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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
1,253 ( 20)
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:

The movie that makes a legend come to life. 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 | Switzerland | Canada | Panama

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$134,218,018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$166,200,000
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

During screentests for the role of Superman, the role of Lois Lane was played by Holly Palance. See more »

Goofs

When the planet Krypton explodes, you can clearly see folds in the cloth on the ceiling that makes up the black "space" surrounding the planet. Explosions that are supposed to take place in space are photographed from directly underneath so the sparks "fly" evenly in direction of the camera. 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

the credits rise from bottom to top with a 3D like haze behind them, to appear as though they are flying. See more »

Alternate Versions

The current DVD, in addition to containing the 2000 restored director's cut, has 2 deleted scenes (both of Lex' babies, and seen in the TV edits in their original context), and alternate audio scoring for 8 sequences (including an unreleased alternate pop version of Margot Kidder's "Can You Read My Mind"). The DVD has the 2000 restoration with the following additions / expansions (all of which were seen in previous expanded television versions):
  • Some added dialogue when Jor-El is talking with the council.
  • The council calls an "Executioner" to hunt and kill Jor-El to keep the rocket from launching.
  • Noel Neill and Kirk Alyn's speaking cameos on the train.
  • Little girl sees Clark running faster than train, parents call her Lois Lane.
  • In the kitchen Martha Kent takes out a box of Cheerios.
  • After rescuing Air Force One Superman returns to Fortress of Solitude and has a conversation with his father.
  • In Metropolis when the news of Superman comes out, Clark is a spectator. A stranger (played by an uncredited Richard Donner) comments "that'll be the day when a man can fly"; Clark grins.
  • While trying to get Luthor's lair Superman goes through machine guns, flame throwers, ice machines with Luthor taunting on loudspeaker.
  • The sequence with the Girl Scouts.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in That '70s Show: Take It or Leave It (2005) 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

Classic that will remain past the ends of time...
4 March 2004 | by TruPretenderSee all my reviews

In 1976 a pair of father/son producers were trying to find the perfect way to score a box office success. Then they thought of a new way to produce a Superhero movie. Alas, Superman was the most famous Superhero at the time and the rights were acquired. Then a director and writer were required. This is when they went to first Guy Hamilton, and then Richard Donner. Alas, Donner won the acclaim and the Newman's were on board for writing a script. After months of screen testing and such, a Superman was found and cast-that of a young New York native Christopher Reeve, who fit the bill and filled the role well. Then a gorgeous woman was needed for the part of Lois Lane, no more gorgeous than the manic, energetic actress Margot Kidder, who was then known for small movie roles such as The Great Waldo Pepper and Sisters. Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando had already signed on before alot of the cast was cast. And to make a long story short, Superman: The Movie was filmed! A great film indeed, with then state of the art special effects to make your views and experiences soar high! Christopher Reeve does a terrific job as the man of steel who learns of a plot to destroy the west coast. Gene Hackman was perfect for the role of Lex Luthor, the villain who wants to own his own territory of the would be new coast of California( Costa Del Lex!) Margot Kidder was just right as the gorgeous Lois Lane who falls in love with Superman but gives Clark Kent lessons on life, while Jackie Cooper is great as Perry White. Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine do good performances as well as supporting dim witted characters. The script had to be re worked for a couple of times because of being too hammy, and so Donner brought in the wonderful Tom Mank. who did a great job of modifying the script to a more down to earth level. Great musical score by John Williams. T.V. version ran 191 minutes in full length on the famous California tele channel KCOP. But all was not well in paradise. Richard Donner was in opposing thoughts with producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind, and so a mediator was brought in, that of Richard Lester, directer of the Three and Four Musketeers, and the Beatles films. This went on whilst Superman and Superman II were being filmed back to back. Then, in a sudden chance to get Superman released before the year 1979, the cast and crew stopped filming Superman II to finish the first film. And so it was done, but at was price...


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