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Superman (1978)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  15 December 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 116,763 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 482 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)

Superman (1978) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 17 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?


A scene in which Jor-El explains to Superman why he must keep his secret identity was added for the Director's Cut. See more »


Director Richard Donner is reflected in the Daily Planet revolving door when Clark and Lois are leaving (just after the "swell" exchange). 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

Cheerios by General Mills See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Warriors of Virtue (2009) See more »


Give a Little Bit
Music and Lyrics by Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson
Performed by Supertramp
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

And then, Christopher Reeve became even more of a superhero in real life.
9 March 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Obviously, everyone knows Superman, so I'll talk about a few aspects. It was sort of a shock to everyone when Christopher Reeve got paralyzed, seeing as to how we associated him with the man of steel. But his tireless crusade for people with spinal cord injuries showed him to be a sort of superhero in his own right.

As Superman's father Jor-El, Marlon Brando seems subdued, but still shows why he was one of the greatest actors of all time (as it was, he and Reeve died within four months of each other). As villain Lex Luthor, Gene Hackman makes a really interesting character: vile, but kinda cool, he's the bad guy who we all want to be deep down. Margot Kidder also has a great role as the title character's self-standing hubby Lois Lane, and Ned Beatty is really funny as Luthor's goofy sidekick Otis. Also starring is Marc McClure as Jimmy Olson.

I remember a "Saturday Night Live" episode where they imagine what would have happened had Superman been raised in Germany: they conclude that the man of steel - played by Dan Aykroyd in that skit - would have joined the Nazis and been called Ubermann. As it was, Friedrich Nietzsche theorized an "Ubermensch".

All in all, "Superman" is an inimitable superhero flick. I agree with a previous reviewer that "Batman" and "Spiderman" owe a lot to this movie. Truly great.

10 of 14 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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