Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: December 15, 1978
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 240 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
191
Mixed:
34
Negative:
15
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
8
grandpajoe6191Sep 22, 2011
Do you people know how comic book adapted movies started out? Uh Huh. "Superman" started it all, and guess what; it was marvelous.
8 of 8 users found this helpful80
All this user's reviews
10
GregMDec 12, 2008
There have been other actors before christopher reeve that played the part of superman but he made the character of clark kent and superman come to life.
5 of 5 users found this helpful
10
Delta_AssaultSep 28, 2011
This movie has a special place in my heart. Christopher Reeve set the bar for all other actors portraying superheroes. And nobody since has managed to meet it. To me, Reeve *is* the Man of Steel. I don't care if the special effects are datedThis movie has a special place in my heart. Christopher Reeve set the bar for all other actors portraying superheroes. And nobody since has managed to meet it. To me, Reeve *is* the Man of Steel. I don't care if the special effects are dated these days. This film's greatness transcends that. After all, Superman Returns had state of the art special effects and yet was a complete failure of a film. Christopher Reeve was able to make me believe a man could fly.

Also, Superman is one of those magical movies that really lodged itself in my mind because it's one of those films that, because of its length, I could never actually finish watching as a kid. Ya know, it's one of those films that you'll catch on tv, or see at a day care center somewhere in Reno, and yet something will always come up which prevents you from getting the ending. Either you'll just fall asleep, or you'll get picked up from the daycare center... just events unfold which prevent a full viewing. For me, it was this film and Back to the Future 2 that always seemed to last forever and I'd never finish till the end. That gave them a sort of mystique in my childhood.

Now, there is one weakness of Superman, and that's the ending. Superman turns the world backwards in time to save Lois and stop California from falling into the ocean. Yes, it's not great... it doesn't really make any sense. But it's one small blemish on an otherwise grand superhero origin story. And honestly, how could you resist the very end when Christopher Reeve flies over the earth at the onset of a new dawn, looks up at us, and smiles in the way that Superman would smile? It's just movie magic, folks.

What makes Superman work is Richard Donner's verisimilitude, especially during the Krypton and Smallville scenes. This movie was the first to tell the superhero origin story, and is still the best one, in my opinion. The shots of the crystalline Kryptonian landscape are awe inspiring. You really believe this is an alien world with an alien people. Smallville looked like the town that Norman Rockwell grew up in. Sure, it doesn't actually exist in real life, but it looks like how we would all want a small American town to look. Who wouldn't want to grow up in a pastural idyllic setting like that? Who could possibly doubt that America's greatest hero would emerge from such a place? When the camera rose and zoomed ahead of Clark and Martha Kent, embracing in a rich field of golden wheat, it was the film letting us know we had just witnessed the birth of a modern American myth.

And of course, the soundtrack. Who the hell doesn't know the Superman soundtrack? I haven't really talked about the soundtrack of any other film in my reviews, and it's for good reason. None of them matter compared to John Williams' work here. Truly a masterpiece of scoring, and probably his greatest work to date. The notes simply cry out "Superman" even though there aren't any lyrics. Just as Aliens worked to pummel you with dread and suspense, the Superman music worked to uplift the spirit and allow the audience to soar like the Man of Steel himself.
Expand
5 of 5 users found this helpful50
All this user's reviews
10
ZilcellMay 11, 2012
Superman, possibly the first superhero movie ever, is a movie that is exactly what Superman should be. Lets hope someday Superman has a video game that is as good as this movie.
