7.3/10
157,728
574 user 199 critic

Superman (1978)

Trailer
2:39 | Trailer
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
1,415 ( 105)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the success of Rocky (1976), Sylvester Stallone lobbied hard to play Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman, but he was ultimately turned down (he was deemed "too Italian"). Stallone found out that Marlon Brando, who had casting approval, turned him down for the role, just as he had allegedly vetoed Burt Reynolds' casting as Sonny in The Godfather (1972). (Responding to that rumor, Brando told Playboy Magazine interviewer Lawrence Gobel, "Francis (Francis Ford Coppola) would never have cast Burt Reynolds.") Stallone subsequently went on Merv Griffin's talk show and denounced Brando, saying he had no respect for the superstar as an actor or as a man. This surprised many, as the early Stallone (as had the early Burt Reynolds) had clearly modeled himself after Brando, particularly Brando's characterization of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) in his own role as Stanley Rosiello in The Lords of Flatbush (1974), a man named "Stanley" (a la Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and who had a coop of pigeons on his tenement roof (like Terry Malloy). This mimicry might have been one of the the reasons Brando reportedly had such antipathy for both actors. Stallone later explained that he felt that it was hypocritical that Brando, who stated on numerous occasions that he took the role of Jor-El simply as a paycheck and nothing more, vetoed him for the role of Superman. Unlike Brando, Stallone grew up emulating and idolizing Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman (and continues to) as well as having a great love for the comics mythology. Ironically, in his review for the Stallone film Rocky (1976), Roger Ebert called Stallone "the next Marlon Brando." See more »

Goofs

When Superman and Lois Lane go out flying, wires are visible on Lois for a second or two when they take off. 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

For the first few opening credits, the graphics 'soar' towards the viewer. Following the appearance of the 'S' symbol, they change direction and from the film's title onwards, recede into the distance. See more »

Alternate Versions

(In the 188-minute version): At around 2:58:13, Jimmy Olsen snaps impromptu pictures of Lois Lane, before realizing he has no film in his Nikon F-series camera. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fade to Black (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Only You
(uncredited)
Written by Buck Ram
Performed by The Platters
See more »

User Reviews

Classic that will remain past the ends of time...
4 March 2004 | by TruPretenderSee all my reviews

In 1976 a pair of father/son producers were trying to find the perfect way to score a box office success. Then they thought of a new way to produce a Superhero movie. Alas, Superman was the most famous Superhero at the time and the rights were acquired. Then a director and writer were required. This is when they went to first Guy Hamilton, and then Richard Donner. Alas, Donner won the acclaim and the Newman's were on board for writing a script. After months of screen testing and such, a Superman was found and cast-that of a young New York native Christopher Reeve, who fit the bill and filled the role well. Then a gorgeous woman was needed for the part of Lois Lane, no more gorgeous than the manic, energetic actress Margot Kidder, who was then known for small movie roles such as The Great Waldo Pepper and Sisters. Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando had already signed on before alot of the cast was cast. And to make a long story short, Superman: The Movie was filmed! A great film indeed, with then state of the art special effects to make your views and experiences soar high! Christopher Reeve does a terrific job as the man of steel who learns of a plot to destroy the west coast. Gene Hackman was perfect for the role of Lex Luthor, the villain who wants to own his own territory of the would be new coast of California( Costa Del Lex!) Margot Kidder was just right as the gorgeous Lois Lane who falls in love with Superman but gives Clark Kent lessons on life, while Jackie Cooper is great as Perry White. Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine do good performances as well as supporting dim witted characters. The script had to be re worked for a couple of times because of being too hammy, and so Donner brought in the wonderful Tom Mank. who did a great job of modifying the script to a more down to earth level. Great musical score by John Williams. T.V. version ran 191 minutes in full length on the famous California tele channel KCOP. But all was not well in paradise. Richard Donner was in opposing thoughts with producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind, and so a mediator was brought in, that of Richard Lester, directer of the Three and Four Musketeers, and the Beatles films. This went on whilst Superman and Superman II were being filmed back to back. Then, in a sudden chance to get Superman released before the year 1979, the cast and crew stopped filming Superman II to finish the first film. And so it was done, but at was price...


60 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 574 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,465,343, 17 December 1978

Gross USA:

$134,451,603

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$300,451,667
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 Stereo (35 mm prints)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed