Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: December 15, 1978
7.8
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Generally favorable reviews based on 262 Ratings
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Positive:
208
Mixed:
36
Negative:
18
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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
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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.
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5 of 5 users found this helpful50
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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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
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
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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
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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.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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8
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
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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.
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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.
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10
SonicHD7May 31, 2017
Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young ClarkJust before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder). Expand
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