5 of 5 users found this helpful50
All this user's reviews
10
TedF.Oct 28, 2008
Before Batman Begins, Spider-man 2, Iron Man, and Dark Knight there was Superman and Superman II. Fantastic film making with wondrous moments. John Williams score takes flight. They got it right. Superman Returns needs to get back to this Before Batman Begins, Spider-man 2, Iron Man, and Dark Knight there was Superman and Superman II. Fantastic film making with wondrous moments. John Williams score takes flight. They got it right. Superman Returns needs to get back to this formula of film making - bright colors, fun story plots, spunky superboy, and energetic risk taker(Lois Lane). Superman is American Pop culture. I think of Coca Cola, Apple Pie, Uncle Sam, State Fairs, and Amusement Parks. I love the story of Superman. The whole thing. I think Donner and Lester both understood the super hero myth and where it fits with Americana. I would sure love more movies made like these. I don't think they ever get old. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful
10
NKOASNov 17, 2012
Arguably the greatest superhero of all time in what is inarguably his greatest movie. Yes, its campy. Its campy to the extreme. But it meant to be. Superman, from the clothes to the sets to the colors, is a living comic book. The classic ManArguably the greatest superhero of all time in what is inarguably his greatest movie. Yes, its campy. Its campy to the extreme. But it meant to be. Superman, from the clothes to the sets to the colors, is a living comic book. The classic Man of Steel books of yesteryear brought to life on screen, and the most faithful adaptation of the superhero source material you'll find. Of course, in the light of the obsession with "dark, gritty and real", the film falters, but its not about that. It's about childlike wonderment, it's about the good, honest power of Superman, the sincerity of it all. He's not a tortured soul, but merely a good-hearted young man with a sense of purpose, played inimitably by the late Christopher Reeves. And say what you will about the Caped Crusader, nobody cared when Rachel blew up like we did when Lois died. We all wanted to spin the world backwards then. It is a comic book through and through, and maybe not the bleak, murder-filled darkness everyone prefers, but for what it is, it's perfection. Let go of the obsession with brooding, turn on your inner child, and watch. You will believe a man can fly. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
All this user's reviews
10
BrandonL.Mar 17, 2006
'Superman' has been a personal favorite of mine for 10 years. Compared to the superhero films of today, 'Superman' still stands out as the best comic-to-film adaptation. A brilliant movie with everything you could want in 'Superman' has been a personal favorite of mine for 10 years. Compared to the superhero films of today, 'Superman' still stands out as the best comic-to-film adaptation. A brilliant movie with everything you could want in a movie R.I.P. Christopher Reeve: 1952-2004. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful
10
AlbertoE.Dec 4, 2006
I really enjoyed this movie as a child, yet I learned through time that it has a lot of editing and continuity mistakes, I still like it. And Chris Reeve will be Superman to me forever!
3 of 3 users found this helpful
10
cinewillJun 17, 2006
Truly inspirational, saw it recently at the Arclight Hollywood with Richard Donner commenting live. Donner was a prankster and that level of fun sets the tone of the film. THe emotional depth Chris Reeve displays is amazing! This movie is a Truly inspirational, saw it recently at the Arclight Hollywood with Richard Donner commenting live. Donner was a prankster and that level of fun sets the tone of the film. THe emotional depth Chris Reeve displays is amazing! This movie is a gift to all comic book lovers! Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful
10
GeorgeS.Jul 14, 2006
Quite possibly the best super hero movie of all time. Special effects years ahead of its time, Puzo's script was great, Donner was spot on directing, best complete casting job of all time, and what else can you say about Chris Reeves - Quite possibly the best super hero movie of all time. Special effects years ahead of its time, Puzo's script was great, Donner was spot on directing, best complete casting job of all time, and what else can you say about Chris Reeves - he will forever BE Superman. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful
10
JaredK.Nov 11, 2008
The first superhero movie is one of the best still, see this movie.
