Top 5000
Up 962 this week

Superman II (1980)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  19 June 1981 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 61,826 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 257 user | 106 critic | 11 from

Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to marry Lois, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.


, (uncredited)


(character created by: Superman), (character created by: Superman), 5 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 20 Oct 2012
a list of 43 titles
created 18 Nov 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 29 Apr 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 13 Nov 2013
a list of 39 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Superman II" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Superman II (1980)

Superman II (1980) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Superman II.

User Polls

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Superman (1978)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman
Superman II (Video 2006)
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to marry Lois, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.

Directors: Richard Donner, Richard Lester
Stars: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando
Superman III (1983)
Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Synthetic kryptonite laced with tobacco tar splits Superman in two: good Clark Kent and bad Man of Steel.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Superman reappears after a long absence, but is challenged by an old foe who uses Kryptonian technology for world domination.

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth
Batman (1989)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

When the Man of Steel is rendered almost powerless by an evil mastermind, he must find a way to prove to the world that he is still a super man.

Director: Gene Fallaize
Stars: Paul Khanna, Stacy Sobieski, Lucy Bruegger
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Batman must battle Two-Face and The Riddler with help of an amourous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey
Superman (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Superman comes to Earth as a child and grows up to be his home's first superhero with his first major challenge being to oppose The Spider Lady.

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Thomas Carr
Stars: Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill, Tommy Bond
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

Batman & Robin try to keep their relationship together even as they must stop Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from freezing Gotham City.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell


Cast overview, first billed only:
Leueen Willoughby ...
Robin Pappas ...


Picking up where "Superman: The Movie" left off, three criminals from the planet Krypton are released from the Phantom Zone by a nuclear explosion in space. They descend upon Earth where they could finally rule. Superman, meanwhile, is in love with Lois Lane, who finds out who he really is. Lex Luthor escapes from prison and is determined to destroy Superman by joining forces with the three criminals. Written by Keith Howley <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Miraculously freed from eternal orbit, the three outlaws from Krypton descend to earth, for the ultimate confrontation. See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

19 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Superman 2  »

Box Office


$54,000,000 (estimated)


$108,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Richard Donner Cut)

Sound Mix:

(MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 1984 ABC Television broadcast of the film used over 30 minutes of footage deleted from the theatrical release, almost all directed by Donner. The ABC scenes include: Superman flying past the Concorde (intended for the first film), extra dialogue between Luthor and Otis in jail, extra dialogue between Luthor and Eve flying to and within the Fortress of Solitude, the death of the young boy trying to escape East Houston, Idaho, the soufflé, and scenes between Superman and Lois. Nearly fifteen minutes of extra footage with Gene Hackman includes a pivotal scene in the Fortress where Luthor begs forgiveness from Superman. See more »


During the fight in Metropolis, Ursa throws a manhole cover into Superman's chest. As he flies backwards, something is holding the manhole cover to his stomach as he bounces off the hood of a car. See more »


[first lines]
Krypton guard: Alert, alert, alert.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits incorporate an extensive amount of footage from the first Superman movie. See more »


Version of The New Adventures of Superman (1966) See more »


Pick Up the Pieces
Written by Roger Ball, Hamish Stuart, and Average White Band (as The Average White Band)
Performed by Average White Band (as The Average White Band)
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If there was a greater sequel...
3 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(I just couldn't wait for the director's cut, so anything I say here might soon be outdated.)

"Superman II," directed in 1980 by Richard Lester, is probably the best sequel of the first wave of superhero movies. "Superman II" is big, goofy fun, with a sense of action, romance, and humor that wouldn't quite be seen again in the genre until last year's "Fantastic Four." "Superman II" is one of the great sequels, despite its sloppy editing and a controversial back-story worthy of a movie of its own.

