1978, Warner Bros. Directed by Richard Donner. Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Margot Kidder, Valerie Perrine, Phyllis Thaxter, Susannah York.
Decent Films Ratings
|?Teens & Up|
Content advisory: Recurring peril and action violence; disaster mayhem; minor profanity and suggestive dialogue.
Buy at Amazon.com
Superman (1978) (DVD, Blu-ray)
From a National Catholic Register review
By Steven D. Greydanus
A classic tribute to an American pop-culture
icon, Superman is the first great comic-book movie and a
nostalgic ode to the ideals of a more innocent time. Combining
Originally intended to be filmed back-to-back with Superman II, which would provide more formidable villains and super-powered action, this first film is largely concerned with establishing the fundamental constants of the Superman mythos: his escape as an infant from the doomed planet Krypton; his all-American upbringing by a Kansas farm couple; his move to the big city and a great metropolitan newspaper; the dual relationship that develops between Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and Clark Kent / Superman (Christopher Reeve); his vulnerability to krytonite.
Superman’s debut in Metropolis is handled with whimsy, excitement, and nostalgia; a simple sight gag — Clark looking bemused at a kiosk-style payphone — suggests how much has changed since stories of Superman were first told. Dialogue and storytelling choices emphasize the echoes of the Christian story — a father in the heavens sends his only son to earth; the son’s earthly father dies; the son leaves home to do the work he was meant to do, to become a savior — while John William’s swashbuckling score completes the grand experience.