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Superman (1978)

Trailer
2:39 | Trailer

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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,416 ( 35)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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More Like This 

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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

Success of the film largely inspired DC Comics to revamp Superman during the mid 1980's. Many elements of the post-Crisis Superman were adapted for the comics from those of the film. This film would later prove an inspiration for later producers of superhero films, especially after the embarrassment of Batman & Robin (1997), which discredited the campy tone approach to the fantasy genre. By contrast, this film's majestic and respectful approach to the superhero genre would inspire a large number of well-received films that would help establish the genre has a dominant one in mainstream film. See more »

Goofs

The little girl who is audibly slapped by her mother after getting her cat returned by Superman, clearly isn't, judging by her shadow on the wall of her house. 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 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 the symbol for hope in the city of Metropolis...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Next Year: "Superman II" See more »

Alternate Versions

When Superman was released to VHS in June 1979 by WCI Home Video, it was whittled down from 143 minutes, to 127 minutes. This was done because of the lack of longer playing tapes at the time. Warner Bros. did not release a full length, unedited copy of the movie until 1983 when a 144 minute cut of the film was issued. This edited VHS version is sixteen minutes shorter than the original 1978 Theatrical release (at 143 min.) and twenty-four minutes shorter than the 2001 Director's Cut (at 151 min.). No actual material was cut from this release, instead scenes with no dialogue and the opening credits were sped up. Another major difference included the deletion of the film's closing credits. We see the copyright notice from the original closing credits followed by a Chryon version of the credits from a trailer for the film, followed by the "Next Year: Superman II" tag (from the original closing credits) and then a copyright disclaimer. See more »

Connections

Version of Superman (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Around the Clock
(uncredited)
Written by Max Freedman and James E. Myers
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets
(Theatrical version only)
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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