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Superman III (1983) Poster

(1983)

Trivia

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The little boy who appears waiting by the photo-booth while Clark Kent changes into Superman was actually the same little boy who played baby Kal-El (Superman) in Superman (1978).
In his autobiography, Richard Pryor admitted that he thought the screenplay was terrible, but agreed to do the movie because he was offered five million dollars.
After Margot Kidder expressed her disgust about the firing of Richard Donner to the producers, her role was cut to 12 lines, and less than 5 minutes of screen time, but Ilya Salkind says Margot's claim is untrue. On the 2006 Superman III DVD commentary Ilya states that there was little need for Lois Lane in this movie since her and Superman's relationship ended at the end of Superman II.
The first time Christopher Reeve had top billing in a Superman movie. In the first film, he was behind Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman; for the second he was behind Hackman.
When it was first revealed to producers that Lana Lang would be a single mother, a comic book was quickly written explaining how Lana came to be in that situation.
Richard Pryor was said to have been cast in the movie as a result of comments that he made during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962). During an interview segment, Pryor told host Johnny Carson that he wanted to be in a "Superman" movie. He later claimed that he was only joking about doing such a movie, but the film's producers thought that he was serious about it.
A routine of Richard Pryor's, often included in "best of" CDs is a skit called "Super N****r" about a black Superman who is disguised a janitor working for the Daily Planet.
According to Ilya Salkind, an earlier version of the script included the comic book villains Brainiac and Mr. Mxyzptlk teaming up, and Superman meeting his cousin, Supergirl, which would lead to the potential Supergirl spin-off.
According to the producers' commentary on the Superman III: Deluxe Edition DVD, this film was actually not a flop. While critics and fans generally expressed disappointment with the film, and its $60 million gross fell short of the previous two movies' $100 million+ gross, Superman III still made an impressive profit, despite stiff competition from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) (which opened 3 weeks earlier) and Octopussy (1983) (which opened 10 days earlier).
Annette O'Toole (Lana Lang) would later play the role of Martha Kent on the Superman prequel TV series Smallville (2001).
The character of Mister Mxyzptlk was going to be in the film with Dudley Moore in the role.
Superman creates a diamond by squeezing a piece of coal in his hand, a reference to some earlier Superman comic book stories, where he performed the same action.
The tar-laced kryptonite that Superman is exposed to has the effects of both red and black kryptonite. Red, particulary in the show Smallville, releases all Clark's inhibitions. The persona-splitting scene was inspiration for the first appearance of black kryptonite in Smallville. It could seperate Clark from his darker side. The battle in the junkyard is considered the most iconic scene of the movie.
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The scenes in which Superman straightens the leaning tower of Pisa and then leans it back in the end were originally planned for Superman II (1980).
The video game Ross Webster plays that was created for the film, was made by the Atari Corporation. However, The Atari Corporation had made a "Superman III" video game, based on the film for the Atari 5200, but was never released.
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The video game Ross Webster plays was created for the film. It originally looked so life-like that the creators were asked to make it look more computer-like.
The firefighters in the chemical plant were all real firefighters, except the black firefighter. He was an actor named Al Matthews. He also narrated the documentary The Making of Superman III.
The original title was "Superman vs. Superman". The producers of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) threatened a lawsuit, refusing to believe the Salkinds' explanation that it was intended as a play on various "Superman vs..." comic stories. Eventually Pierre Spengler suggested that "Superman III" would be a more sensible title anyway, and the issue was dropped.
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Richard Donner originally planned for Tom Mankiewicz to direct the film. But after he was fired from Superman II (1980), Mankiewicz could no longer be involved with the franchise.
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A poster for the film Blade Runner can be seen in the background of the junkyard fight scene, when Clark is throwing the tires at Superman.
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The song "Earth Angel" by The Penguins is played during the Smallville High School reunion dance attended by Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) and Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole). It was also played during the Enchantment Under the Sea dance at Hill Valley School on November 12, 1955 in Back to the Future (1985). Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) also appeared in that film, in which he played Marty McFly's elder brother Dave McFly.
This is the only Christopher Reeve "Superman" film not to feature Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). It is also one of three live-action theatrical "Superman" films in which Luthor does not appear. The others are Superman and the Mole-Men (1951) and Man of Steel (2013).
The tanker that leaks oil into the Atlantic is the British Reliance, owned by BP Amoco Shipping. It was built in 1975, flew the Bermudan flag, and was demolished in December 1999.
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The musical tones from the video game Ross Webster is playing are from the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man (1982).
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Pamela Stephenson modeled Lorelei Ambrosia after Marilyn Monroe.
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Superman/Clark Kent's hair in this movie is obviously brown and not black as seen in the first two films. That's because Christopher Reeve is wearing a wig throughout the entire movie, unlike the first two films where he dyed his natural hair black.
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The film was released in 1983, the year of Superman's 45th anniversary.
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According to the writers, the original choice to play Ross Webster was Alan Alda. They wanted an actor who could be ruthless without losing any charm. Executive producer Ilya Salkind said in the DVD commentary that his choice was Frank Langella. Langella later starred as Perry White in Superman Returns (2006).
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When the man is "drowning" during the opening credits, the corner on the sunroof of the car keeps popping open before Superman comes to open it for him.
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Peter Whitman, who played a larger role in Superman II (1980) - that of a Sheriff's Deputy - has a minor role here.
