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Superman II (1980) Poster

(1980)

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In the final reels of the Donner Cut, Lois Lane uses an Underwood-Olivetti manual typewriter that sounds like an IBM Selectric.

Character error 

When Zod, Ursa, and Non leave the Phantom Zone, they are unsurprised by their new powers (ex. the abilities to breathe in space and fly) and confused by humanity's lack of super powers. For instance, General Zod is shocked that humans cannot fly without a machine.

Continuity 

When Superman takes Lois flying for the last time, scenes from Superman are used. She is wearing the blue outfit she wore in that movie, not the clothes she wore during the ordeal with the three Krypton villains at the Fortress of Solitude.
When Eve and Luthor go to the Fortress, they look at Lara giving information at the "Keeper of the Archives of Krypton." They are looking up, but she is eye level to them.
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At the beginning of the battle in Metropolis, Lois's hair goes from frizzy to straight and back again.
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Lois's face and hair change noticeably between different scenes.
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When the county sheriff and his deputy first encounter Zod, Ursa, and Non, after discharging the shotgun, Zod throws it and it lands in front of the passenger side rear wheel. When Non lifts the patrol car to retrieve the weapon, it has moved behind the wheel.
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Superman and Lois change clothes at the Fortress of Solitude, despite the fact that they brought no luggage.
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After Clark is beaten up in the diner after giving up his powers, and realizes Zod, Ursa, and Non are wreaking havoc on Earth, Lois tries to console him by saying "You didn't know." Clark responds, "He knew." He was referring to his father, whose scenes were filmed with Marlon Brando before they were cut. In the film that was released, Superman's mother tried to convince him to keep his powers.
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During the confrontation between Zod, Ursa, and Non, and the sheriff and the deputy, a wide shot clearly shows the villains standing on the dirt road, with a huge hill full of trees behind them in the background. Before and after that shot, the horizon behind them is empty, except for some bushes and a few trees.
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When Zod, Ursa, and Non leave the Daily Planet offices to chase Superman, all three of them fly out of separate windows, and only those windows break. After the shot of a bunch of debris falling to the sidewalk, and the whole wall of Perry White's office is gone.
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The film begins with a reprise of the trial of Zod, Ursa, and Non from 'Superman (1978)'. Jor-El's dialogue is completely different. The error is rectified in the Richard Donner cut, which restored Marlon Brando's original footage and dialogue.
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When Lois climbs onto the undercarriage of the elevator, she is laying on her stomach. When there is a close up of the Eiffel Tower model with the elevator going up, you can see the doll used to represent Lois Lane is lying on its back, with its arms up, holding the underside of the elevator.
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After Rocky hits Clark and he falls into the glass partition, Lois stands on Rocky's left, then his right, then his left again.
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After Superman catches the people in the bus, General Zod blows wind at the people in the street that come after him. The people in the street are blown backward along with vehicles and debris, but the flames are not effected at all.
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When Lex Luthor sits behind the President's desk and lights a cigar while he talks to Zod and company, the cigar switches from his left to his right hand.
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Just before Superman sets the antenna back on top of the Empire State building, the area where the antenna tore away from the mount is rough and sparking. When he sets it on Non, the mounting surface is completely smooth.
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At the hotel, when Clark Kent is in a tuxedo and Lois is wearing a bathrobe, Clark's glasses change from one style to another and back again.
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When Rocky takes Clark's seat in the diner, the man behind the counter brings Lois's Coke while pouring it into the glass. In the next shot, the can and glass are on the counter and the man is gone. In the shot after that, the man is back again, still pouring it, and then puts it down for Lois.
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Superman and the three super villains are battling it out over several square miles above Metropolis, yet, Lois Lane should not be able to see them from that distance as she watches from the Daily Planet Building, as she reacts to her co-workers that "the bigger one [villain] is just as strong as Superman."
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Ursa's boots repeatedly change between having flat heels and high heels.
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At the honeymoon hotel, the "lava" in the lava-lamp style bed posts jumps around at an alarming rate from shot to shot.
When Lois is under the elevator in France, she reminds herself of winning the Pulitzer Prize. When the elevator starts going up, she spells out "Nobel Prize."

