10 April 2013

Super History of Superman: Superman: The Movie (1978)

As a kid, there were two trilogies that consumed most of my after school free time. Of course Star Wars was the first, but Superman was the second. I knew that if I got home at 3:00 and popped in the degrading VHS copy of Superman: The Movie right away, I just might be able to wrap up Superman 3 in time for bed. Of course, there is a Superman IV - and for the most part the less said about it the better - but back in those days, Superman IV was just a dashed dream waiting to happen.

What can be said about Superman: The Movie that hasn't already been said a thousand times. To this day, even though I can see that he is just wearing cheap spandex, when I see Christopher Reeve in costume, I see Superman.

 Beyond that, this movie basically created the template for Superman origin films (while for better or worse the sequels set the template for other franchises to follow  origin / hero shuns then embraces powers / hero turns dark).

From the scope of the story, to the score, to the planting of seeds to be harvested in the sequel this movie was and continues to be an epic the watching of which should be a right of passage for any fan of superheroes. If there is a weak point, I don't think the character of Lex Luthor holds up so well today, but its still an enjoyable performance.

Some of my favorite moments include the introduction of Krypton to the majestic theme including the banishment of Zod to the Phantom Zone, Superman catching the falling helicopter, and the final sequence of Superman vs the earthquake.

Of course, setting the bar so high has made it difficult for any Superman movie that followed to live up - though many have tried.

Check back next week for another chapter in The Super History of Superman.

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