on Krypton and was transported into Earth after the planet exploded and loses his real family. As a new family finds him in the field going home, the couple take Clark as their own son and raise him. What the couple know about Clark is that he has a gift to do things twice as fast than any other ordinary human being; but as time goes by, Clark loses his father of a stroke and decides to take a life of his own as he works for the Metropoltian Newspaper, he meets Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and he has a crush on her, even saving the woman from being killed. Just like any comic book movie, there is always a villain; with Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor in a campy role along with Ned Beatty as Otis, the sycophant with no sense, these two plan to destroy the world with nuclear weapons. Christopher Reeve doesn't get into the Superman Costume until 45 minutes into the film in which he saves Lois in one scene, busts bad guys and becomes and icon to the public. Superman is the finest comic book movie, and I only wish Christopher Reeve's family the best.

52 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Kryptonite: how did Lex know? dollvalley
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