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Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980)

Superman II (original title)
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 Donner, Richard Lester (uncredited)

Writers:

Joe Shuster (characters), Jerry Siegel (characters) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Lex Luthor (archive footage)
Christopher Reeve ... Clark Kent / Kal-El / Superman (archive footage)
Marlon Brando ... Jor-El (archive footage)
Ned Beatty ... Otis (archive footage)
Jackie Cooper ... Perry White (archive footage)
Sarah Douglas ... Ursa (archive footage)
Margot Kidder ... Lois Lane (archive footage)
Jack O'Halloran ... Non (archive footage)
Valerie Perrine ... Eve Teschmacher (archive footage)
Clifton James ... Sheriff (archive footage)
E.G. Marshall ... The President (archive footage)
Marc McClure ... Jimmy Olsen (archive footage)
Terence Stamp ... General Zod (archive footage)
John Ratzenberger ... Controller #1 (archive footage)
Shane Rimmer ... Controller #2 (archive footage)
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Storyline

Before Krypton exploded and Jor-El put his baby son, Kal-El, in a rocket ship to Earth, the benevolent ruler was forced to banish three irredeemable criminals to another dimension called The Phantom Zone. The trio's leader, General Zod, vowed revenge. Later, of course, Kal-El grew up to become Superman, Earth's mighty champion. A battle with the criminal mastermind, Lex Luthor, ends with Superman hurling a nuclear warhead into space where it explodes, but not harmlessly. Instead, it frees the Kryptonian threesome from their other-dimensional prison. They soon discover they have almost unlimited power (the same powers, in fact, as Superman), which they use to take over the Earth. Meanwhile, the intrepid reporter, Lois Lane, learns that her bumbling colleague, Clark Kent, is really Superman, a revelation that leads to him bringing her to his frozen Fortress of Solitude and renouncing his powers in order to make love to her. It is only when Superman and Lois return to civilization that ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As Originally Conceived and Intended


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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the new scenes in this cut were shot during the production of Superman (1978). They had to be re-written and re-shot by Richard Lester because, under Director's Guild rules, he had to direct more than half the film to be credited. One exception to this, is the new alternate scene where Lois discovers Clark's true identity by shooting him. Richard Donner was never able to shoot this scene during principal photography. The take now used in this cut, was used as a screentest for Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder. See more »

Goofs

In the Richard Donnor cut during the sequence where Superman reverses time there are several crowd shots which clearly show modern day New York instead of when the rest of the movie takes place. You can tell by the style of clothes and the cars in the background. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jor-El: I ask you now to pronounce judgment on those accused. On this... this mindless aberration, whose only means of expression are wanton violence and destruction; on the woman Ursa, whose perversions and unreasoning hatred of all mankind have threatened even the children of the planet Krypton; finally, General Zod. Chief architect of this intended revolution and author of this insidious plot to establish a new order amongst us... with himself as absolute ruler. You have heard the ...
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Crazy Credits

After the Warner Bros./DC Comics logos, there is an on-screen dedication "in loving memory" of Christopher Reeve, "Without whom we would have never believed a man could fly". See more »

Connections

Version of The Adventures of Superboy (1961) See more »

User Reviews

 
In any shape or form, Superman II is a flawed masterpiece
30 December 2006 | by CalDexterSee all my reviews

I've just seen this 'Richard Donner' cut of Superman II after getting the Christopher Reeve box set for Christmas. Its great. Really great. But heres the thing. There is material in the Richard Lester version that has been airing in the UK for years that i love and when you see the Donner cut its either edited out or the music is completely changed! The scenes i'am talking about are really around the Krypton villains. Their arrival on the moon and attack on the astronauts was one of the best sequences in the movie and the villains' theme by Ken Thorne (originally by John Williams) which plays over that sequence and whenever they are on screen was fantastic...the soundtrack is not in that sequence in the Donner cut!

Also, the hand wrestling scene between the farmer and Ursa in the coffee shop is gone! Please don't get me wrong, this version is superb and i guess it is as close to seeing what Richard Donner originally intended for the sequel before he was replaced with Richard Lester. Also the 'new' footage which i have never seen is really great, especially the opening sequence with Lois Lane throwing herself out of the Daily Planet office window in an attempt to get Superman to save her, as is the small new inclusions of the attack on the White House, making it a little longer and more violent was the right direction and you can clearly see where the makers of the X Men got their inspiration from in this sequence.

The final battle at Superman's address in the North Pole is slightly disappointing. More a battle of super minds than super powers.

However, this is really fascinating if you are a Superman fan and thankfully because of the box set i now have both versions. One is not better than the other, they are both flawed brilliance.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Canada

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

28 November 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut See more »

Filming Locations:

Calgary, Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$54,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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