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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Magic
Arguably the best superhero movie of all time, and certainly the first decent one, is Superman: The Movie.

From the rousing opening credits to the iconic fly-by at the end, the film remains one of the most enjoyable spectacles you could ever see and even improves on dvd. The sound and picture quality is excellent although the full anamorphic frame is not always...
Published on 15 April 2006 by M. JONES

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it a bird, is it a plane, no..... it's an overpaid Brando
Superman (1978) was the first big-budget reinvention of a super hero for the modern-day audience, and overall delivers on most counts (especially for Marlon Brando, who was paid a record amount for just a few minutes screen-time).
The initial sequence on the dying planet of Krypton sets of a chain of events which are well choreagraphed throughout, from Clark...
Published on 20 July 2000 by chrishyams

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Magic, 15 April 2006
M. JONES "mj1001" (uk) - See all my reviews
Arguably the best superhero movie of all time, and certainly the first decent one, is Superman: The Movie.

From the rousing opening credits to the iconic fly-by at the end, the film remains one of the most enjoyable spectacles you could ever see and even improves on dvd. The sound and picture quality is excellent although the full anamorphic frame is not always utilised in terms of setting scenes, it still looks great on a big tv.

Of course everyone knows the story, but what may surprise newcomers is the time frame in which it happens. Roughly 15/20 minutes are spent on Krypton, and another 25 minutes or so describing Clark Kent's early life. Many criticize this section for various reasons, including Brando's overpriced cameo. However, I think it adds to the epic scale of the film and makes it a true classic.

Christopher Reeeve IS Superman. His performance in both guises is spot-on and everything that he does manages to make you either smile or cheer. Gene Hackman is given plenty of one-liners and (too many) slapstick gags, but still comes across well as the genius who may just get the better of the Man of Steel. Margot Kidder is also terrific as Lois Lane, and although she gets a better-written part in the sequel, she captures the awe and amazement that we are all feeling.

The effects are probably the only thing that breaks the film up and (ironically) takes you away from the film's world. Although very impressive at the time, I'm sure, you just can't believe some of the flying images. Dont get me wrong,I hate CGI, but some of the rear projection shots don't seem to match with Supes' movements occasionally - for instance, one shot over the city sees Superman turning in the air, but the background seems to zoom in and pan etc. even though he's just turning...

But nevertheless, the overall tone and good-natured spirit of the film, combined with some of the more poignant moments, makes this an awesome feat and easily worth owning on dvd.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the greatest superhero movie of them all, 20 Mar. 2007
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
NB - As is their wont, amazon have unhelpfully bundled the reviews for the 4-disc DVD version of Superman with those for the blu-ray release. This review refers to the 4-disc DVD.

The theatrical version of Richard Donner's Superman still holds up as the cinema's best superhero movie despite three decades' worth of advances in special effects and the arrival of almost every other comic book hero on the big screen, largely because at heart it's more a movie about what it means to be in a position where you have the power to do anything except what you really want. Although it's not without humor - it's dotted with neat little in-jokes that compliment rather than swamp the film, like Clark's brief glance at a payphone that's definitely not fit for his use - it takes itself and its characters seriously, with the absolute belief and integrity that Christopher Reeve brings to the part managing to transcend the inherent ridiculousness of a flying man who wears his underpants outside his tights. Marlon Brando's dignified performance sets the tone perfectly - this is indeed no mere fantasy, but something that carries some real emotional weight, with Kal El's journey to becoming Clark Kent and Superman one of loss and powerlessness despite his abilities. Yet rather than burying the picture the way the relentless one-note gloominess of Bryan Singer's take on the character did in Superman Returns, Donner mixes a classic epic style of filmmaking with a sense of joy and exuberance that makes the film seem a lot shorter than its 143-minutes, and throws in one of the great action setpieces of all time in the helicopter rescue sequence. Great filmmaking and great fun too.

