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Superman (1978)

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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

Writers:

Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman), Joe Shuster (character created by: Superman) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
1,722 ( 4)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Jor-El
Gene Hackman ... Lex Luthor
Christopher Reeve ... Superman / Clark Kent
Ned Beatty ... Otis
Jackie Cooper ... Perry White
Glenn Ford ... Pa Kent
Trevor Howard ... 1st Elder
Margot Kidder ... Lois Lane
Jack O'Halloran ... Non
Valerie Perrine ... Eve Teschmacher
Maria Schell ... Vond-Ah
Terence Stamp ... General Zod
Phyllis Thaxter ... Ma Kent
Susannah York ... Lara
Jeff East ... Young Clark Kent
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Storyline

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, young Clark discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor, while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll believe a man can fly. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for peril, some mild sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Canada | Switzerland

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Superman: The Movie See more »

Filming Locations:

Barons , Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,465,343, 17 December 1978

Gross USA:

$134,451,603

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$300,451,603
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1980 video release) | (2000 restoration) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Otis is being followed through Grand Central Station, a porter announces a train boarding for Poughkeepsie. Gene Hackman's portrayal of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection (1971), rousts a bar and, famously, intimidates one of its patrons by asking him if he ever "...picked his feet in Poughkeepsie." See more »

Goofs

Superman pulls Lois out of her car and lays her on the ground with her arms pointing down and her clothes are all dirty. Yet when he screams in rage and takes off, her right arm is up by her head and her clothes are clean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boy: In the decade of the 1930s, even the great city of Metropolis was not spared the ravages of the worldwide depression. In the times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public was the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper whose reputation for clarity and truth had become a symbol of hope for the city of Metropolis...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Next Year: "Superman II" See more »

Alternate Versions

(In the 188-minute version): Otis is introduced at the 1:08:00 mark, in a shot that also features Clark Kent and Lois Lane leaving (in a cab) the scene of a mugging. None of the other versions of the film introduces Otis in this manner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Jack Frost (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Give a Little Bit
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson
Performed by Supertramp
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Best opening title sequence... ever!
22 October 2004 | by LookingforJuliaSee all my reviews

We all have unique reasons for loving a film. That's what makes cinema so magical. It's personal. You can love the meat of the movie, or you can love the trimmings.

There's a bunch of good stuff here. Most people my age will refer to "Superman" as THE definitive superhero film. None will ever take it's place. A position no doubt dictated by the age we were when first viewing it. As with films like "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark", WHEN you experience them is just as important as HOW you experience them.

As we age, youth's eyes fade. Cynicism creeps in. Experience leads us to see the many injustices this life offers and we become more critical... less likely to accept that which we would rather believe. After all, an adult who clings to the youthful ideals of wonder is simply naive... right?

To this day, the opening title sequence for "Superman" fills me with the same magical joy it did over twenty years ago. Never was a score so perfectly crafted around a film. John Williams and Richard Donner created such an indelible experience that over 25 yrs later, Bryan Synger will use the same music and theme to bring the magic to a new generation of wondrous eyes.

As for me though, this will always remain the best.


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