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Christopher Reeve (Superman / Clark Kent), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), Jackie Cooper (Perry White) and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) are the only actors to appear in all four "Superman" films. Of these, McClure was the only one to appear in Supergirl (1984).
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In the Movie, Richard Pryor steals half a cent from every employee. Given that he earns ~85,000 dollars every time, the company must have around 17 million employees.
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Frank Oz played a brain surgeon in a deleted scene from the montage of the supercomputer causing a nationwide power outage. It's included in the extended TV version of the film. He also worked on puppet sequences, which were also deleted, and not included in any version. The film's director of photography, Robert Paynter, previously shot An American Werewolf in London (1981), in which Oz appeared, and would go on to shoot The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) (Oz's directorial debut) and Little Shop of Horrors (1986).
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When Gus lists his "impossible" program, it's a series of PRINT statements.
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Robert Beatty (Tanker Commander) would later play the US President in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).
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According to the Vulcan weather satellite, the chemical composition of Kryptonite (shown on Gus Gorman's computer) is: 15.08% Plutonium, 18.06% Tantalum, 27.71% Xenon, 24.02% Promethium, 10.62% Dialium, 3.94% Mercury, and 0.57% Unknown (Gorman replaced this with Tar).
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Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally set to star as Lana Lang, but turned down the role because she was too young.
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In the final scene, a photograph of the US President, who was played by E.G. Marshall in Superman II (1980), can be seen in Perry White's office.
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The ski slope outside Ross Webster's penthouse took 3 months to build at Pinewood Studios and 17 tons of salt was used as snow.
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During the Smallville High School Reunion Dance, you can hear "Roll Over Beethoven", a Chuck Berry song covered by The Beatles (with George Harrison singing lead). Director Richard Lester also directed the Beatles' first two films "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!"
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Enid Saunders character, Minnie Bannister (in one of the Smallville sequences), is a very obscure in-joke by Richard Lester. He had a long association with the cast members of the BBC radio show "The Goon Show." Minnie Bannister, voiced by Spike Milligan, was a recurring character.
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Jeff Corey played Lex Luthor in the film's screen tests. He had previously played Luke Benson in Superman and the Mole-Men (1951).
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Following the use of Lex Luthor in the previous two films, some consideration was given to using Brainiac in the third installment.
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This is the only one of the four Christopher Reeve "Superman" films in which Gene Hackman,Susannah York and John Hollis do not appear.
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Sandra Dickinson (Wife) would later play the Pretty Young Lady in Supergirl (1984).
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The only Superman film, not to feature the fortress of solitude, Jor El or Lara and even any mention of the events of the first two films, except for Lois's interview with Superman and his weakness towards kryptonite.
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Pamela Mandell, who played Mrs. Stokis was also the diner waitress in Superman II.
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Noel Neill who played Lois Lane in both the Superman serials and the TV show can be viewed in a cameo as an old woman on the dais in Smallville just after Superman (Reeves) receives the key to the city.
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Downtown scenes were filmed in Calgary. Smallville scenes were filmed in high river. Calgary fire department and police department were used in filming of this movie.
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The signature in the bottom right-hand corner of Gus' embezzlement check reads Vincent Winter. That was the name of the production manager on this film.
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Stunt coordinator Paul Weston, who was Terence Stamp's double in Superman II, can be seen accidentally breaking off the door handle in an attempt to rescue the drowning driver out of the car.
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Christopher Reeve wore wigs all throughout Superman III and Superman IV.
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In the kitchen scene of Lana Langs house when she decides to leave Smallville and calls the airport, a Superman pencil case is clearly visible on the kitchen table.
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In both the I Love Lucy episode (Lucy & Superman, 1957) and Superman III (1983), Superman is asked by a mother of a boy named Ricky to attend a birthday party for Ricky.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Richard Pryor's character steals money from his company by collecting fractions of a cent from other accounts and collecting them in his personal account. In computer crime terminology, it's called the "salami technique."
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Filmed in Calgary, Alberta, home of Canada's first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. It includes multiple KFC references: the Metropolis computer school payroll is handed out by a man in a Sanders-style goatee, Gus walks past a Smallville display with Kentucky Colonel outfits, Gus drags the intoxicated Brad past a closet whose open door shows a bag hanging full of KFC items, and Gus uses a "chicken in the bucket" recipe to explain to Ross why Kryptonite doesn't kill Superman.
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Both Annette O'Toole (Lana Lang) and Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), meet for the first time in this movie. Both actresses, would reunite during the 4th season premier of Smallville in 2004. At that point, O'Toole was playing Martha Kent and Margot Kidder as Bridgette Crosby. The character was a supposed love interest for Dr. Virgil Swan (Christopher Reeve).
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The films continuity is out of place. In Superman: The Movie, Lex Luthor mentions that Krypton exploded in 1948. Which means that the scene featuring young Clark, was in 1966, the year that he had turned 18; as mentioned by Jor El. After Jor El's tutelage, he tells Clark that 12 of his years have passed (meaning that it was 1978). However in Superman III, Clark 's school reunion says class of '65. In this case, the film takes place in 1980, instead of 1983, so that the proper school reunion, would be 15 years. Gus Gorman pulls his sports car into Webscoe and the song "No see, no cry!" is playing by Chaka Khan. The song was released in 1983.
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See also

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

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