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
1,137 ( 94)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 20 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-screenwriters Robert Benton and David Newman had written the book for the 1966 Broadway musical "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman", which ran 129 performances. See more »

Goofs

When Baby Kal-El is launched from Krypton and his pod shatters the skylight, the falling glass makes the ship sway as if on a string, because it IS dangling from a string. 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...
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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

In the original theatrical release of the movie in Israel, many scenes were cut to make the film's running time shorter. The reason was that the theater owners wanted to show more screenings of the film every night, so they cut out some dialogue scenes from the beginning and some scenes of Superman flying in the air, deeming it would be too boring for teenagers. See more »

Connections

Featured in Scope (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Give a Little Bit
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson
Performed by Supertramp
Courtesy of A&M Records
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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Canada | Switzerland | France

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

Gross USA:

$134,451,603

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$300,451,603
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1980 video release) | (2000 restoration) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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