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Superman II (1980)

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Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.

Directors:

Richard Lester, Richard Donner (uncredited)

Writers:

Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman), Joe Shuster (character created by: Superman) | 4 more credits »
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3,715 ( 128)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Lex Luthor
Christopher Reeve ... Superman / Clark Kent
Ned Beatty ... Otis
Jackie Cooper ... Perry White
Sarah Douglas ... Ursa
Margot Kidder ... Lois Lane
Jack O'Halloran ... Non
Valerie Perrine ... Eve Teschmacher
Susannah York ... Lara
Clifton James ... Sheriff
E.G. Marshall ... The President
Marc McClure ... Jimmy Olsen
Terence Stamp ... General Zod
Leueen Willoughby ... Leueen
Robin Pappas Robin Pappas ... Alice
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Storyline

Picking up where "Superman: The Movie" left off, three criminals, General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa, (Sarah Douglas), and Non (Jack O'Halloran) from the planet Krypton are released from the Phantom Zone by a nuclear explosion in space. They descend upon Earth where they could finally rule. Superman, meanwhile, is in love with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), who finds out who he really is. Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) escapes from prison and is determined to destroy Superman by joining forces with the three criminals. Written by Keith Howley <lald@ptdprolog.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Man of Steel is back, and better than ever! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some language and brief mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Canada

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

19 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Superman 2 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$54,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,100,523, 21 June 1981

Gross USA:

$108,185,706

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,185,706
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Richard Donner Cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to various behind the scenes material, and somewhat weirdly as many would assume it was an actual USA location, the small town set, where Zod and co arrive at, was actually on or near the (original) Pinewood Studios backlot, around Iver Heath, using some fake perspective. This is also the same Chobham Common, with an alternate set build, used as the real world location of James Bond ancestral home in "Scotland", in Skyfall. See more »

Goofs

When the 3 Kryptonian villains stop the police car, it's a 1972 Ford. After they throw the rifle underneath and show the back of the car, it's a 1971 Ford. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Krypton guard: Alert, alert, alert.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits incorporate an extensive amount of footage from the first Superman movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

The ABC television version originally contained 17 minutes of footage that had been cut from the theatrical release, much of it remnants of Richard Donner's scenes he originally shot before 'Richard Lester' became director, while others are alternate scenes involving Lex Luthor in prison and the Fortress of Solitude. Also, the network version has an alternate ending where Lex Luthor is arrested and taken away by the Arctic Police (and, if you look closely, the three Phantom Zone villains are also arrested and taken away!), thus explaining Luthor's appearance in "Superman IV".
  • At the end of the film Clark Kent bumps into a large bald guy, which reminds him to go to the diner to face the obnoxious trucker who beat him up earlier
  • Superman destroys his Fortress of Solitude.
  • The Phantom Zone villains land outside the Fortress of Solitude with Lex Luthor and Lois Lane, trying to figure out how to get in!
  • Extended scenes of the three Kryptonians invasion of the White House, with Zod using a gun and Non frightening a dog.
  • Superman cooks souffle using his heat vision, during dinner with Lois.
  • Extended discussion between Zod and Ursa on the moon.
  • The three Kryptonian villains are arrested in the TV version.
See more »

Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1980 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother's Advice
(uncredited)
Composed and Conducted by Ken Thorne
Original Material Composed by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Superman Returns
11 February 2004 | by DarthBillSee all my reviews

It's really a shame that those jerks the Salkinds fired Richard Donner after he made the first Superman movie into a smash hit. For one thing, the 2nd one could have and would have been better with Donner still at the helm and, quite possibly, "Superman III" and "Supergirl" may not have sucked. The only thing in the movie that Richard Lester really deserves any credit for is directing the 12 minute fight in Metropolis between Superman, General Zod, Non and Ursa. That scene is still fun to watch, even with today's overblown CGI.

Well, #2 is the love story entry in the series as Lois Lane discovers that Superman and Clark Kent are the same guy and she lets him know about her infatuation with him. They go steady in his Fortress of Solitude, he gives up his powers so he can live a normal life with her (which the comic book Superman WOULD NEVER DO) then he has to get them restored after he finds out that the villains General Zod, Ursa and Non are raising hell and taking over the planet. Lex Luther is also back for the 2nd go around.

People keep complaining that the film doesn't explain how Superman got his powers restored. Well, I have an old copy of an ABC Sunday night showing of "Superman II" and, mind you I still haven't bought the DVD, the TV showing implied that Superman used the green crystal - the same one that started off his awakening in the first movie and built the Fortress of Solitude - to restore his powers. And according to an interview I read with Richard Donner, the whole idea was that Superman restored his powers by draining all the crystals in his Fortress of Solitude and lost the ability to contact the ghosts of his parents in the process. Another plot hole I can't get over is how Superman ever fell for the Margot Kidder version of Lois Lane - she's an illiterate, chain smoking scatter brain! Gene Hackman still gives the worst performance of his career as Lex Luther, but hey, it's Gene!

Legend has it that Hackman refused to do "Superman III" because he was outraged over the way the Salkinds had treated Richard Donner.

Christopher Reeve is still a good Superman though, and here he actually has a real threat in the form of cold blooded Terence Stamp as General Zod, who is helped by Jack O'Halloran's mute hulk Non and Sarah Douglas's misanthropic Ursa (she later played the evil queen in "Conan the Destroyer"). And as mentioned above, the fight between Superman and Zod's trio is a knock out. Don't miss Christopher Reeve/Superman throwing Terence Stamp/Zod into the giant neon Coke sign!


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