Crew or equipment visible 

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.
When Non knocks Perry out by lifting him up into the ceiling, a crew member in the lower right corner of the screen is holding Perry's hand.
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As Superman flies from Lois's penthouse apartment, crew members are visible inside her apartment.
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When Superman flies down in front of the Empire State Building to catch the falling antenna, you can see the monofilament wire used for the Superman doll to glide down.
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While Superman and Non fight underneath Metropolis, pneumatic pumps are visible in the street as the manhole covers pop up.
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When Superman flies past the camera at the end, before the credits start rolling, he raises his left arm. Something square sticks out, stretching the fabric of his suit. It's part of the rigging used in the front projection process.
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When Zod is thrown into the Coca-Cola sign, a small square is not lit up by neon. It's the explosive charge that blows up the sign when Zod hits it.
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When the army enters the small town to destroy Zod, Ursa, and Non, a helicopter comes in to fire missiles at General Zod. At one point, a motion picture camera and crew members appear in the foreground, covering the action from another angle.
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During the big confrontation between Superman and the villains in Metropolis, he is shown flying above the water around the city, and the wake left by the boat used to film the background is visible in the lower right part of the screen.
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When Zod, Ursa, and Non land on Earth for the first time, Zod walks on water. In the wide-angle shot, when he walks from the middle of the lake to the shore, the outline of a board or platform is visible just under the water.

Errors in geography 

When the helicopter pilot says the rockets didn't have any effect on Zod, Ursa, and Non, a policeman takes cover in front of a car. A sign on the wall behind the car says "For sale or lease, for commercial development, call 313-358-2511." Area code 313 is Detroit, Michigan, yet this scene takes place in Houston, Idaho. Commercial developers sometimes deal with properties outside their home cities, but Houston appears too small for a Detroit-based developer to have any interest in commercial development there.
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Factual errors 

There is no way to steer a balloon, so Lex Luthor couldn't go "due north." He is also dressed very lightly for a trip to the Arctic.
Superman, Zod, Ursa, and Non's clothes flap about as they fly in space. There is no wind or air in space to make clothes flutter.
When the boy at Niagara Falls begins to fall it takes approx. 28 seconds for Superman to catch him. Since the fall would have been only about 200 feet it would have taken the boy around 4 seconds to hit the water.
Ursa speaks to the astronaut aloud, despite there being no air on the Moon to form words or carry sound.
When Clark Kent drives toward the diner for the first fight with the loutish trucker, after Superman has given up his powers for love, the car is driving on the left side of the road.
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The faceplates of the astronauts' space suits are transparent, with no glare shield to filter out cosmic rays, direct sunlight or radiation.
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The brakes on the elevator in Paris take some time to engage. When they finally do, the elevator continues to accelerate.
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The police car in East Houston, Idaho says "Police, East Houston, Idaho" on the side, and "County Sheriff" on the rear. The officers' shoulder flashes indicate that they are sheriffs and deputies. In the U.S., sheriffs and deputies are peace officers with police powers at the county level. Their vehicles do not say "police" or the name of a town. Those would be on a municipal police vehicle, whose members would not have shoulder flashes or markings referring to sheriffs.
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When the astronaut tries to escape by jumping into the lunar module, Non grabs the leg of the descent stage to stop him. In reality, the descent stage is left behind and the ascent stage detaches in order to leave the Moon's orbit; holding the legs would do nothing.
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Miscellaneous 

During the fight in Metropolis, Ursa and Non throw a bus at Superman. On the bus is written the word, 'Theatre' (amongst others). Since the scene is in America, the word should be written, 'Theater'. The film was mainly shot in the UK.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Superman finds out about Zod, he goes back to the Fortress of Solitude to recover his powers. How he does it is never shown, and he appears in Metropolis for the showdown with Zod, Ursa, and Non as if it never happened. In the Richard Donner cut, Jor-El gives his remaining energy to Superman so he can recover his powers.

Plot holes 

If Lex Luthor reached the North Pole in a hot air balloon, where did he get the snowmobile that he uses to reach the Fortress of Solitude?
Superman and Lois fly to the Fortress of Solitude. After Superman gives up his powers, they have no way to return to civilization. Somehow, they get back to Metropolis safely.
When Superman gives up his powers, he loses his costume. When Zod, Ursa, and Non lose their powers, they all retain their costumes.
When Ursula picks up the snake, the snake bites her, and Ursula winces in pain. But how would the fangs of a rattlesnake pierce her super-skin?
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Revealing mistakes 

