IMDb > The Magic Behind the Cape (2001) (V)

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Release Date:
1 May 2001 (USA) See more »
The story of the development of the visual effects used in the first Christopher Reeve Superman film. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Verisimilitude, part III (sort of) See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Roy Field ... Host

Marc McClure ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Marlon Brando ... Himself (archive footage)

Richard Donner ... Himself (archive footage)

Sarah Douglas ... Herself (archive footage)

Jack O'Halloran ... Himself (archive footage)

Christopher Reeve ... Himself (archive footage)

Terence Stamp ... Himself (archive footage)

Susannah York ... Herself (archive footage)

Directed by
Michael Thau 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jonathan Gaines 
Michael Thau 

Produced by
Jonathan Gaines .... producer
Michael Thau .... producer
Film Editing by
Michael Thau 
Art Department
Glenn Takakjian .... graphic artist
Sound Department
Bob Lacivita .... sound mixer: The Complex
Bob Lacivita .... sound
Johnathan Marchant .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeff Denesyk .... camera operator
George Odell .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Elaine C. Andrianos .... assistant editor (as Elaine Andrianos)
Dean Chu .... on-line editor: Shapeshifter
Nancy Elizabeth McKenzie .... post-production services: Warner Bros. Video Operations (as Elizabeth McKenzie)
Kathleen Rommerdahl .... post-production services: Warner Bros. Video Operations
John Zimmer .... on-line editor: Shapeshifter
Other crew
Jim Bowers .... research material
Paul Hemstreet .... production executive: Warner Home Video
George Beavis .... special thanks: The Mill Film, Shepperton
Joe Botano .... special thanks
Roy Button .... special thanks
David Cervantes .... special thanks (as Dave Cervantes)
Kristin Crichton .... special thanks (as Kristin Grosshandler)
Bill Daly .... special thanks
Chad Flakoll .... special thanks
Kurt P. Galvao .... special thanks (as Kurt Galvao)
Jackie Hayes .... special thanks
Anthony Hunt .... special thanks: The Mill Film, Shepperton
Geoff Johns .... special thanks
Cece Neber Labao .... special thanks (as Cece Neber-Labao)
Roy Moores .... special thanks: The Mill Film, Shepperton
Terry Norton .... special thanks
Mark Olguin .... special thanks
Debbie Palmer .... special thanks
David Pecchia .... special thanks
Taunye Sirk .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

24 min

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References Superman II (1980)See more »


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Verisimilitude, part III (sort of), 20 October 2004
Author: Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands

After the very interesting look at the making of Superman (The Movie) in 'Taking Flight': The Development of 'Superman' and 'Making 'Superman': Filming the Legend', this final featurette may come as a bit of a disappointment, since it only features technical talk and experimental special effect footage (some of which we already saw in the other features). While the aforementioned parts were really one big documentary that should not have been split up, this one works well enough on its own. Still I'm sure director Michael Thau (who also edited the 2000 Superman The Movie expanded edition) could have found a way to combine all three of them into one big Super-docu-man-tary (excuse the lame pun).

Jimmy Olsen still narrates (but does not reappear) while effects guru Roy Field (who died a year after the release of this DVD) introduces special effect work of Superman, including some "very interesting tests and outtakes". It all feels like one of those old making of specials they used to show on ITV on Bank Holidays, only slightly more technical and boring. We soon miss the input from Richard Donner, Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve that made the earlier features truly special.

You can find nearly everything shown on this docu described on the trivia page for the 1978 Superman, so there is little point mentioning them here. Still it's worthwhile just to see the tests of Brando's disembodied head sprouting wisdom in many different colours and Peter Parks' macro photography of algies used for the space traveling sequence. Naturally the biggest problem facing the effects team was to sell the tagline "You'll believe a man can fly". It turns out they tried everything, including catapulting dummies, wire work and using a turquoise suit used for the blue screen shots (complete with special fluttering device under the remote control cape). We also get some trippy tests for Brando and Susanna York's death scene on a turntable and a totally psychedelic powerloss effect for part II. By strange coincidence, many of the (less far out) effect shots mentioned here were left out of the theatrical release but reinserted on this expanded DVD release.

6 out of 10

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