We know that "Superman" (1978) director, Richard Donner, was originally supposed to direct the sequel but was fired under highly suspicious and (to this day) unknown circumstances following a dispute with that film's producers, the Salkinds. Supposedly, it began with issues over creative direction. Compounding that, Donner had gone over the originally planned budget for "Superman," and the Salkinds had been rushing the poor man to complete the film. Conversely, Marlon Brando (Jor-El in "Superman"), didn't want to be in the second movie and filed suit over his percentage of that film's earnings. Simultaneously, Donner had also been shooting footage for "Superman II" and had completed somewhere around 75% of it between 1976-1978 before he was fired. But of course, the lore is well-known to those who pay attention to this film's history, and what I just described were probably the biggest reasons for Donner's removal.

Lester was brought in after Donner, scrapped most of Donner's footage, and replaced it with his own material that was filmed between '79-'80 (to the untrained eye, the different footage appears seamless but to those aware of "Superman II's" history, it'll be a lot like a shooting gallery for continuity errors). Only about 25% of the original scenes Donner filmed are in the movie we know today, with jarring transitions between scenes since nearly three years had passed between the two directors' filming of scenes. This all caused a near-mutinous insurrection on the set, and many of the actors (Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve - R.I.P., Margot Kidder, and Terence Stamp) were quite vocal about this; Hackman refused to appear in any of Lester's new scenes and it's easy to tell when a body double is being used.

Original composer John Williams also walked away from the project following Donner's removal, and was replaced by Ken Thorne, who takes material from Williams's score and merely covers it with his own in much the same way Lester did with Donner. Lastly, cinematographer Robert Paynter gave a comic book look to the film that conflicted with the sparkling, epic cinematography of the late Geoffrey Unsworth. What we get, to paraphrase another viewer, is "sloppy seconds," but still an enjoyable and moving experience in its right. "Superman II" still made a box office killing in 1981, so it couldn't have been that bad (?). (Hopefully, this will all be cured by the new Richard Donner cut that's due out on Nov. 28 later this year, which should include more of Donner's original material, more Hackman footage, Marlon Brando, more violence and story dealing with the three Krypton villains' task on Earth, more scenes with Reeve and Kidder, completed special effects, a new opening and ending - ?, and Lester footage to fill in the gaps.)

In "Superman II," the Man of Steel, as Clark Kent (Reeve), is getting serious with Lois Lane (Kidder), and considers giving up being Superman. If he were to do this, however, he will become a normal human being, with no way to restore his powers, and no way to stand up to a diner's bullying customer. This romantic infatuation probably could not have come at a worse time because a nuclear explosion in outer space shatters the Phantom Zone, the eternal prison of three outcasts from Superman's home planet Krypton. The blast frees the traitorous head of Krypton's military forces, General Zod (Stamp), the man-hating Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and the brutish Non (Jack O'Halloran), who then make a bee-line for Earth in a bid for world domination. Once on Earth, they discover they have all of Superman's powers, and then some. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Hackman) manages to escape from prison (with help from Miss Teschmacher, played by Valerie Perrine), leaving a hapless Otis (Ned Beatty) behind, and sets out on a quest to the North Pole to find the Fortress of Solitude using a device he constructed while incarcerated.

What this all climaxes in, is an action-packed (if not somewhat slapstick) special effects bonanza that takes place in the skies over Metropolis, with Superman and the three Krypton villains going head to head. It's really exciting stuff to see Superman grappling with the new experience of fighting three adversaries of his power level.

Is "Superman II" a failure? Yes, because it betrays what was originally laid out by a great director and is probably one of the great, early examples of Hollywood "chopping & screwing." "Superman II" is still highly regarded as a cult classic, and director Sam Raimi makes a few nods with "Spider-Man 2" (2004). I can see that DC Comics is making a comeback; if original Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster could see these films, I bet they'd be proud.

P.S.: R.I.P. - Marlon Brando


19 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Salkinds Made The Right Business Decision in Cutting Out Brando lenlarga
So, Paris is closer to us than the moon? Bluebull32
Zod, Ursa, + Non didn't age. Jedi6215
What if they didn't shoot Superman and Superman 2 back to back? blackrock316
Funny underated scene richardpaperboy
Margot Kidder's face changed from Superman I guardkid
Discuss Superman II (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: