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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
1,219 ( 323)
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 | 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

Jeff East, who plays the young Clark Kent, had his voice dubbed by Christopher Reeve, although he knew nothing about it at the time. East wasn't happy with the decision, as it was done without his permission. It was some years later that he resolved his differences with Reeve. See more »

Goofs

When Superman lands on a street corner to drill himself down towards Luthor's hideaway, you can clearly see that the street is not concrete, but a pad that moves when he lands on it. 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

Cheerios by General Mills See more »

Alternate Versions

Only in the ABC version are young Lois Lane and her father seen in the train. In the ABC version, (the original screen Superman) and (as Lois Lane's parents) have their speaking roles restored. 'Ned Beatty'S walk down the street is longer. 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

 
And then, Christopher Reeve became even more of a superhero in real life.
9 March 2006 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Obviously, everyone knows Superman, so I'll talk about a few aspects. It was sort of a shock to everyone when Christopher Reeve got paralyzed, seeing as to how we associated him with the man of steel. But his tireless crusade for people with spinal cord injuries showed him to be a sort of superhero in his own right.

As Superman's father Jor-El, Marlon Brando seems subdued, but still shows why he was one of the greatest actors of all time (as it was, he and Reeve died within four months of each other). As villain Lex Luthor, Gene Hackman makes a really interesting character: vile, but kinda cool, he's the bad guy who we all want to be deep down. Margot Kidder also has a great role as the title character's self-standing hubby Lois Lane, and Ned Beatty is really funny as Luthor's goofy sidekick Otis. Also starring is Marc McClure as Jimmy Olson.

I remember a "Saturday Night Live" episode where they imagine what would have happened had Superman been raised in Germany: they conclude that the man of steel - played by Dan Aykroyd in that skit - would have joined the Nazis and been called Ubermann. As it was, Friedrich Nietzsche theorized an "Ubermensch".

All in all, "Superman" is an inimitable superhero flick. I agree with a previous reviewer that "Batman" and "Spiderman" owe a lot to this movie. Truly great.


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