Also included on the 4-disc set is Donner's slightly longer director's cut and a wide variety of excellent extras including all the extras from the previously released double-sided Director's Cut edition as well as nine of the classic Max and Dave Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 1940s as well as the George Reeves feature Superman and the Mole-Men, which boasts the immortal dialogue "You're not going to shoot those little creatures. In the first place, they haven't done you any harm. In the second place, they may be radioactive." Ah, the joys of no-budget 50s sci-fi... Yet despite the odd gem like that, Superman and the Mole-Men is pretty uninspiring going even with a lean 58-minute running time. It's beyond cheap (the one shot of Superman flying is an incredibly inept few frames of animation) and pretty dull with it, though it has a surprisingly altruistic message - the mute Mole-Men, diminutive actors with enlarged skulls and fur coats who look more like Mr Mxyzptlk without the hat than subterranean critters, released from their underground world by oil drilling are not malicious, merely misunderstood, and George Reeves' Man of Steel tries to prevent the local small-town mob led by Jeff Corey from killing them. An interesting counterpoint to the paranoia of the day, perhaps, but with little more than good intentions to recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film... ever!, 15 Oct. 2007
Mr. A. J. Kershaw "skipper" (Blackburn, England.) - See all my reviews
Not only is this the best superhero film, its the best film ever made. Yes, better than Star Wars.

Its pure Hollywood. The producers arguing with their director, a delayed release date (Xmas 1978) and a cost of millions. But in the end it turned into a box office smash.

Just how the producers got Oscar winners Brando, Hackman and Glenn Ford to star is a testament to how great the film is. And lets not forget Reeve, Kidder and Beatty.

With a great soundtrack and picture this really is the best film ever made, and the extended version puts the icing on the cake. Brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Reeve Performance Makes Superman Fly, 16 Mar. 2014
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
I'd like to Dedicate this review to the late Christopher Reeve who was a true Superman in real life & made my 5 year old self believe a man could fly.

Dvd Info.
Region 2
Screen ratio 2.35:1
5.1 Dolby Digital Sound
Certification: PG
Directors Cut Running time 144 minutes
Theatrical cut 137 minutes

Disc 1 Directors cut.
Disc 2 Theatrical cut.
Disc 3 & 4 Extras.

3 part Making of Documentary
Original 1978 Documentary
Superman vs The Mole Men movie - Starring George Reeves
Superman Flescher cartoons
Deleted scenes
Isolated score
Photo gallery

Marlon Brando as Jor-El
Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor
Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman
Ned Beatty as Otis
Jackie Cooper as Perry White
Glenn Ford as Jonathan Kent
Trevor Howard as the First Elder
Margot Kidder as Lois Lane]
Jack O'Halloran as Non
Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher
Maria Schell as Vond-Ah
Terence Stamp as General Zod
Phyllis Thaxter as Martha Kent
Susannah York as Lara
Jeff East as the teenage Clark Kent
Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen
Sarah Douglas as Ursa
Harry Andrews as the Second Elder

1)Marlon Brando received $3.7 million plus a percentage of the profits for 12 days shooting Superman & Superman 2, He earned around $14 million in total earnings for this film.
2)Brando sued the Salklands & Warner Bros for $50 claiming he ws cheated out the movies considerable Box Office profits hence he's filmed scenes not appearing in Superman 2 until the 2006 Richard Donner Cut of Superman 2 that these scenes were shown for the first time on dvd.
3)Gene Hackman refused to shave his head or were a bald cap playing Lex Luthor so had his hair styled differently throughout the movie giving the impression he's wearing a wig, Although at the end of the movie You do see a bald Lex Luthor.
4)Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Sylvester Stllone, Christopher Walken, Warren Beatty, Jan Michael Vincent, David Soul, Jeff Bridges, Ryan O Neal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Nolte, Jon Voight & Clint Eastwood were all consider for playing Superman/Clark Kent at one time or another.
5)Superman 1 & 2 were written by Mario Puzo who wrote the Godfather 1 & 2 but Richard Donner rewrote many scenes as he felt the scipt was to silly.
6)This film & it's sequel was 3 year's in planning & 2 years shooting with 11 unit's, 3 studio's filming in 8 countries & with over a 1000 workers on the production.
7) Filmed back to back with Supermn 2 Richard Donner had shot over 70% of footage before being fired by the Salklands & replaced by Director Richard Lester although many of Donners scenes feature in Superman 2 it wouldn't be until 2006 we'd get to actually see Richard Donners Supermn 2 which was all surviving footage edited together with a few scenes by Richard Lesters cut to keep continuity, This cut features restored scenes of Jor-El restoring supermans powers & a completely different opening & I just wish Richard Donner hadn't been fired as his Superman & sequel are outstanding compred to Superman 3 & 4.
8) Richard Donner director's credits include The Omen, The Goonies & The Lethal Weapon Movies starring Mel Gibson.
9)Cameos from Trevor Howard & William Russell in scenes on planet Krypton.
10)General Zod & his cohorts seen at the begining of Superman The Movie becme the main villians of Superman 2.
11)Terrance Stamp (General Zod) voiced Jor-El in Smallville.
12)Jeff East was dubbed by Christopher Reeve in scenes were he's 18, When East found out he'd been dubbed he wasn't happy it was years before he resolved his differences with Reeve.
13)Guy Hamilton whod directed James Bond movies Goldfinger, Diamond's Are Forever, Live & Let Die & The Man With The Golden Gun was the original director cast on this production but backed out as he was a tx exile t the time mening he could only spend 30 days of the year in England were the majority of the movie's production was shot.
14)The late Larry Hagman appears as The Major.
15)Dustin Hoffman turned down the role of Lex Luthor.
16)Producers wanted Joan Crawford for Martha Kent but she was to ill to accept the role & died shortly before filming.
17)Jack Klugman was cast as Perry White but had to pull out due to working commitments on Quincy.
18)David Prowse (Darth Vader) was Christopher Reeves personal trainer on Superman the Movie.
19)Margot Kidder got into a feud with the Salklands over the firing of Richard Donner on Superman 2 & was dropped from Superman 3 barring a cameo appearance.
20) A scene explaining why Superman but keep a secret identity by Jor-El was restored in the director's cut.

