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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
1,325 ( 110)
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

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

Several scenes were shot for the movie, but were not used in the theatrical version. Among them are: extended dialogue scenes between Jor-El and his fellow Kryptonians, a scene of baby Kal-El's space pod flying past the Phantom Zone-trapped villains, a scene of a child Lois Lane seeing Clark Kent running extremely fast from a train window, a scene in which Ma Kent tries to wake up a still-sleeping Clark, additional dialogue between Superman and Jor-El in the Fortress of Solitude, a scene in which Superman is pelted with bullets, fire, and ice as he approaches Luthor's hideout, a scene in which Otis has to feed Luthor's "babies" (some type of animal or monster we never see on-screen), and a scene where Luthor attempts to feed Miss Teschmacher to those same "babies" after she sets Superman free. Although not used in the theatrical cut, most of these scenes were worked into the extended DVD versions. All of the scenes, used in the extended version or not, can be found in the four-disc DVD special edition of the film. See more »

Goofs

FLIPPED SHOT: During the Air Force One sequence, when Superman first grabs the damaged engine housing, look at the 'S' shield. 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

Prior to the beginning of the film is a brief "dedicated to Geoffrey Unsworth" message (Unsworth was a cinematographer who died prior to the release.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Contact (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Can You Read My Mind
Music by John Williams
Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Performed by Margot Kidder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Unbelievable...
1 July 2006 | by xxdisintegrationxxSee all my reviews

Having recently seen the huge disappointment: Superman Returns, I felt an obligation to watch this version to see how it measured up. I couldn't believe my eyes, and ears! 'My God!' I thought, 'Characters that actually interact with one another!'. That is one of the key elements Superman Returns was missing: dialogue. This movie had so much fun with the story, and the characters, that despite its lack of modern effects, it was still immensely enjoyable to watch. There was real character development, real humor (particularly the scenes between Lex and Otis, which I found hysterical) and a palpable chemistry between Lois and Clark/Superman. From the very beginning, this movie grabs you tightly and keeps you interested. It has an enlivening effect on you, where you feel genuinely happy after watching it, which, to my understanding, is what the movies are all about. Gene Hackman had great one-liners, for instance,"Otis, do you know why the number 200 is so vitally descriptive to both you and I? Because it's your weight, and my IQ", and the entire cast sat right. The roles fit, the effects (for their time) were great, and the script was wonderful. It's amazing to me, that movies like this can still hold up against movies that are made with the gross national product of a small country. If you want Superman in all his glory, ignore 'Returns', and pick up this one; you won't be disappointed.

"Otis, do you want to see a very, very long arm?" "Oh no, Mr. Luthor!"


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