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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
1,299 ( 72)
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, 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

Gene Hackman flatly refused to shave his head or wear a "bald cap" to play Lex Luthor. To get around this issue, Hackman's own natural hair was styled differently from scene to scene to give the appearance of him having changed hairpieces. Numerous hairpieces are visible in his underground complex. Hackman relented and wore a skullcap in one scene, when he is taken to prison by Superman. It is visible when he angrily rips off his hairpiece to address the prison's warden, who questions who he is. Hackman was also forced to shave off his mustache, which he was keen on keeping at the time. See more »

Goofs

At the train station, the New Haven engine that masks Otis's entrance to Luthor's lair and the one that hits the detective Harry are the same unit, number board 5048. 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

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

Referenced in What It's Like Trying to Be an Actor (2017) 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

 
Superman Takes Off On The Big Screen
10 January 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

It's interesting that another re-make is coming out this year. Man, time flies because I vividly remember when this movie came out and the excitement it caused. This was the first Superman anyone had ever seen with modern-day special effects, so it was pretty cool, to say the least.

It's still very entertaining, and the more I watch this the more I'm amused with the villain (Gene Hackman as "Lex Luthor") and the lines he delivers. He's a funny guy. Christopher Reeve, meanwhile, was always a popular "Man Of Steel" and the special effects are still fun to watch, from the long opening scenes showing the end of the planet Kryton all the way to the ending credits. There's a solid soundtrack to this, too.

Personally, I didn't care for Margot Kidder as Lois Lane but then again, Lane's character in the 1950s TV series was a bit annoying, too. I guess it comes with her character. However, being a kid growing up with that series with all its innocence (it's now on DVD, by the way, and worth a purchase), it was just too weird hearing Lois ask Superman what color her panties were!

Anyway, this is simply great entertainment. As a superhero, Superman has always been THE MAN. Three sequels followed this film, the second one being the best in my opinion.


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