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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

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The Man of Steel crusades for nuclear disarmament and meets Lex Luthor's latest creation, Nuclear Man.

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(character created by: Superman), (character created by: Superman) | 5 more credits »
Bottom Rated Movies #58 | 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Superman / Clark Kent
... Lex Luthor / Nuclear Man (voice)
... Perry White
... Jimmy Olsen
... Lenny
... David Warfield
Mark Pillow ... Nuclear Man
... Lacy Warfield
... Lois Lane
Damian McLawhorn ... Jeremy
... Harry Howler
... Jean Pierre Dubois
... General Romoff
... Levon Hornsby
... U.S. President
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Storyline

Superman does a lot in his newest adventure. Archvillain Lex Luthor, determined to make the world safe for nuclear arms merchants, creates a new being to challenge the Man of Steel: the radiation-charged Nuclear Man. The two super-powered foes clash in an explosive screen extranvaganza that sees Superman save the Statue of Liberty, repulse a volcanic eruption of Mount Etna, rebuild the demolished Great Wall of China and perform many more spetactular feats. Written by Robert Lynch <docrlynch@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nuclear Power. In the best hands, it is dangerous. In the hands of Lex Luthor, it is pure evil. This is Superman's greatest battle. And it is for all of us.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Superman IV  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$15,681,020
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1987) | (pre-release cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Reeve suggested to Cannon to hire Ron Howard to direct this film. See more »

Goofs

The trains and the subway system are part the London Underground, not New York's subway system. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cosmonaut Captain: [in Russian] You can sing later comrade Sinatra.
Cosmonaut: [in Russian] Back at home they told me to sing in space.
See more »


Soundtracks

Down with Flu
(uncredited)
Composed by Alexander Courage
Original Material Composed by John Williams
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not As Bad As You Might Think...
31 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Despite its reputation as the worst of the Superman movies, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace is not. Despite the horrendous special effects and rushed ending, the film manages to still present itself with some respect.

Christopher Reeves had proved in the three previous films his ability to convincingly play the role of Superman. With this film, he not only proves his abilities but this is, in many respects, his best performance in the role. His speeches during the film are a sign of this and his chemistry with all the other actors helps also. Reeves also does his best to sell the special effects sequences it is a shame he couldn't. Reeves is the films biggest saving grace and it's a shame this would be his last time in the role.

Gene Hackman also returns in the role of Lex Luthor and with brings him that character's with, charm, and silent menace. But somehow he seems to be out of place most of the time and serves as a drawback in many of his scenes. Mark McClure, Jackie Cooper and Margot Kidder all return in their roles. But unfortunately they are all under used and their appearances might as well be cameos.

The rest of the cast does a decent job. Mark Pillow does excellent in the role of Nuclear Man, Luthor's super powered creation. Pillow does the role so well that one wonders how much better eh might have been in the special effects had been better. Mariel Hemingway is a welcomed addition to the cast as a heiress who serves as an additional love interest for Clark Kent. The only major addition that doesn't fit is Jon Cryer who could easily be the single most annoying character to ever appear in a Superman movie.

The film's real drawback is its low budget values. While this doesn't affect the majority of sets, the Fortress of Solitude set in particular looks cheap when compared to the one found in previous films. The same can also be said of the Daily Planet set. The low budget would also hurt the film in the area a budget was needed most: special effects.

The previous films, for all their flaws, at least had decent special effects and mostly convincing flying sequences and this film has neither. The special effects are sub-par by virtually any standard and despite being made nearly a decade after the first movie the effects from the first movie are still more convincing. The truly horrific nature of this films effect sequences can be seen during the climactic battles between Superman and Nuclear Man. The added addition of new powers with bad special effects doesn't help either.

The other major problem is the pacing of the film. The first 50 minutes or so is sheer entertainment that's the set up the story of both Superman riding the world of nukes and Luthor's evil plan. The set up, however, is better then the execution of the ending, which is both rushed and disjointed. The subplots of Mariel Hemingway's character and the boy who inspired Superman's quest are both left unfinished for example. Whole scenes feel incomplete and the final battle is over far too quickly to be effective.

But the film does have a saving grace in its concept. The idea of taking Superman, the ultimate hero of America, and placing him into the timely situation of Cold War disarmament is a stroke of utter brilliance. The concept of Luthor and Nuclear Man added to it also serve as an interesting addition to the story and it makes for good entertainment when viewed in this context. But this concept is ruined by the rushed feeling of the ending. But one still has to give high marks to Christopher Reeves and the screenwriters for their concept.

The films does have another saving grace: its musical score. Like the Ken Thorne scores for II and III, Alexander Courage's score makes heavy use of the John Williams themes composed for the first film and is highly effective. The Courage adaptation never fails to use the Williams music to maximum effect and it's a shame that, at Courage's own request, it has yet to see release.

Despite its flaws in special effects and editing, Superman IV has saving graces in Christopher Reeves, the rest of the cast, the music, and the timely nature of the story. While nowhere near as good as Superman The Movie or Superman II and while not as bad as Superman III, the film still serves its purpose and is your average Superman adventure.


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