Superman: The Movie (1978) Throwback Review

Distant planet called Krypton… Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…..

It’s Superman

Director: Richard Donner Writers: Mario PuzoDavid NewmanLeslie NewmanRobert Benton Run Time: 143

Jor-El… Marlon Brando
Lex Luthor Gene Hackman
Superman-Clark Kent… Christopher Reeve
Jonathan Kent… Glenn Ford
Lois Lane… Margot Kidder
Perry White… Jackie Cooper
Jimmy Olsen… Marc McClure
Otis… Ned Beatty
Eve Tessmacher… Valerie Perrine

superman 1978

Some of the best things about the movie are how it is shot, the props, the sets and of course having audiences believing a man could fly. From the opening scene, to the trial of Zod, to Clark racing a train right up to the Superman movie send off, it’s all kind of majestic in its delivery. As kids, most of us have seen this film and we probably thought this was real. As I re-watched this movie I couldn’t help but feel like the four-year old me again singing the songs. Honestly, John Williams deserves all the awards in the world. His influence in cinema may be underappreciated but the truth (proof) is in his work.

This movie is a classic.

superman the movieNow you may have wondered why I didn’t say a “timeless classic”, that’s because it is dated. Superman these days isn’t dating Lois. He’s shagging Wonder Woman, has armor, has two confusing comics and is currently being played by Henry Cavalli In Man Of Steel. The sets, style of cinematography and even how Mr. Reeves portrayed Clark is a bit out dated. It’s not the worst, but now it sort of doesn’t hold up. I understand the exact reason why, and it’s clear when one gets to the part where Superman is interviewed by Lois Lane at her apartment. To that point you should understand the importance of Clark’s mannerisms versus when he’s Superman. There’s even a nice contrast between Margot Kidder’s choices of character mannerisms when dealing with clark and dealing with Superman. That is probably the best acting for those two together. The best acted scene however is when Lois dies.superman--the-movie

It’s actually my all time favourite movie moment of all time. The noticeable silence, the cinematography, the greatest reaction to a death (I’ve ever seen) in a movie. The entire movie’s cast kind of has a theatrical feel to it. Even Chris Reeves has a strong theatre background. So when he got pissed that he couldn’t save Lois, and he says the “no’s” without any sound, only to have him yell at the heavens.

Yeah that’s epic (with today’s effects we may have seen him accidentally cause a shockwave of some sort). Add the fact that while he was still living on the farm, he couldn’t save his father it just has a nice added weight to it by the time that scene comes. Then the reversal of time via reverse globe spinning and all that confusion happens.

Honestly as far as origin stories go, this may have been one of the best – especially with the passing of time to the point where Clark goes to train with Jor-El (Smallville fans, Season 5). From early infant, to man, we don’t see Superman for the first hour. And then, when see Superman in action it’s pretty accurate to almost every origin of Superman I’ve seen, outside of “Earth One”. Superman is always first seen saving a plane or some kind of air craft.

The reason to fault this movie is in its own greatness. This story would basically be a Superman Earth 2 story from before “Crisis on Infinite Earths” got rid of that realm to smooth out their continuity. What that means to everyone else is that, the world of this Superman is yes, set in New York City, but it’s not a realistic NYC. It’s a world where he’s loved with no reason. He only saved Lois because well, it’s Lois. Towards the end, it does make sense but it’s hard to entirely accept.

Christopher_Reeve_TributeBottom line: this is one of those movies all kids should see or anyone really. But I know not everyone will. The movie is very light and kid friendly but still has a lot that adults can take from it, cinema students included.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

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coolyongelew

Comic nerd. Movie lover Director Gaffer/Lighting Tech D.O.P. Photographer

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