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Thoughts on the Original "Superman" (Reeves, 1978)

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Thoughts on the Original "Superman" (Reeves, 1978)

Old 07-12-04, 11:01 PM
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Thoughts on the Original "Superman" (Reeves, 1978)

This film was before my time just a bit, so I never saw it until yesterday on TMC. It is interesting to take a look at it now with all the super-hero movie craze Hollywood has going.

Anyway, Superman was never my fav superhero, but I found the movie pretty interesting. It was better than I thought it'd be, and the special effects were better than I thought they'd be, too (considering this is the 70's.). I don't know Superman comics well at all, so therefore, what did people think of Hackman's Luther? Was that faithful to the comics?

I thought some of it was campy, but that was fine and to be expected. It really reminded me of the Spider-man movies, but maybe that's just because the characters are similar in that they work for a newspaper, have boses that yell, try to balance their double lives and save the girl, etc.

So, thoughts on this movie. I think it's considered a classic and the best superhero movie by many.

On a side note...geeez, is Superman ridiculously powerful. I knew this obviously growing up, but I think I forgot that the guy is pretty much invincible. I knew he was incredibly strong and fast, but I was surprised to see he also had X-ray vision. I know it's a superhero movie and the hero will always win, but, isn't it hard to ever get worried for him? You can't really have him do one on one fights like a Spider-man or Batman film, can you? I suppose the villians could always carry around kryptonite, but that would get old quick.
Old 07-12-04, 11:30 PM
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It's my favorite superhero film.

Epic, well acted, slow pace, character before spectacle (with genuine emotion), amazing score, richly photographed, a nice set up for the sequel, and can I say epic again? The Smallville scenes are worth the price of admission alone...

A lot of these qualities are missing from the new crop of specifically sleek comic book films - many of which have been great, just self-aware that they have to be cool.

SPIDER-MAN 2 has come the closest to rivaling SUPERMAN's heart and soul, and even a little of its grandeur.

I heart SUPERMAN.
Old 07-12-04, 11:52 PM
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I think Scott pretty much summed up a lot of my feelings about this movie. It really has that epic, EPIC quality that other comic book adaptations have failed to capture. The score is my favorite of all time, and the fact I've have the 2 disc set from Rhino spinning in my car's CD player on a semi-regular basis for the past 4 years is testament to that.

It really all boils down to Christopher Reeve though. He was and still is Superman. And he actually almost makes you believe that people don't realize Clark and Superman are the same person because of his impeccable use of body language. When he's Superman, he really captures the goodness, honesty, and nobility of the character. When he's flying, he really looks like he's moving fluidly through the air instead of just posing and looking stiff. And of course, he and Margot Kidder just had an amazing chemistry.

My only complaint is Kidder's voiceover when Clark takes her flying. Her lines are extremely clunky. I really think that Williams' score alone was enough to convey the emotions of that scene.

Superman II has him fighting the villians who were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by Jor-El, so the scales were balanced in favor of evil. The movie in its finished form definitely shows signs that it could have been better than the first flick, and I firmly believe if Donner hadn't been fired, it would have been the greatest comic book movie of all time.

I'd also like to add that ANYONE who says Dean Cain was a better Superman than Christopher Reeve should be shot on sight.
Old 07-13-04, 12:55 AM
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Regarding Superman's abilities:
You probably haven't seen Superman II, where they show a couple of new super abilities. I think that upset some fans because they weren't in the comics. I never read the comic, but the old TV series would show Superman using all kinds of weird abilities I had never heard of.

For instance in one episode some people were trapped in a cave and Superman "excited his molecules" and passed thru a solid rock wall. In another he cracked a safe using a new power (I can't recall how he did it exactly, he didn't use an existing power like X-ray vision or super senses, this was a specific safe-cracking super power.)
Old 07-13-04, 01:14 AM
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Love it. Love it, love it, LOVE IT. Favorite movie of ALL TIME.
A damn near perfect movie if I ever saw one. Great direction, score, The Most Believable Actor Who Ever Played A Superhero, fantastic effects for its time, genuine HEART for a movie...what more could anyone ask?

As for Gene, love him as Lex. I was too young to appreciate his earlier works so upto now, whenever I see him, he's still Lex.
Old 07-13-04, 01:53 AM
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The fact that Warner Bros. is doing ANOTHER Superman film now shows that they have absolutely no respect for Christopher Reeve.

Serves them right that the new movie has gone through, what....THREE directors?

Just give up. How can you top Superman: The Movie?
Old 07-13-04, 02:21 AM
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Kal-El's favorite movie is Superman!? And you think you know a person...








Old 07-13-04, 04:59 AM
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Over 25 years and still people (i.e. original poster) don't know that it's "Reeve", not "Reeves"!

Seriously though, Superman: The Movie has been the DEFINITIVE comic book film up until a few weeks ago...that's when I saw Spider-Man 2!
Old 07-13-04, 05:14 AM
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Originally posted by jeffkjoe
The fact that Warner Bros. is doing ANOTHER Superman film now shows that they have absolutely no respect for Christopher Reeve.

Serves them right that the new movie has gone through, what....THREE directors?

Just give up. How can you top Superman: The Movie?

What?,there never supposed to make another Superman movie ever again because of Reeve,that does'nt make sense
Old 07-13-04, 07:20 AM
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I grew up watching Superman in syndication with George Reeves, and always thought he was a bit stodgy for the most powerful of superheroes. Then, in 1978, that all changed. I saw a younger, handsomer Superman. One with more depth and feeling, a man I might call "friend". I may be a died-in-the-wool SW geek, but Superman as portrayed by Chris Reeve will always be the movie character I look up to most.
Old 07-13-04, 07:37 AM
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Does anyone else get those amazing goosebumps during the opening credits? When the S-shield sears across the screen, while Williams' fanfare is building into a crescendo?

Man, I'm 8 years old all over again!

Superman: The Movie made me forget all about Star Wars, and in the late 70s that was damn near impossible.

I have to agree with the common sentiment: greatest superhero movie ever!
Old 07-13-04, 07:38 AM
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Superman movies are hard because he is invincible basically. It is hard to come up with bad guys to give him some competition.

One question about the original though. If he could tread water for 5 minutes with Kryptonite around his neck. Why couldn't he just use some of that energy to slip the chain off his neck. Or climb out of the pool.
Old 07-13-04, 08:43 AM
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Superman is (and probably always will be) my favorite superhero movie/comic book adaptation. I am rather biased as this film is a childhood favorite of mine (seen it 100+ times) and dressed the part for my first 8 or so Halloween's.

Seriously though, I can't think of a greater pleasure that the history of cinema has offered me than the opening credits of this movie with the slight intro of the theme song and then *bam*, we see the Superman 'S' and the theme takes us to cinematic heaven.
Old 07-13-04, 08:45 AM
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Fantastic movie.
Old 07-13-04, 09:04 AM
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The movie is incredibly overrated. Sorry.

Superman is half excellent, half terrible. While the good characters are well-thought-out and a joy to watch, the vilains are cartoons that don't seem nearly as threatening as they're supposed to be. They never seem like a match for Superman. Though I've never read the comics, I doubt that Lex Luthor was supposed to be such a silly child. A criminal genius and the only people he has around him are a ditzy secretary and a semi-retarded buffoon? What?

Then there's the ending.

What happens?

I've heard two things, both monumentally stupid.
1. Superman flies BACK IN TIME and manages to be in two places at once.
2. Superman flies SO FAST that he REVERSES THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH, causing time to reverse, so he can be in two places at once.

If that sort of idiocy happened in a film today, it would be laughed at like no other device. Why is then taken as scripture today?

The script's alright. The score's friggin' BRILLIANT. The casting was spot-on and the movie is really entertaining when it wants to be. But oh my Lord, does it let down in the end.

Its place as "one of the best of all time" is undeserved.
Old 07-13-04, 09:25 AM
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I've heard two things, both monumentally stupid.
1. Superman flies BACK IN TIME and manages to be in two places at once.
2. Superman flies SO FAST that he REVERSES THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH, causing time to reverse, so he can be in two places at once.
Man, people are taking the "Earth rotating backwards" way to literally.

Supes simply travelled back in time. The "reverse rotation of the Earth" is just a visual representation of this. While his past persona is off diverting floods and holding the San Andreas Fault together, the future/current Supes changes history by rescuing Lois Lane... despite the stern admission from Jor-El that he must not interfere with human history. He tells Daddy to cram it sideways and goes after the woman he loves.

(The scene with Reeve when he first discovers Lois's dead body is just amazing. I think that scene alone really brought out the humanity in Superman. Again, he had all this near-omnipotence but couldn't save a loved one... and he wouldn't let it stand.)

It's place as "one of the best of all time" is well deserved.
Old 07-13-04, 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
The movie is incredibly overrated. Sorry.

The script's alright. The score's friggin' BRILLIANT. The casting was spot-on and the movie is really entertaining when it wants to be. But oh my Lord, does it let down in the end.

Its place as "one of the best of all time" is undeserved.
Well, you already spent the first what, 90 minutes or so believing that a 6' 4", 220lbs guy with blue eyes who never lies who's wearing red briefs outisde of his blue tights with a freakin' cape has been flying around saving cats and the end is what's a let down?

To each their own I guess.
Old 07-13-04, 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
The movie is incredibly overrated. Sorry.

Superman is half excellent, half terrible. While the good characters are well-thought-out and a joy to watch, the vilains are cartoons that don't seem nearly as threatening as they're supposed to be. They never seem like a match for Superman. Though I've never read the comics, I doubt that Lex Luthor was supposed to be such a silly child. A criminal genius and the only people he has around him are a ditzy secretary and a semi-retarded buffoon? What?

Then there's the ending.

What happens?

I've heard two things, both monumentally stupid.
1. Superman flies BACK IN TIME and manages to be in two places at once.
2. Superman flies SO FAST that he REVERSES THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH, causing time to reverse, so he can be in two places at once.

If that sort of idiocy happened in a film today, it would be laughed at like no other device. Why is then taken as scripture today?

The script's alright. The score's friggin' BRILLIANT. The casting was spot-on and the movie is really entertaining when it wants to be. But oh my Lord, does it let down in the end.

Its place as "one of the best of all time" is undeserved.
I totally agree. The ending of Superman has got to be one of the most ridiculous things i've ever seen. It worked when i watched the movie at 8 years old, but watching it on DVD just makes me cringe. That along with a complete mis-characterization of Luthor and the horror that is Otis knocks this film down about 5 notches from being the best. A shame considering how perfect Reeve was in the role.
Old 07-13-04, 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by Kal-El
Well, you already spent the first what, 90 minutes or so believing that a 6' 4", 220lbs guy with blue eyes who never lies who's wearing red briefs outisde of his blue tights with a freakin' cape has been flying around saving cats and the end is what's a let down?

To each their own I guess.
I never liked that argument, simply because suspension of belief can only go so far. Heck, we had people here arguing the physics behind the Hulk being able to spin a tank around by its cannon or whether he could actually run that fast based on his muscle/size
Old 07-13-04, 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by fumanstan
I never liked that argument, simply because suspension of belief can only go so far.
Like I said, to each their own. I guess mine goes farther than most in this case.
Old 07-13-04, 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by NEUMANN
What?,there never supposed to make another Superman movie ever again because of Reeve,that does'nt make sense

Sure it does.

Reeve, being incapicitated as he is, made the DEFINITIVE Superman film, there need not be another.....
Old 07-13-04, 11:46 AM
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and the score, oh Williams' at his best (sans the cheezy dialogue part when Lois and Superman are flying together, anyone remember the song version of this? ). Even the beginning of the film, with the credits that fly in every direction, the DVD's fantastic 5.1 soundmix beautifully recreates the 70mm/6-track soundtrack experience - whoosh!
Old 07-13-04, 12:07 PM
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I think the reason why people back then actually "swallowed" the concept of Superman going back in time was due to Donner's masterful pace of making the audience really care for the character.

As far as superhero movies before Superman, most of the superhero movies and TV shows back then were intentionally campy:

George Reeves having a full slick-back pomade hair
Adam West's belly in Batman
The words "Splat!!!" or "Pow" in the Batman TV series

Donner was an incredible choice in making Superman back then and Lester made a very competent sequel (considering Donner must've already filmed close to half of the Part 2).

What kinda took me off the sequel was that weird superpower that Zod and the others had by pointing their finger at someone and making them levitate. What the hell was that??
Old 07-13-04, 12:12 PM
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Re: Thoughts on the Original "Superman" (Reeves, 1978)

Originally posted by PacMan2006
You can't really have him do one on one fights like a Spider-man or Batman film, can you?
See Superman 2.
Old 07-13-04, 12:40 PM
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Superman 1 and 2 are classics in my books. Couldn't ask for a better cast.

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