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Superman (1978)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  15 December 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 105,602 users   Metascore: 86/100
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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.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 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 | 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)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kirk Alyn:  Lois Lane's father. Alyn played Superman in Superman (1948). He appears when a child (Lois Lane) sees Clark Kent running extremely fast from a train window. See more »


When young Clark is "running" next to the train, his feet are not touching the ground. See more »


[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

Next Year: "Superman II" See more »


Referenced in Hawk the Slayer (1980) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Serousley Needs Updating!
3 February 2004 | by (Long Island New York) – See all my reviews

Now i know im going to catch alot of flack on this one, but so be it. Superman the movie is one of those films when you first see it as a kid and really are incapable of understanding more then the flashy images before you, you think "cool" but when watching it as an adult, feel almost embarassed. Not to say its a bad film, no, trust me, ive seen my share of those too, and this film is not one of them, its just that to me has many flaws such as the production design. I mean, come on, krypton looked more like a Hoth from star wars then what it suppost to look like. And whats the deal with all the plastic crystals? i mean talk about a bad concept way over used. Also, another problem i have with the film is marlon brando as jor el and gene hackman as lex luthor. they seemed completly out of place here and to me, ruined the film. I mean i couldent take the charator serousley, due to the horrable design of everything krypon, and the fact that i thought jor el would break out and do the godfather at any moment. Not to say his acting skills are bad, and he is a wonderful actor, its just that his name was used to sell tickets more then to sell the charator.

Now on to lex luthor. First off, again, an actor hired for his name sake and not for the charator. I mean, gene hackman is by far one of the all time great actors, but him as luthor, please. First off, luthor is bald. Hackman had a full head of hair in this film, and to me felt way off bases. Also, Luthor was a industrial man, meaning he ran companys and robbed the goverment and his own employees to fund his evil plots. Whats with him being this "greatest criminal mastermind" bull? I wanted to see lex luthor atop a lexcorp skyscraper building in a lavish office ploting how he will kill the one thing that stands in his way, superman. But, no, we are given him in an abandon train station lavished out! Now, granted it is a comic book movie, but one cant help to think that if lex luthor wanted to keep his secrete lair a secrete, how would he manage to smuggle all the lavish items in it down to the subway without attracting attention? Also, another problem is Ottis. Common now, lex luthor is a genious, why would he ever conceve of having a fool such as ottis work for him? is'nt that the ideal way of GETTING CAUGHT?

Now i move on to the rest of the cast. I felt jimmy olsen was dorked up a bit, but being how he was represented in the comics of THAT TIME, i could let it slide, also, with lois lane, i found her anoying and stuck up more then foxy and fiesty, and i was wondeing what in the world could clark kent ever see in her!

But i do nodd that revees as superman was pure genus. He is the man of steel. He completly captures the role and in my view, blinds the many faults with the film. I can see why casting superman today is so difficult.

Anyway, back to the film. Its not that i hate this film. I mean it does have elements i enjoy, but the faults outway them. The shere lack of logic for starters. If your going to build a fortress of solitude, ya dont make it stand out with crystal spikes and such in a artic wasteland. And you dont try to pass off new york as metropolis. No, you use elements of new york, but you dont put in the statue of liberty and the world trade center into shots. And space is'nt an acid trip from the 60's people. common! I got no problems with fantasy films, as long as they appear they could happen, given the element. I mean, look at lord of the rings or matrix. You know it couldent possably happen, yet you completly buy into them because how there presented. Now, granted superman was made 1978 and the special effects werent the super effects we have today, and it was based on a comic book, but people, think logicaly.

Overall, i cant recomend this film. Its a shame really, cause i actuley liked it at one point, then i learned to walk and talk and think!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The ending EXPLAINED scientifically, and dang it it works.... sort of jt-294
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Anyone who saw this when it first came out back in 1978... petekrug17
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4 Hour Longer Version (KCOP) International Cut Lawr77-35
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