Sunday, August 9, 2020


Movie Name: Superman
Year of Release: 1978
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Valerie Perrine, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Susanna York, Trevor Howard, Phyllis Thaxter, Terence Stamp, Maria Schell, Jeff East, Marc McClure, Sarah Douglas, Diane Sherry Chase, 
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7 

Synopsis and Review:
Director Richard Donner started his career in Television in the 60s. The 70s saw his career going to new heights of popularity, starting with "The Omen", which premiered in 76, which he followed with the successful "Superman" which was released in December of 78. The film is of course, the adaption of the comic book character, and follows the adventures of Kal-El, the remaining survivor of the planet Krypton, who is sent to planet Earth, when his parents realize the pending doom of their own planet. Kal-El is taken by a family of farmers, given the name of Clark Kent, and grows up in a small town. As he grows up and his powers become more visible, he struggles with keeping them a secrecy. Following the death of his father, he goes on a journey to discover who he is, where he's originally from and the legacy he carries within (from his Krypton family). What he uncovers sends him on a journey to become Superman, helping all those who can't help themselves, but also puts him on a direct path to clash with Lex Luthor. Lex is on course to cause a catastrophe across North America, all with the sole purpose of gaining further financial power. As Clark Kent/Superman comes to Metropolis, and starts working at "The Daily Planet", he soon finds himself captured by the talented Lois Lane, who gets involved in some dicey situations. As Clark/Superman becomes involved in society, rescuing people, he becomes more and more aware of the emotional ties that bind the ones closest to him.
"Superman" started for all counts, the big budget comic book adaptation frenzy that we're currently in. The film itself, was of course plagued with its own issues during the shooting, namely with the script and cast, but the final outcome is still, to this day, a nostalgic trip to a different perception of reality. The film is quite successful at presenting its premise and making the evolution of Clark into Superman succinctly and economically. Casting blunders aside, Richard Donner manages to capture the small town vibe, and quickly allows the metamorphosis of the teenage Clark to the adult one to be done rapidly. And that's when the film actually takes off, when the action moves to Metropolis. Richard Donner adds humor, sexiness and thrills, and thanks to the enormously talented cast, including Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty, all of whom are great, the film becomes truly engaging and entertaining. It's a film where there's a joy of bringing an iconic character to life, but done intelligently, capturing just enough of each character to render them sufficiently to hold our attention. It also balances just enough thrills, romance and humor, never taking itself too seriously. The cinematography from Geoffrey Unsworth is beautiful as is the iconic score from John Williams. An entertaining film always worth revisiting.