3 of 3 users found this helpful
10
demeloJul 3, 2013
BEST MOVIE EVER! The critics are a bunch of idiots because "Man of Steel" is a must see, especially on IMAX 3D! It was epic! Best movie of the year! The acting was superb, special effects and graphics were amazing! and story line was edge ofBEST MOVIE EVER! The critics are a bunch of idiots because "Man of Steel" is a must see, especially on IMAX 3D! It was epic! Best movie of the year! The acting was superb, special effects and graphics were amazing! and story line was edge of your seat entertaining. I love the fact that they still incorporated some of the old school storyline into a modern day feel. I recommend everyone see this movie. I plan to see it again! Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
10
GODIRECTJul 3, 2013
AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! Best Superman Movie ever made hand down! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie so much so I am going to see it again at the IMAX 3D.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
10
happynewmammaJul 3, 2013
I loved this movie! It was amazing! super entertaining....DO NOT LISTEN TO CRITICS! Judge for yourself and go see it. You will not be disappointed. Superman is my HERO!
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
All this user's reviews
10
fatoshajdini101Oct 27, 2014
One of the best superhero movie ever! Christopher Reeve is a fantastic Superman, the effects are wonderful and the scenes are really great. This remains as my favorite since childhood.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
All this user's reviews
6
ChadJan 28, 2007
It seems everyone wants to remain forever a child these days, but this movie is not that good. It is entertaining for kids, but hardly worthy of the fawning reviews it's received from critics. I supect it is at least partially due to It seems everyone wants to remain forever a child these days, but this movie is not that good. It is entertaining for kids, but hardly worthy of the fawning reviews it's received from critics. I supect it is at least partially due to sentimetality over Christopher's Reeves' unfortunate fate. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
TomMSep 27, 2005
There has yet to be a film in this genre that has topped it. Other critics were quick to jump the gun with Spider-Man or X-Men but time has already aged those films like so much cheese...while Superman continues to age like fine wine. There has yet to be a film in this genre that has topped it. Other critics were quick to jump the gun with Spider-Man or X-Men but time has already aged those films like so much cheese...while Superman continues to age like fine wine. Perfect casting, perfect chemistry, perfect music and nearly perfect dialog (albeit somewhat cheesy and uneven with the comic relief of Luthor and Otis) make this the all-time best superhero movie. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
cag11Nov 29, 2013
This is an original superhero movie. Sure its extremely cheesy, but hey, no one really cares at this point. It's a classic. It began the Superman franchise. Although most of the other ones were bad, this one was still okay.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
DSNov 22, 2008
Looks like somebody got bored and decided to trash a classic film. Yeah it seems a bit dated now, but it's a great great movie. Supes is in need of a reboot.
7 of 9 users found this helpful
1
PeterJDec 23, 2008
DON'T BELIEVE THE 88 RATING. This is a pretty bad movie. The pacing is horrible, not nearly 2 and 1/2 hours of material, and the special effects aged poorly. One wonders how esteemed critics could have been bamboozled by such tripe. The DON'T BELIEVE THE 88 RATING. This is a pretty bad movie. The pacing is horrible, not nearly 2 and 1/2 hours of material, and the special effects aged poorly. One wonders how esteemed critics could have been bamboozled by such tripe. The sound track and opening sequence are ripped off Star Wars, which is funny but sad. The acting is ok later on: two good scenes with comic relief between Clark and Lois, but the script is otherwise cheesy, (including Lois's in-flight mental poetics: "I'm flying so high/ Up in the sky") and Lex Luthor's insufferable whining. The action sequences are fraught with holes and fail to arouse even the barest tendrils of excitement. The only reason to watch this movie is for historical purposes to see how the film version of Superman began. And if you're a big Christopher Reeve fan (though the red panties didn't age well either...) Otherwise, a waste of time. Expand
0 of 7 users found this helpful
0
DamonC.Jan 28, 2008
The problem with this movie is that it goes too far with Superman's powers. And whenever he fights a bad guy, he always wins. Its like he's undestructable and invincible. And director Richard Donner cheesily art directs this movie, The problem with this movie is that it goes too far with Superman's powers. And whenever he fights a bad guy, he always wins. Its like he's undestructable and invincible. And director Richard Donner cheesily art directs this movie, with a horrible style, unengaging fashion, and a dull, dudfull life. Superman would have been better if it weren't cheesy, frick'n overrated, and better acting. Its so corny, Richard Donner presents a getting far overaged, and has easily lost its high standards it once had. The affects are terrible, everything sucks. The kryptonyte stuff, the nudity (which in the beginning shows an 8 year-old kid butt-naked, showing absolutely everything, and some parts we don't want to see), its nudity like never before, but a bit too much. The planet Krypton stuff, the 7 crystal things, the ghost of his father, led being a weakness. There are so many stupid ideas. Just to settle the reviews, I personally think this is a simply forgettable bore. Snd a huge disappointing letdown. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful
9
DollisJun 14, 2013
I seen the movie man of steel and i give 3 and a half star's that doesn't mean it is a bad movie., i like more Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) and the soundtrack of Superman (1978) is better.