When Clark tries to save Lois after she jumps into the river at Niagara Falls, he uses his heat vision to burn a branch loose while wearing his glasses. The beams burn everything they touch, yet Clark's glasses remain intact.
When Zod throws Superman crashing through the side of the Marlboro truck, the "metal" side of the truck flaps a little and you can see that it is in fact a plastic sheet.
When Zod flings the cosmonaut up and then yanks his airline down, the line falls at normal "earth gravity" speed.
In East Houston, when Zod lifts the man into the air, the crash mat below him is clearly visible when he drops back down.
As Non throws down the flags at the end of the scene on the Moon, the flags are waving, which is impossible due to lack of air.
Several times when Zod, Ursa, and Non are on the moon, the "space" in the background is clearly black curtains.
At the Daily Planet, an article in one of the windows is about Jimmy Carter; the U.S. President in the film is a different, fictional character.
At the end of the film, as Superman flies over the White House to replace the flag, the water in the foreground fountain remains motionless.
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During the battle in Metropolis, when Zod is getting ready to hurl a slab of concrete at Superman, the view of the crowd is shown reversed (note the "No Entry" sign). It is corrected in the Richard Donner cut. 'Superman II (2006) (V)'.
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Wires are clearly visible when Superman throws the super "S" at Non in the Fortress of Solitude.
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After the scene at the Daily Planet, Zod, Ursa, and Non fly through editor Perry White's window. In the first cut, the window is open and there is no glass. In the second cut, seen from the outside, glass appears as through they've flown through a closed window.
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During the battle, the air cannons throwing the manholes in the air are visible in some shots.
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During the Metropolis battle, Non punches Superman in the chin. Superman goes flying back. He isn't matted in from the waist down, and buildings can be seen through him.
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After Zod, Ursa, and Non burst into Perry White's office, strings are hanging at their sides.
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On the Moon, as the camera pans from Ursa and Non to Zod, the Earth moves from one edge of the Sun to the other, meaning it's not far from the camera.
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While flying away from the moon after the confrontation with the astronauts, Non throws the American flag and pole into the moon buggy. It drops normally, and not more slowly as it would in the Moon's reduced gravity.
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When Lois and Clark are driving from the Fortress of Solitude after Superman gives up his powers, the car is actually from Superman. It's from the scene when Lex Luthor flips the car by remote control so he can stop one of the missile convoys, and steal the missile. Note the blacked-out windshield, to give the illusion of no one at the wheel.
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When Ursa picks up the rattlesnake after first landing on Earth, the snake clearly has no rattle.
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In a wide shot of the Eiffel Tower elevator falling, the wires that the Superman model is gliding down are visible.
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When Lex Luthor and Otis talk in prison, Lex Luthor's bald head is obviously a bald cap. The flaps meant to cover Gene Hackman's sideburns are visible, and when he faces the prison wall during his escape, the back part on his neck wrinkles like a plastic cap would.
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The flagpole Ursa snaps off to hit Superman with is obviously made of balsa wood. It has grooves like it was shaped by some kind of tool; a regular metal pole would be perfectly round.
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After Superman decks Non, he flies up and through the wall of the building. The Non doll has a big black square glued to its back, to make it easier to break through the model building's wall.
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When Zod, Ursa, and Non are blowing people and cars all over the place, several little dolls are being pulled along a track on the model sidewalks, in front of the buildings, to represent the people being blown down the street. A few model cars slam directly into the dolls, and they pop right back up.
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Superman throws an obvious dummy at the Coca-Cola sign.
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The Phantom Zone containing the Super Villains is hit by waves from the elevator explosion. As it starts to break up, the outline of the animation cels used for the scene are visible.
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When Lois and Superman are flying to the Fortress of Solitude after she discovers his secret identity, the scaffolding used to hold her and Superman is visible. A big square piece is pinching the material of her dress together on her right side, by her waist.
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Just before Zod flies to the construction site to confront Superman, all three Super Villains are in the shot, but they're not matted correctly, and the cityscape is visible through their bodies.
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When General Zod blows wind at the townspeople, one taxi is clearly made of Styrofoam.
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When Zod, Ursa, and Non chase Superman over the East River, the wake of the boat filming the scene is clearly visible.
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As Zod lifts Willie's father with his levitating finger beam, you can see the telephone pole, which is behind his body, through it.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Miscellaneous 

When Superman throws General Zod away after he supposedly gives up his powers, a sweat patch under his armpit can be seen.

Plot holes 

When Superman is converted to an ordinary mortal, he undergoes a seemingly painful and visually obvious transformation. Later, when Zod, Ursa, and Non are tricked into losing their powers, they are completely unaware the same process is occurring.

Revealing mistakes 

When Superman helps rebuild the White House at the end, the shot is an obvious still photo; the fountains in front of it are frozen.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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