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Superman (1978) Poster

(1978)

Alternate Versions

The current DVD, in addition to containing the 2000 restored director's cut, has 2 deleted scenes (both of Lex' babies, and seen in the TV edits in their original context), and alternate audio scoring for 8 sequences (including an unreleased alternate pop version of Margot Kidder's "Can You Read My Mind"). The DVD has the 2000 restoration with the following additions / expansions (all of which were seen in previous expanded television versions):
  • Some added dialogue when Jor-El is talking with the council.


  • The council calls an "Executioner" to hunt and kill Jor-El to keep the rocket from launching.


  • Noel Neill and Kirk Alyn's speaking cameos on the train.


  • Little girl sees Clark running faster than train, parents call her Lois Lane.


  • In the kitchen Martha Kent takes out a box of Cheerios.


  • After rescuing Air Force One Superman returns to Fortress of Solitude and has a conversation with his father.


  • In Metropolis when the news of Superman comes out, Clark is a spectator. A stranger (played by an uncredited Richard Donner) comments "that'll be the day when a man can fly"; Clark grins.


  • While trying to get Luthor's lair Superman goes through machine guns, flame throwers, ice machines with Luthor taunting on loudspeaker.


  • The sequence with the Girl Scouts.


In a 1980's ABC-TV version of the film, when Superman is trying to get to Lex's underground hideout, he is subjected to machine gun fire, a giant blow torch, and is frozen in ice. Much of this footage was used in Superman II, in the scene where Superman's powers are stripped away by the molecule chamber in the Fortress of Solitude. Lex Luthor plays the piano in several scenes.
In the ABC version, after Superman saves Lois at the end and flies off, he's seen rescuing Miss Tessmacher from the lions' den where Lex had dropped her in.
In the ABC version, the little girl who sees the teenage Clark running faster than the train is revealed to be Lois Lane, a fact revealed when her parents talk to her by name. This revelation scene is not present in the shorter theatrical release.
The new 151 minutes special edition DVD contains unseen footage, 2 deleted scenes and alternate audio scoring for 8 sequences. The film will be the standard version with the following additions / expansions:
  • Some added dialogue when Jor-el is talking with the council.


  • The council calls a "stormtrooper" guy to prevent launching of Jor-el rocket.


  • Noel Neill and Kirk Alyn cameos on the train.


  • Little girl sees Clark running faster than train, parents call her Lois Lane.


  • After the funeral a long scan of the countryside.


  • In the kitchen Clark eats Cheerios.


  • After rescuing Air Force One Superman returns to fortress of solitude and has a conversation with his father.


  • In Metropolis when the news of Superman comes out, Clark is a spectator. A stranger comments "he can't believe a man can fly"; Clark grins.


  • A longer scene with Otis in the tunnel.


  • While trying to get Luthor's lair Superman goes through machine guns, flame throwers, ice machines with Luthor taunting on loudspeaker.


The cameos of Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill were cut from the original release prints for good reason: Their characters' prepubescent little girl sees high school student Clark Kent running alongside the train. Cut dialogue identifies the child as Lois Lane, but it is painfully obvious that Margot Kidder, who plays the grown-up Lois, is older than Christopher Reeve, portraying the adult Clark/Superman, not younger.
The Special Edition DVD version of Superman also includes the scene of the the ABC-TV version where the spaceship bringing Kal-El to Earth passes by the Phantom Zone prisoners.
Due to the extreme deterioration of the original sound effects track, the film's sound effects were recreated for the DVD release. The music and dialogue tracks were unaffected.
Two longer versions have been released since the original... one on ABC in 1981 at approximately 182 minutes, and the other on KCOP in Los Angeles in 1994 at approximately 188 minutes. Both contain footage and music not used in the theatrical version, including extensions of the destruction of Krypton, Smallville, Fortress of Solitude, Daily Planet and earthquake scenes. Three longer versions have been released since the original...one is a 188-minute "Salkind International Extended Cut", originally prepared for worldwide television distribution by Alexander Salkind's company (this was done to get more money on the sales of the film for television, Alexander Salkind charged stations and networks by the minute in order to earn profit), this version is commonly called the "KCOP Version" because its first known domestic airing was on L.A. station KCOP in 1994; another a 182-minute version aired on ABC (derived from the earlier Alexander Salkind television cut), and the final a digitally restored 151-minute director's cut prepared by director Richard Donner in 2000 (and released the following year on DVD). The extended versions contain footage and music not used in the theatrical version, but the television edits have more material than the 2000 restoration, including extensions of the destruction of Krypton, Smallville, Fortress of Solitude, Daily Planet and earthquake scenes.
Only in the ABC version are young Lois Lane and her father seen in the train. In the ABC version, Kirk Alyn (the original screen Superman) and Noel Neill (as Lois Lane's parents) have their speaking roles restored. 'Ned Beatty'S walk down the street is longer.
Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" is heard during the Smallville sequence in most TV and video prints, but the extended television versions replaces it with original source music by John Williams.
The DVD also featured an extended closing credit sequence, with longer music, crediting those who worked on the restoration, and omitting the final "Next Year: Superman II (1980)" tag. The 2000 restoration also featured an extended closing credit sequence, with extended tracked music from the same end title score, crediting those who worked on the restoration, and thereby omitting the final "Next Year: Superman II (1980)" tag.
When Superman was released to VHS in 1980 by WCI Home Video, it was whittled down from 143 minutes, to 127 minutes. This was done because of the lack of longer playing tapes at the time. Warner Bros. did not release a full length, unedited copy of the movie until 1983 when a 144 minute cut of the film was issued. This edited VHS version is sixteen minutes shorter than the original 1978 Theatrical release (at 143 min.) and twenty-four minutes shorter than the 2001 Director's Cut (at 151 min.). No actual material was cut from this release, instead scenes with no dialogue and the opening credits were sped up. Another major difference included the deletion of the film's closing credits. We see the copyright notice from the original closing credits followed by a Chryon version of the credits from a trailer for the film, followed by the "Next Year: Superman II (1980)" tag (from the original closing credits) and then a copyright disclaimer.

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Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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