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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 »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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More Like This 

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
Stars: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman
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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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Details

Country:

UK | USA

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In shooting an emotional scene near the end of the film where Lois sheds tears while having a conversation with Superman on the roof of her apartment, Margot Kidder refused to have anything help her to cry, and sure enough, she was able to do it on her own. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Lex and Miss Tessmacher are in the balloon, after she helps him escape prison, he threatens to punch Miss Tessmacher in the mouth. He makes a fist with one hand, but in the next cut, it's his other hand that has the fist made. 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 ...
See more »

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 Krypto the Superdog (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It is NOT Donner's cut. It is a representation of what it WOULD have looked like.
28 November 2006 | by MannyCastroSee all my reviews

Before you watch this DVD there is something very important that you must understand. Richard Donner never completed Superman II. And, since he never completed the film it was impossible to truly make a "Donner cut" per say. What this DVD (edited and produced by Michael Thau) shows us is what the film "may" have looked like. Once you understand that you will be able to enjoy the experience.

Why do I go through that explanation? Well...because from the complains I've heard and read it seems that people don't seem to understand that. So, that's why I felt it should be addressed.

Now, on to the review...

Donner was hired by the Salkinds in '76 or '77 to direct two Superman films at the same time. When time and money was running out the decision was made to stop production on Superman II and focus on the first one. By that point Donner had already completed about 80% of the film. When Superman became the biggest hit of 1978 the decision by the Salkinds was to fire Donner. He was replaced by Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night) and Lester re-shot most of the film. Only about 30% of Donner's work remained.

After almost 30 years WB finally released Donner's version since most fans demanded to see it. And, on the DVD, Donner, thanks the fans which I felt was a nice touch.

The plot of the movie is the same as Lester's Superman II. General Zod and his goons escape the Phantom Zone. They arrive at Earth (or Planet Houston as they call it) and quickly take over. And, where's Superman? He made the mistake of giving up his powers to be with Lois Lane. So, will Superman recover his powers on time to save Earth from Zod? You will have to watch the film to find out.

Now, the question on everyone's mind is whether or not this version is truly better than Lester's take. The answer is yes! Why? Because Lester never really understood the material. Which is prove when you watch Superman III. Donner, on the other hand, truly understood the material. He understood that...YES...it's a comic book adaptation but it's still an art form. As silly as Superman may seem he understands that there is a wonderful story to tell. And, he understands that there is wonderful characters to develop and have an audience understand and fall in love with. When you watch this DVD that's what you'll see. A film directed by a man in love with the material. Not a film by a man who did it for the money. If you love Superman: The Movie then you'll love Richard Donner's version of Superman II. The ONLY flaw of this version is that it was never completed.


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