Plot Synopsis.
On the planet Krypton Jor-El & his wife Lara sacrifice there baby son Kal-El a give him a chance of living by sending him to planet Earth in a spaceship as the Krypton council have continually ignored Jor-Els warnings to evacuate the planet Krypton as it faces imminent obliteration from the destructive rays of the Red Sun which ultimately causes the annihilation of every single life on when Krypton is destroyed by the Red Sun..

Arriving on Earth 4 year's later he is discovered by Jonathan & Martha Kent who raise him as there own son & due to the Earth's yellow sun the boy gains incredible super powers a Jonathan & Martha name the boy Clark Kent.

When his Earth father dies of a heart attack an 18 year old Clark Kent here's a calling one night from a Green Crystal buried in the barn, Clark discovers the Crystal & decides he must leave home to seek out his destiny.

The search takes Clark to the North Pole were he throws the Green crystal into the snow which creates the Fortress of Solitude a crystalline structure which Clark then enters.

In the Fortress Clark is able to talk for the first time to his real father Jor-El who for 12 year's educates his son on all that is important facts & knowledge about the universe & there planet's destruction.

At 30 Cark returns to Earth & gets a job as a news paper reporter for the the Daily Planet, Clark Kent act's like a bumbling fool but very soon the world will know him by another name Superman.

Superman rescues Lois Lane from imminent death during a helicopter crash on top of the Daily Planet building & seeks to rescue other people on the planet Earth including the President Of The United States on Air Force One.

Superman helps to inspire mankind to do good & gets an exclusive by Lois Lane in the Daily Planet yet Superman is about to face his toughest challenge to date when he meets his nemesis in the guise of Lex Luthor criminal genius & mastermind who's latest criminal masterplan involving atomic missiles could cost the lives of millions of innocent people.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is one of my favourite movie's ever!,As this film is a classic from begining to end.

The late Marlon Brando delivers a powerful performance as Jor-El that he pulls off with considerable ease giving the role great gravitas, It's a shame this great actor had such issues throughout his acting career but without doubt Brando will go down as one of the all time acting greats.

Gene Hackman play's Lex Luthor & although the performance now seems a little pantomime & OTT, Hackman does have some great moment's throughout this film especially the scene were he exposes Superman to Kryptonite is played brilliantly & Hackman is quite chilling here.

The standout performance of this movie though is of the late Christopher Reeve who delivers an outstanding believable performance, Who has an unique ability to change character from Clark Kent to Superman simply by changing his posture, The films success is partly down to Reeves incredible performance as Reeve makes us the viewer believe a man can fly.

Margot Kidder is a fiesty spirited Lois Lane who falls in love straight away with the Man Of Steel & gives a great quirky performance throughout.

Richard Donners direction is solid & well paced throughout the movie & Donner directs some truly spectacular action scenes that at the time of release were considered state of the art yet Donner allows the film to breathe & focus in on some great emotional scenes that come through from Baby Clark leaving Krypton to Jonathan Kent's death, Leaving home to seek his destiny to Superman breaking down at Lois death are all emotional scenes that gave this reviewer teary eye's.

Finally kudos to John Williams iconic score that gives this movie it's soul as Williams music cues deliver all the beats of the movie from frentic action to emotional sequences, John Williams showcased here why he's one of the worlds best movie composers & delivers superb film scores in movie's to this day.