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
All this user's reviews
8
ThatCooperGuyJun 25, 2015
The effects have not aged well, and there are a few points where the film's pace goes a tad too slow. However, "Superman: The Movie" benefits from fun action, being delightfully cheesy, and the late Christopher Reeve playing the man of steel.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
7
RicosuaveJul 1, 2006
As much as i wanted to like this film i just couldn't get over the plot holes in the end. He goes back in time to save lois, so that should mean that everything he did to save the world should have been undone, but it wasn't i justAs much as i wanted to like this film i just couldn't get over the plot holes in the end. He goes back in time to save lois, so that should mean that everything he did to save the world should have been undone, but it wasn't i just don't get it. just cuz he went back in time doesn't mean the earthquake and stuff won't happen now. that just brought the movie way down for me. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
[Anonymous]Jan 2, 2007
Christopher Reeve proves he's certainly a phenomenon. However, the film is a bit overrated. Superman winds back time?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
ChristopherG.Dec 31, 2005
If I had seen this for the first time not some fifteen years after it came out I might have rated it higher. It's not the best superhero to movie adaptation (Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 were better), but none the less ranks among the If I had seen this for the first time not some fifteen years after it came out I might have rated it higher. It's not the best superhero to movie adaptation (Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 were better), but none the less ranks among the best Superhero films. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
ERG1008Oct 19, 2010
Planet about to explode, parents send son to Earth in capsule, old couple find capsule & adopt son, son is not all that he seems.
The film that made Christopher Reeve & he really does excel in the lead as both Clark Kent & Superman. Has a
Planet about to explode, parents send son to Earth in capsule, old couple find capsule & adopt son, son is not all that he seems.
The film that made Christopher Reeve & he really does excel in the lead as both Clark Kent & Superman. Has a hell of a cast around him too with Gene Hackman hamming it up as Lex Luthor, a bumbling Ned Beatty & a very sexy Valerie Perrine as his assistants.
The first hour is very well done setting up the background & the hero growing up but I felt it got a bit silly later on when everything becomes a cheesy catalogue of disaster & the effects haven't dated too well either.
