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27 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

What a treat! What a history!

10/10
Author: LHartness from United States
14 June 2006

Originally broadcast on the A&E network, this excellent documentary covers the entire history of Superman. From the early 20th century comics to the modern-day television shows and movies, this Kevin Spacey-narrated piece covers much of the Superman mythos. Woven into this story was how all of this was affected by and reflected the culture around it, from World Wars to 9/11.

As a Superman fan, this is a must-see. The A&E (and later in2TV.com) program is 90 minutes. A full 2-hour DVD will be released on June 20, 2006. This viewer is looking forward to not only "Superman Returns", but also the release of A&E's documentary.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

An appreciative and thorough examination

9/10
Author: working98 from Riverside, Ca.
8 July 2006

Documentaries detailing the histories of superheroes, particularly Superman or Batman pop up every few years examining the character, its impact on pop culture and the paths of comic books as a genre. This title doesn't really break a ton of new ground in that way but it does perform a well-crafted update of this chapter in Superman's story culminating with the 2006 release of Bryan Singer's excellent "Superman Returns".

Featuring interviews with the comic book's writers, artists and editors as well as some famous fans, we get some good insight into what makes Superman compelling. Lots of attention is given to the film productions featuring of course touching pieces on the late Christopher Reeve and his doomed 50's TV counterpart, George Reeves. Personal note: I thought it was especially nice that both Noel Neill and Jack Larson (Tv's Lois and Jimmy) were interviewed side by side as I have become accustomed to seeing them. (Singer also used both actors in "Superman Returns". Way to go, Bry.) Aside from the film productions, changes in the comic book and the attempts at radio and of course the classic TV versions including Smallville are covered featuring interviews with virtually every living contributor they could track down including the elusive Jackie Cooper, Ilya Salkind, Richard Donner, Margot Kidder and of course, Neill and Larson. Other perspectives are given by comic book smartypants Mark Waid, Tongue jockey Gene Simmons, Luke Skywalker, Sci-fi grandfather Forrest Ackerman and Superman's current golden girl Annette O'Toole. The entire thing is ably narrated by a virtual unknown named Kevin Spacey who gets to refer to himself in the third person right towards the end.

This is a lot of good stuff. It's a rather in-depth retrospective on the iconic superhero and for my money the producers did an excellent job.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Story of Superman from day 1!

10/10
Author: neversanever from United States
10 July 2006

I found this to be an excellent documentary of the complete story from the beginning in the 1930's to the present. It covers the early comics, early cartoons, Superman, Superboy, Supergirl (although I wish she would have gotten more time...), Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Gerard Christopher, and the whole gang. It had some great commentary from Noel Neil and Jack Larson. It also touched on the "mysterious" death of George Reeves. It, of course, had a good bit on Christopher Reeve with some of the auditions of other actors. It even had segments on The Return of Superman and an interview with Brandon Routh. I can't imagine any collection not having this DVD to go along with the other materials that are now available. For a novice as well as someone who has "flown" with a towel as well as in their dreams, this disc will be a treasure to view over and over!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Saw this on Biography Channel and it was wonderfully comprehensive and well done

10/10
Author: aynnepm from United States
10 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Each one of the aspects of Superman from the comics to the radio show, the serialization for the cinema and the TV shows, through all the movies was presented with good wit and humor and thoughtful reflection on what had happened to many people associated with the entire spectrum.

The celebrities, writers, directors and production staff that were interviewed gave not only their experience of the mythology of Superman, but of their memories of working on or with the different aspects and how it affected them both then and now.

I recommend anyone who is a Superman fan see this film.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Very Thorough- Teaches a Lot

9/10
Author: Rcwilkinson123 from United States
7 July 2007

This documentary is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about Earth's greatest hero. Whether they want to know more about the mythology behind the hero, the hero's creators, or his history in comics, movies, television or radio, "The Amazing Story of Superman" has it all.

Documentary master Ken Burns does a fantastic job exploring all of the aspects and mythos of Superman, beginning with the 1930s and going until the present day with the film release "Superman Returns." He explores who Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were, Superman in the proud Golden Age and the strange and not-so-proud Silver Age, and the current day. Burns does a superb job detailing the role that Superman has played in public over the years, and the different symbols he has stood for based on the current status of the country. He excels in making the audience realize that Superman in pop culture has had a very relevant place in society no matter if his popularity has wavered over the years.

The documentary is a high-quality work. Thanks to Burns, you will feel like you know everything about the hero once the film is finished.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Awesome, fascinating documentary.

10/10
Author: Roger_Sterling from Addison, Illinois, United States
11 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hardcore Superman fans and Superman fans period will be very pleased with this documentary. This year I became really interested in everything Superman, mainly thanks to Superman Returns and Smallville. This documentary examines Superman history literally from day 1. The 1933 "superman" madman, the 1940's cartoons, the 1950's TV series, the movies, his death at the hands of Doomsday in 1993, the runs on TV with the new adventures of Superman and Smallville, and his triumphant return to the big screen are all thoroughly talked about. All the Supermen, from George Reeves to Brandon Routh are discussed. All the highs and lows of Superman's history are examined, including his downfall in the 70's before Superman: The Movie. Brilliantly narrated by Kevin Spacey, this is truly a must see for all those interested in Superman.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman (2006)

7/10
Author: SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain from United Kingdom
14 December 2011

I've never been a fan of Superman, but this enlightening documentary really allows you to respect what is, in my opinion, an out dated character. This film details the highs and lows of Superman in popular culture, and avoids being just an advertisement for his latest incarnation. There are interesting tidbits, such as many of the distinctive characters/traits coming from the early radio shows. We see Superman's effects on celebrities, writers, producers, a world at war, and much more. At times it places its feet where they're not wanted. Did we really need talk on September 11th? Probably more of a nice introduction to the character, or good for those looking to expand their knowledge. But most fans will be familiar with what's going on.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Pure propaganda!

3/10
Author: lan_senzhi from China
31 December 2007

Good for the fans. Definitely good for the fans.

But too much of an Americna style of documentary to be taken serious. Looking at the release date, one can not hesitate to consider this documentary as pure 'propaganda' for the 2006 Superman release.

Footage is superb though. Comments and narratives are awfully bad, just puppets on a string.

This one is only made for hardcore fans of the genre. It could have been done better if longer footage would have been shown from every movie, particularly the older ones, as it would remind us of previous generations.

Also the comparisons with American politics (and, subsequently, gains/failures) is of no issue here, but is deliberately used to support the commercialisation of a product. Peope did like Superman because of the comics and the movies, not because of politics!!!

Only for hardcore fans.

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