This film makes you believe a man can fly, From beginning to end Superman doesn't just fly it soars, A comic book classic done justice.

Timelord Rating.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andrew Moynihan, 10 Oct. 2003
A. Moynihan (Ireland) - See all my reviews
I first saw 'Superman, the Movie' when I was only 8 years old. I remember sulking before watching it because my mother wouldn't let me see Jaws 2 which was on the previous night. Furthermore, I assumed Superman would be crap anyway. But I was in for a surprise...

Superman the Movie blew me away, even moreso than Star Wars. I was absolutely flabbergasted by this, the most magical three hours of my childhood. It was an epic of all proportions ... brilliant characters, drama, effects, photography, story, romance, music, etc...

I even remember going to bed that first night and being unable to sleep because my mind had gone into overdrive, thinking about the movie I had just seen. And then, I think I spent the following two years on an hourly basis humming the tune, wearing the custume and/or basing Superman stories around my lego collection.

What I found particularly entrancing about the film was it's original ending.

I'm now 29 years old and that child is long gone. But my love for 'Superman, the Movie' remains ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll Believe . . ., 25 Mar. 2015
Before the doomed planet Krypton explodes, Jor-El and wife Lara send their infant son, Kal-El, to Earth to save his life. Discovered in a field and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent, Kal-El—renamed Clark—grows up to discover he has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. After leaving the farm after high school, Clark heads north and meets a holographic projection of Jor-El and learns who he really is and what he is meant to do. Twelve years later, Clark re-enters the world and becomes Superman, a symbol of hope in a world that desperately needs it.

Upon observing Superman’s debut, the greatest criminal mind of our time, Lex Luthor, hatches a clever real estate scheme to destroy the Man of Steel while also making himself filthy rich.

With millions of lives in the balance as well as his own, can Superman stop Lex and put an end to the madman’s plan?

Like most kids, I watched this flick a thousand times. Okay, maybe not a thousand, but as often as I could considering my parents taped it for me and I knew how to work the VCR. At one point, I think we even had a VHS tape that had all four Superman movies on it from when they aired on TV. Anyway, I’ll freely admit this review is totally biased as we’re talking about a movie—especially a Superman movie—from my childhood, and it’s impossible for me to watch the movie now without memories of being a kid, holding my Superman action figure and watching Superman catch Lois Lane falling from a helicopter that’s stuck on the side of a building.

That said, this movie is still aces for loads of reasons. One, it was taken seriously. I read somewhere that Christopher Reeve—who plays Superman/Clark Kent—put forth that he wanted to do it straight-laced. Up until then, you had the Batman TV series for men in tights (unless you counted the Green Hornet TV series, which was semi-serious), and then the cartoons. There was the George Reeves Adventures of Superman series in the ’50s and the Kirk Allen series before that, but in terms of immediate “superheroes in people” memory, you had ’60s Batman and that was it.

By taking the source material seriously, by playing Superman as if it’s really happening, this was the first time audiences were treated to superheroes in real life and the filmmakers weren’t kidding when they said, “You’ll believe a man can fly.” I know I did, both now and when I was a kid. Superman was larger than life on the screen, whether he was using his powers or not. He inspired hope, and the film didn’t shy away from showcasing a Superman that fought for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

We got to see Superman enjoy being Superman, especially during his first night out saving a cat stuck in a tree, stopping Air Force One from falling to the ground, apprehending a jewel thief and putting an end to a criminal/police car chase.

Christopher Reeve as Superman has been the benchmark every other Superman actor has tried to reach. His Superman is bold, idealistic, hopeful and kind. As Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, he did a fine job of really making you believe he was two different people when all he really had to use was a change of clothes, a new hairstyle and a pair of glasses. The guy changed his voice, his mannerisms, his speech—everything. I bought it. Go ahead. Put a picture of the two side-by-side and it’s like two different guys, so I don’t believe it when people nowadays say a pair of glasses is a stupid idea to conceal your identity. Ever have someone you know really well not recognize you after a haircut? It’s happened to me and that’s just a haircut not something covering part of my face like glasses. Anyway . . .

Margot Kidder was a solid Lois Lane: brash, driven and totally obsessed with Superman while being dismissive of Clark Kent. Her way of treating the two totally made the bizarre love triangle that is Superman/Lois/Clark work. Aside from some bad decisions that maybe we wouldn’t expect a smart-as-a-whip reporter to make, she still sold it.

Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. His version was good. I don’t know much about the comics of the time, so I can’t say how faithful he was. But in terms of being a good villain, for sure. And he was a bad guy here, an actual criminal and not the revered-but-shady businessman he would later become in the comics world.

The overall story: hey, it’s simple, but so were most movies back then. At the same time, the superhero movies of today—as good as they are—could learn a lot from Superman and sometimes keeping things simple instead of just non-stop explosions and action is the better way to go. So much more room for character development and interaction.

This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning John Williams’s iconic score. The “Theme from Superman” is right up there with Beethoven’s Sixth. You play the tune anywhere and people recognize it. It’s iconic, inspiring, heroic and like one of the folks who worked on the movie said—I think it was Richard Donner himself—you can actually hear the song say the word, “Superman.”

Watch this movie. Just watch it.

You’ll believe a man can fly.

Highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What you see is what the Director ordered., 23 Sept. 2009
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Superman - The Movie [Blu-ray] [1978]

I have only previously viewed Superman from TV transmissions and was somewhat surprised with the technical quality of this Blu ray disc.

Particularly as the cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth won several prestigious awards for this film, yet I was viewing a workmanlike transfer to Blu Ray (markedly inferior to the Blu ray of "Quo Vadis" filmed twenty years earlier) with a continuous softness in the definition.

I am somewhat fanatical about image quality and every other Blu ray I have viewed have always met all my standards including sharpness.

However some research on the internet revealed the film was shot using diffusing filters to deliberately achieve this effect and therefore WHAT WE SEE IS WHAT THE DIRECTOR INTENDED, CANNOT COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT.

Unfortunately I am unable to compare it to the DVD version, however for a first purchase this is definitely the way to go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most super Superman, 21 May 2014
S. Peel "votercolonel" (East Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this after recently watching the rather disappointing "Man Of Steel" remake with Henry Cavill. It had been years since I saw this film and was curious to find out if my memories of it matched up to the reality of what it brought to the screen. And I have to say, I was impressed. Christopher Reeve is PERFECT as Superman - no other actor can match him in the role. The performances from all the cast are outstanding. Margot Kidder's charming and funny Lois Lane lights up the screen almost as much as Gene Hackman does as Lex Luthor - clearly enjoying himself immensely. Considering it was made in the late 1970's, the special effects stand up well and on many levels look better than the modern remake, especially the flying scenes. Add to that the fantastic John Williams score and you have a movie that is guaranteed to make you feel good after watching it. Too many superhero films these days feel the need to focus in on the hero's angst or dark past - Superman doesn't need any of that and his pure heroism floods the movie with endearing optimism. All the family can enjoy it. And admit it - you've forgotten just how good the theme tune is!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up - Up - And Away We Go, 7 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
I saw this movie when it first came out as an 8-year old. It brought tears of joy to my eyes then and still does now. This movie is GREAT - a real 'pick-you-up' kinda movie, it has a built in feel good factor. You can't say that of many movies. This is an absolute must for any DC Comic/ Superhero fan.
Forget the movies 'Masters of the Universe' - 'Conan the Barbarian' - even the Batman movies of the nineties cannot touch this movie....
If Nicolas Cage is doing a re-make of this movie, he has definately got his work cut out for himself if he wants to even try and compare with this!
All that is left to say is; Right on! Christopher Reeves!
For those who don't know (and shame on you if you don't) - the story is about an alien landing on our planet and saving it on a regular basis.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super hero spectacular, 17 Jun. 2006
Superman the movie is the best film adaptation of a comic book character since movie making began, it has rightfuly won a place in audiences hearts around the world with its mixed of romance, comedy and action.

Superman has the pleasure of boasting a fantastic cast. Marlon Brando takes a brief but vey memorable role as Superman's father, Jor - El and is outstanding in his 10 minutes on screen. Gene Hackman is fiendishly brilliant as the evil Lex Luthor and Margo Kidder is a great Lois Lane.

The man that shines from the rest in this epic is Superman himself, Christopher Reeve. Reeve injects a more human side into the man of steel and brillantly juggles the dual personas of Clark Kent and Superman making the audience believe that they are two different men. This is done with such ease by Reeve that it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role.

Richard Donner makes us believe a man can fly thanks to the flying effects that won his team an oscar and John William's opening theme is unforgettable.

Superman will always be a classic film and a landmark in comic book films in which other movies of it's kind will be comapared.
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