John Williams's score is huge, the main theme being the highlight, but there is a lot of similarities with Star Wars in the incidental music.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
MichaelDJun 14, 2011
Well the movie was good enough to watch. And the actor for Superman acted pretty well so yeah it was good that's worth watching.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
MonsieurEamesJul 12, 2012
The effects are outdated now, but when Superman first came into theaters it astounded audiences. Although the effects haven't aged particularly well, Superman is a feel-good, well-told superhero origin story that features strong performancesThe effects are outdated now, but when Superman first came into theaters it astounded audiences. Although the effects haven't aged particularly well, Superman is a feel-good, well-told superhero origin story that features strong performances from a terrific cast. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
christhebeast42Aug 29, 2013
This a great film. The one thing I cannot stand in this movie is superman turning back time to save Lois. Superman cannot do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
ScorpionMay 19, 2013
The film is very dated and grimace, but the performance of C.Reve behind some weight to the image of the character and the film, but the trump card is its soundtrack which has a theme inspiring and phenomenal band, and a reasonable communistThe film is very dated and grimace, but the performance of C.Reve behind some weight to the image of the character and the film, but the trump card is its soundtrack which has a theme inspiring and phenomenal band, and a reasonable communist history the film keeps slowly but good. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
conserdMay 16, 2014
Great movie, really the first good superhero movie and it's a classic despite being somewhat outdated. Gotta love Christopher Reave as Superman he does it perfect and is one of the reasons this movie is a blast.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
SuperheroMoviesAug 5, 2013
Insanely entertaining, and a complete breakout movie for its time period, both as a superhero film and an epic in special effects. Superman is one exciting ride.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
MovieGuysJun 8, 2014
The original Superman is campy, superficially fun stuff, and knows it's that way. It's a bit overlong and the dialogue is cheesy at points, but all in all it passes the time. Hey, at least it's better than Man of Steel.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
marcmyworksJan 22, 2014
Originally filmed back to back with Superman 2, Richard Donner was fired half way through filming the second part (due to budget and timing miscalculations) and the end of Superman 2 was slapped onto the first. The genius with the former isOriginally filmed back to back with Superman 2, Richard Donner was fired half way through filming the second part (due to budget and timing miscalculations) and the end of Superman 2 was slapped onto the first. The genius with the former is bringing to life such an iconic character, but yet it still feels like something is missing. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
supermann234Nov 17, 2014
This movie is probably still the best Superman movies compared to modern-day Superman movies. Despite having no fight scenes, this movie sticks very closely to the comics, and is iconic as a Superman movie. This movie also has the bestThis movie is probably still the best Superman movies compared to modern-day Superman movies. Despite having no fight scenes, this movie sticks very closely to the comics, and is iconic as a Superman movie. This movie also has the best Superman theme. I am very impressed on how these people make such a good movie even in the 1970s. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
diogomendesSep 3, 2014
It's goofy yeah, I got that. But this classic super-hero film conveys a talented cast and a well-crafted storytelling that is more than enough to satisfy.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
5
MovieGKMay 8, 2014
I am really sorry to say it but this movie is out of time. Maybe it was cool in the 70' but now.. nope. I mean Superman is not super because the technology couldn't show us his full scale of power. So it had to focus to much on humor and itI am really sorry to say it but this movie is out of time. Maybe it was cool in the 70' but now.. nope. I mean Superman is not super because the technology couldn't show us his full scale of power. So it had to focus to much on humor and it feels to much like a kids movie. Reeve was good for that purpose i'll give you that Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
nick_knackSep 30, 2014
Though it can be corny at times, Christopher Reeves performance as well as Richard Donner's direction and the dazzling effects make Superman a classic
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
SythusRATINGSOct 18, 2014
An adventure re-told, spanning the Man of Steel's life from his Krypton infancy and Midwest boyhood to his career as Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent and through his titanic struggle with archnemesis Lex Luthor.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
MattBrady99Nov 8, 2015
Superman (1978 film) still remains as the best Superman movie ever made. The visual effects may be dated today, but I still find some scenes visually impressive and it uses the CGI very well. Christopher Reeve is fantastic as Superman,Superman (1978 film) still remains as the best Superman movie ever made. The visual effects may be dated today, but I still find some scenes visually impressive and it uses the CGI very well. Christopher Reeve is fantastic as Superman, because he made the character his own while respecting the source material to the character. Oh and let's not forget about John Williams amazing score. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
MrMovieBuffApr 25, 2017
'Superman' is a revolutionary; a movie that made many movie-goers believe that men can fly. The superhero epic, released just one year after the ground-breaking 'Star Wars' (1977) continues to lead special effects artistry to the next level,'Superman' is a revolutionary; a movie that made many movie-goers believe that men can fly. The superhero epic, released just one year after the ground-breaking 'Star Wars' (1977) continues to lead special effects artistry to the next level, resulting to one of the most extraordinary movie experiences ever. Superman's father, Jor-El (Marlon Brando) decides to leave his son, Kal-El to travel to planet earth, while his home planet, Krypton is destroyed, and the evil General Zod (Terrence Stamp) is sent to the Phantom Zone to await his punishment. While landing on earth, a young Kal-El finds himself bumping into Kents, Jonathan and Martha, who decide to take him home and raise him like he is their son. As he is raised to be "Clark Kent", growing up, he has managed to remain in hiding his powers, keeping them a secret just like he promised his adopted parents. When he becomes a fully grown adult - now played by Christopher Reeve - and discovers his true origins, he dons the iconic suit and decides to use his powers for the greater good, by helping out innocent people and fighting crime. He decides to live an ordinary life by getting a job at the Daily Planet newspaper company. It's there he meets a woman he likes named Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), a reporter who is very spunky and ambitious, and even gets to meet Superman himself from time to time. Little do we know that Metropolis is in terrible danger as the evil Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) threatens to make a fortune by buying large amounts of barren desert island, this is after he learned that the U.S. Army and Navy will launch a nuclear missile test. What makes 'Superman' so remarkable is the fact that it manages to break new ground in regards to special effects and tell a meaningful and deep story at the same time. Reeve fits the role perfectly as the Man of Steel, providing not only the look, but the wit and charm of the character we all love from the comic books. This is a movie that every comic book fan should see, if you haven't already seen it yet. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
TheDude-Jul 19, 2015
Superman is awesome the film has a out of body experience to offer it fleshes out the characters perfectly, the story was relatable and intriguing, watching superman save people in this film is so magical and nostalgic.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
EpicLadySpongeMar 21, 2016
Just before we hit the big screen with two popular DC superheroes fighting each other, I've decided to make an early review on this movie. Superman brings super justice to Hollywood.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
6
BarneyOnMTJan 23, 2016
WHAT I LIKED: A fun, classic origin of one of the most iconic superheroes stands the test of time. It sets up a character well, taking time to build Superman himself far better than many subsequent attempts - it really does this throughoutWHAT I LIKED: A fun, classic origin of one of the most iconic superheroes stands the test of time. It sets up a character well, taking time to build Superman himself far better than many subsequent attempts - it really does this throughout with great care and attention. But in the end, the reason it's enjoyable now is because it's cliched. It makes you smile
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's so far-fetched in places, that you can't particularly get into it or feel emotionally attatched to the story. This isn't helped by the dated special effects (that are albeit still ahead of their time)
VERDICT: It's cliched, and ridiculous. But parts of it really work. 'Superman' is a classic that makes you smile.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
gameguardian21Mar 20, 2016
This is the one superman movie we can all love. This was the one superman movie that everyone wanted to having an inspiring super hero to have one of the greatest superman movie and probably the best superman movie of the late 70"s early 80"s.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
0
MovieNightMar 6, 2016
Comic strips in newspapers or magazines have often been used as the bases of films, but never on such a big scale as in Richard Donner’s Superman – the Movie. The scenes look as if no money has been spared on them, nor ingenuity, for thatComic strips in newspapers or magazines have often been used as the bases of films, but never on such a big scale as in Richard Donner’s Superman – the Movie. The scenes look as if no money has been spared on them, nor ingenuity, for that matter – both very desirable in an elaborate fantasy lasting over two and a quarter hours.

For those who know Jerry Siegel’s and Joe Shuster’s comic strip, which has been running since the ‘30s, no introduction to their hero will be needed. Others will be glad of the opening sequence, which is a prologue showing how Superman came to be launched towards Earth from the planet Krypton.
Marlon Brando, the only well-informed member of Krypton’s council, ruling from a cast concrete capital in a landscape of ice, predicts the planet’s destruction within 30 days.

When this is not heeded by such experienced colleagues on the council as Trevor Howard or Harry Andrews, he and his wife (Susannah York) decide to launch their baby son earthwards in a spacecraft that looks more beautiful than practical – like a starfish in pale pink ice.

Krypton duly blowing up is suitably spectacular; and when, after a long journey, the baby arrives, he’s a little boy capable of holding up car with one hand when the wheel-jack fails. The middle-aged childless American couple with the car who pick him up in a field naturally adopt him, and by the time he’s in his late teens he’s kicking footballs over the horizon and outrunning fast trains, such are his powers.
Only these feats are not, evidently, what he’s here for; and he is summoned northwards to hear words of wisdom nobly delivered, from a reincarnated Mr Brando, speaking from a lovely crystalline building that recalls Ibsen’s Temple of Ice.
His next appearance is in what looks like New York but is called Metropolis, to work, of all places, as a reporter on a newspaper. It’s called, most appropriately, the Daily Planet, with Jacki Cooper as a nice old-fashioned news editor and Margot Kidder as pretty little Lois, the “ace” reporter.
Dressed in a dark city suit and wearing horn-rimmed specs, Superman seems frightfully shy and square; but this is only a disguise, and he has just to put on a red cloak and boots to become another being who can fly through the air – well, rather too much like Batman, who also came from a comic strip, I often found myself thinking.

It seems he is here “to fight for truth and justice in the American way,” which brings him into conflict with one, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). He describes himself as the best criminal brain of his time, working from luxurious headquarters with a pretty secretary (Valerie Perrine) and a silly side-kick (Ned Beatty).
When it eventually gets to the Planet that someone is actually flying around at night, obstructing criminal activities, the news editor naturally puts Lois on to the job; and it is to her, for romantic reasons, that Superman first displays himself in a rather charming and also funny scene, for he has X-ray eyes, and while he can assure her that her lungs are not suffering from smoking, he can also tell her the colour of her underwear.

A subsequent scene when he saves her from a crashing helicopter is good cliff-hanger stuff which ends romantically when they seem to be waltzing away together through the night sky, and one is only sorry when he has to turn to more serious business, such as substituting for an airliner’s dud engine.
These feats, and the actual flying, are arranged by the special effects department with equal gracefulness and naturalness, and superbly photographed by Geoffrey Unsworth; so the film picturesquely and gradually winds up towards the great confrontation and battle of wits between our hero and Luthor, who intends to use a doctored nuclear missile to destroy the whole of California – it’s just part of a deal in real estate.

What with bridges going down, dams bursting and cars piling up on motorways following some big explosion, the film seems for a time to become mere destruction drama, but happily the lighter touch is eventually restored with Superman’s arrival in the nick of time, to save his Lois and civilisation.
All this makes a highly entertaining, though undemanding mixture, of sci-fi, romance and comedy, which could hardly have come off at all at any lower artistic level, nor without such a happy choice for the central part as Christopher Reeve. He manages the two sides of the character, the super and the shy, wonderfully well by bringing to both just the slightest suggestion of burlesque, as if, in fact, he was inwardly enjoying rather a good little joke.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
FuturedirectorMar 12, 2016
A well-chosen cast, depth story-telling and a truly soaring result (especially thanks to Christopher Reeve's unforgettable interpretation and Richard Dooner's smart direction), 1978's Superman is a really nostalgic and satisfying tribute toA well-chosen cast, depth story-telling and a truly soaring result (especially thanks to Christopher Reeve's unforgettable interpretation and Richard Dooner's smart direction), 1978's Superman is a really nostalgic and satisfying tribute to an American pop culture icon. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
superbatJul 2, 2016
Superman was really the beginning of comic book movies. It sets the bar high for its successors, and to this day Reeve remains the best Superman. Really a great movie
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
UNARMED_JORDAug 21, 2016
the original superman movie or as i like to call it the dawn of the great superhero movies, this original was quite possibly the best superman story of all time.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
TheMoeJan 4, 2017
Superman is an instant class. Reeve as Superman is perfect. This is a comic book movie that neither DC Comics or Marvel Comics could ever top. It was simply that good.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews