Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

But Lex… The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day lives in Hackensack…

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Superman: The Movie, the first film to make it cool to like comic books, is a special piece of cinema magic. To this day I still believe a man can fly. I technically know how they pulled off some of their shots, but when I watch the movie and see Superman fly for the first time in the Fortress of Solitude, straight at camera and then banking away, my mind says “Holy shit, that dude can fly!”

Much credit goes to the stunt designers, much credit goes to Christopher Reeve for selling the flight with his body posture and expression and a lot of credit goes to Richard Donner for shooting it creatively. Today’s photo is another “Oh… that’s how they did that!” from the set of Superman.

You have Richard Donner and Jimmy Olsen watching Superman take off after the the earthquake rescue. The camera would just see Supes rise out of frame and Olsen’s face, so why rig up an intricate wire system when you can just hook The Man of Steel up to a camera crane and pull him straight up for each take?

Thanks to a reader calling him/herself HallandOates for sending this one along. Click to embiggen!



If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s behind the scenes pic… Jon-A-Than! Jon-A-Than- Jon-A-Than!

Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • June 4, 2011, 6:04 p.m. CST


    by Phil

  • June 4, 2011, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Oh no.

    by Phil

    Now I'm one of those guys......

  • June 4, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST

    I remember seeing this on TV as a kid

    by Phategod2

    After some rediculous Ronald Reagan Speech about some non-sense I remembere how much I love every minute. and running around the room till I was dizzy, when he reversed time. Good times.

  • June 4, 2011, 6:10 p.m. CST

    F'n awesome

    by kabookieslap

    It defined the Superhero film genre. Almost every commentary of a superhero film talks about it being influenced by this one film. Donner - Reeve - Mankiewicz - Kidder - Unsworth - made film legend magic with this film. It will be the Superman Gold standard for years to come.

  • June 4, 2011, 6:19 p.m. CST

    I am distracted by that crew members back fat.

    by Tarijeno

    Nice muffin top dude.

  • June 4, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    'Superman: The Movie"

    by Fletch Gannon

    Even the title sounds epic, which this movie is and was to me as a kid. It's been 30 some years and even though I think some areas of it have worn a bit Chris Reeve's Superman still shines for me. Nothing beats Chris Reeve's flying over the earth with the 'Superman' theme blasting in the background...really the movie is great, but Reeve's made it immortal; and this is no exaggeration.

  • June 4, 2011, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Yeah tarijeno...

    by Fletch Gannon

    It's a little known Superman villian known as 'FatBack'.

  • June 4, 2011, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Rollerball tomorrow?

    by alan_poon

    Superman pisses on most comic book adaptations .

  • June 4, 2011, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Rollerball! Rollerball! Rollerball!

    by nolan bautista

    i hope its a James Caan pic tommorow..he was pretty bad-ass at that period in his career..

  • June 4, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST


    by nolan bautista

    "fatback'' one!

  • June 4, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Actually the film didn't make me believe a man could fly. It made me believe he could be dangled by wires in front of a green screen. However, it did convince me of something far more important: It made me believe that a man really could come across as two completely different guys with a pair of glasses. That was something that George Reeves never managed, nor did he really try. The greatest moment in that film had nothing to do with flying, pyrotechnics, and fairly bad miniatures. It was the moment when Clark removes his glasses, uncurls his spine, squares his shoulder, drops his voice an octave and says, "Lois, there's something I need to tell you." It's like Superman is a spirit that has entered his body and possessed it. And then Lois enters, his nerve falters, and he just deflates and scurries back into his disguise. I could watch that scene a hundred times. PAD

  • June 4, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    FACT: Superman is the Greatest Superhero of All Time

    by The Krypton Kid

  • June 4, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST

    FACT: Superman is the Greatest Superhero Movie of All Time

    by The Krypton Kid

  • June 4, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST

    FACT: Christopher Reeve is the personification of Superman

    by The Krypton Kid

  • June 4, 2011, 6:56 p.m. CST

    "I've got a fat back"

    by alan_poon

    "It's a build up of fatty deposits just above the belt line . It’s fairly well concealed in casual clothing, but you don’t want to see me in my underpants."

  • June 4, 2011, 7:04 p.m. CST

    PAD hit the nail on the head

    by Mr Lucas

    Reeve really sold the whole dual role thing. I remember watching it on a Pan Am flight when it first came out. I was sitting on a suitcase so I could see the screen (being 9 years old). I think I was the only person watching it - everyone else was asleep (fools!). It was an odd experience for me, watching a man fly whilst actually being in flight.

  • June 4, 2011, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Gloves are for sissies

    by Fred

  • June 4, 2011, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Back fat

    by Rex Carsalot

    I thought the same thing!

  • June 4, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Fact: Michael Rosenbaum is the personification of Lex Luthor

    by sunwukong86

    No matter how goofy Smallville was, his portrayal was the closest we'll ever get to a real Lex Luthor

  • June 4, 2011, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Hackmans look after this line


    And him shaking his head no make the film

  • June 4, 2011, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Christopher reeve was the best hands down

    by thatswhatshesaid

    The guy was just top notch at portraying a live action superhero.

  • June 4, 2011, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Maybe Peter David Should be Writing Superman

    by OutsideChance

    When modern comics fans I've known say that no one could believe Clark and Superman to be two separate people I tell them to look at that scene. Sadly even a lot of modern comics writers don't get how important that dichotomy is to the character. Apparently Peter David does.

  • June 4, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    why are so many of these photos in b/w?

    by vin_diggler

    I am not complaining or trying to be funny. It's just that alot of these 70's and 80's behind the scenes photos are b/w. I know that color cameras were available and quite common during this period. Yet the behind the scenes photos for Jaws, Back to the Future and now Superman are not in color. Is there a reason they shot them in b/w?

  • June 4, 2011, 7:53 p.m. CST

    I loved this movie...

    by yubnubrocks

    and always will. I still get chills when the opening credits start up. Damn. That was how you made a movie.

  • June 4, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Why B&W?

    by Peter David

    Because I suspect a lot of these photographs were "official" behind the scenes pictures taken by studio photographers, and were intended to run in the trades and newspapers. And newspapers, at least at the time, rarely if ever ran color pictures. PAD

  • June 4, 2011, 8:02 p.m. CST

    peter david

    by vin_diggler

    Well that does make sense now. Thank you sir.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Awesome pics

    by Darth Valinorean

    Great job on the pics and this column. It continues to be the best column on AICN !!!

  • June 4, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST

    i wish i could try on that Supe costume

    by Tigger Tales

    and wear it around the house!

  • June 4, 2011, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Otisburg? Otisburg?!

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    It's a teeny little place..

  • June 4, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST

    It's true that no-one will ever top Reeve

    by performingmonkey

    Which is why, while I think Brandon Routh did a decent enough job with what he was given, it's just crazy to go after the same Supes portrayal that Christopher Reeve solidified in all our minds in Donner's film (thinking about II makes my head hurt due to the whole Donner/Lester thing, and let's just forget III and IV exist okay??). What you see onscreen in Superman: The Movie is utter perfection. This is what Snyder and Henry Cavil need to be wary of...

  • June 4, 2011, 8:18 p.m. CST

    This looks a lot more dangerous than horseback riding


  • June 4, 2011, 8:18 p.m. CST

    too soon?


  • June 4, 2011, 8:25 p.m. CST


    by AdorableAssHat

    I just peed a little.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:40 p.m. CST

    "you will belive a man can fly"

    by vin_diggler

    with the help of a crane, upper body strength, some steel wires and a sweaty fat guy who thought it was ok to go shirtless even though no one else was.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:41 p.m. CST

    yea... too soon.

    by yubnubrocks

    'nuff said.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:48 p.m. CST

    nuff said? pssshhh.


    wrong universe boss.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Say man, that's a bad outfit.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks


  • June 4, 2011, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Not only a great superhero movie. A great MOVIE

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    It succeeds were so many have failed and has longevity when others don't hold up well because it is a good MOVIE. It just happens to be about Superman. It is my 64 year old mother's favorite movie for just this reason. She doesn't care about comics, but Superman: The Movie hit all the right chords.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:56 p.m. CST

    you all are looking at the fat guy with no shirt


    THE CHOPPAH is tossing off to that hot little number in the background with the bikini top and the shorts pulled up just over her bottom 2 ribs. Check out that sexy slouched posture. Ya's all how a woman carries herself.

  • June 4, 2011, 8:58 p.m. CST



    only a little? I must be slipping. Cheers mate.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:01 p.m. CST

    fat shirtless dude

    by afterhourss

    LOVE the fate shirtless dude with what appears to be a seventies, Chigurh haircut controlling the wire at the bottom!! he must be a cool motherfucker

  • June 4, 2011, 9:04 p.m. CST

    they should just change the front page banner to...


    shirtless fatback. it is much more relevant and on topic.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST

    The fat shirtless dude is Rob Reiner

    by Liberal_Warrior

    Or not But he looks like a meathead

  • June 4, 2011, 9:13 p.m. CST

    come on now Choppah, be honest

    by vin_diggler

    it's a pretty lame picture of Superman. He's doing some ballet pose hanging from a crane. The fat dude is much more interesting.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:19 p.m. CST

    I wasn't kidding vin


    the fat guy is enthralling, hypnotic even. It should just be a close up of his waste line. Discuss.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:22 p.m. CST

    haha waste


    waist .......actually I was kind of right the first time.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:22 p.m. CST

    PAD, I *did* believe a man could fly

    by Greggers

    Of course, I was 8. But even so, those special effects were state of the art at the time, and it was as easy to believe that Superman was flying as it was to believe that Tie fighters were flying in space.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:25 p.m. CST

    And yes, that's some amazing back fat up there.

    by Greggers

    Like a human water balloon.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:26 p.m. CST

    That one guy's backfat will be preserved for all time

    by MoffatBabies

    now. He must feel so lucky, if he's still around.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:28 p.m. CST

    and what is it about that slouched posture?

    by MoffatBabies

    why the hell do I find women with that posture as sexy as the Choppah does? Strange, I can't explain it. But there it is. You're welcome.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:28 p.m. CST

    "Miss TeschmahhhhKKERRRRRRRR!!!"

    by DickBallsworth

  • June 4, 2011, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Meant to add "tits or GTFO"... ah well.

    by DickBallsworth

  • June 4, 2011, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Hackman almost ruined the movie for me

    by Blanket-Man

    I never bought him as Lex Luthor. He had a few scenes where he appeared to be a genuine threat to Superman, but too often he acts like he just walked off the set of the Batman TV series. Having Ned Beatty for comic relief didn't help Hackman, either. Thankfully, Reeve's continued seriousness throughout the film saves it from devolving into total camp. He really was born to play Supes...

  • June 4, 2011, 9:40 p.m. CST

    slouched posture is hot cause....


    it shows insecurity, vulnerability and therefore susceptibility to the uncouth advances of a cocksman such as THE CHOPPAH. THE CHOPPAH likes the chase......but he doesn't like to run. That broad would put up just enough of a fight but in the end she would be giving me a handy in the porta john on set.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:48 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    I can see an eight year old being blown away by the special effects. Hell, when I was eight years old, I thought Superman leaping into the air in the half hour b&w series was amazing. It never even occurred to me that the ka-thunk noise I heard right before he took off was George Reeves rebounding off a spring board. But when "Superman: The Movie" came out, I was in my twenties. So yeah, not quite as blown away as an eight year old would be. And I still wanted to gnaw my leg off at the knee during "Can You Read My Mind." PAD

  • June 4, 2011, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Christopher Reeve Hot Toys Figure Now Taking Preorders!

    by MST3KPIMP

    If you havent heard Hot Toys has revealed it's long awaited Reeve Superman figure.. I've been waiting more than 30 years for this as they never put out a Reeve toy even in the heyday of the films. Only recently has Reeve's estate licensed his likeness. You really have to look at this thing as it is simply incredible.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    NONE of you people....

    by NeverTalksBack

    know anything about Hackensack New Jersey... that is all

  • June 4, 2011, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Oh hell,

    by Stan Arthur

    I thought we were gonna get a sweet shot of Valerie Perine. I crushed on her really hard after SH5.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST



    Isn't that where all of NYC's toilet water run off ends up? That is all.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Hackman is a fantastic Lex Luthor

    by superhero

    He actually smiles about causing the innocent death of millions of people. He gave the character a fantastic sense of humor and wit which went beyond the cardboard cutout the character was and has been in the comics. LOVE the Gene Hackman Lex Luthor. Thank you.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Brian Fantana came to work with no shirt on once.

    by PoppaBurgundy

    It was our sexiest newscast ever. Sadly it wasn't sweeps week.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    that was nice of Hall and Oates

    by Anakin_Piecocker

    Portable Radio forever!

  • June 4, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    mst3kpimp, already ordered my HT Supes

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    Hot Toys are THEE BEST at recreating an actor's likeness. Well worth the money. I don't buy much of this stuff anymore, but if it's HT I'm happy to open my wallet.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:58 p.m. CST

    You will believe that a man...

    by Charlie_Sheens_Coke_Numbed_Penis

    ...can zip up his fly!!!!

  • June 4, 2011, 11:10 p.m. CST

    its Holland Oates


    don't you guys know anything about pop music?

  • June 4, 2011, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Nuke balls


    did you ask for a superman who didn't have his eyes crossed cause all the pics blNtantly show him crosseyed. I blame the horse.

  • June 5, 2011, 12:27 a.m. CST

    I saw it in the theater

    by disfigurehead

    Love this movie. I had the 12 inch Superman figure and some movie cut out book where you made certain scenes.

  • June 5, 2011, 12:37 a.m. CST

    I can't tell, are they looking at a bird or a plane?

    by seabiscuits


  • June 5, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Miss TessMACHER!!!!

    by BenBraddock

    Now that's one 3D conversion I'd pay to see!

  • June 5, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST


    by Tristan

    A new handle for someone?

  • June 5, 2011, 2:28 a.m. CST

    whoa, huge BUSH coming out of backfat's armpit

    by Tigger Tales

    you know the guy in front of him is bald...

  • June 5, 2011, 2:30 a.m. CST

    So... do you think Superman can do a pull-up?

    by Tigger Tales

  • June 5, 2011, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Agreed. Gene Hackman portrayed real menace

    by MapMan

    When he is talking to Superman on the supersonic signal and then to Superman afterward before he lays the kryptonite on him, Gene Hackman *was* Lex Luthor. A chilling performance. For example: "There's a strong streak of good in you Superman. But then nobody's perfect. almost nobody..." Lex Luthor is to Superman as the Joker is to Batman. For the Superman sequel (fingers crossed) it needs to be the Dark Knight of sequels revolving around Lex Luthor. Luthor has been done before and he needs to be done again. Let's just forget about 'Superman Returns'. BTW, those Superman action figures look incredible.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Is it wrong that I always root for Lex Luthor in this?

    by Rebel Scumb

    I've never been a huge superman fan, although I admire the iconography of the character and this is a pretty solid movie. But the thing I love about it is Hackman's Luthor. I know a lot of people hate all the insecurities he added to the character with the tupees and whatnot, but I really like all that stuff and think he's a really wonderful villian.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:24 a.m. CST


    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    I'd say it's more of a floaty eye. Your comment got me thinking, I need to get a My Little Pony for him to sit on.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:35 a.m. CST


    by teddy_duchamp

    "and a sweaty fat guy who thought it was ok to go shirtless even though no one else was. " that did make me laugh!

  • June 5, 2011, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Shirtless fat guy...

    by teddy_duchamp

    you can bet you life he had a rollie in his mouth whilst hoisting Reeves up

  • June 5, 2011, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Shirtless fat guy...

    by thefirerises

    Next seen playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, for memory.

  • June 5, 2011, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Let's be honest guys, we all have that back fat

    by I Hate Movies

    It's like looking in a mirror, am I right, people?

  • June 5, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    This flick

    by bigpale

    remains the greatest superhero movie ever. I would LOVE* to see someone re-edit the Donner cut of Superman II into this movie, to make it one giant Godfather-esque epic. *and pay good money for it

  • June 5, 2011, 8:30 a.m. CST

    i hate movies

    by HapaPapa72

    I don't have THAT much back fat! But shirtless fat guy: 1)Does have more hair on his head than I do and 2)Had some small part in making one of the first and best superhero movies ever. Couldn't be all bad being him!

  • June 5, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    Tomorrow --- ROLLERBALL!

    by jawsfan

  • June 5, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Reeve must have been one strong mutha. Love Superman.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • June 5, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Crews don't need to be pretty you morons.

    by alienindisguise

    They're the often unsung people who really make the movies happen with their hard work.

  • June 5, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Are we sure that's Reeve? It's probably his stunt double.

    by Subtitles_Off

    Looks a little chunkier than Reeve did at the time. "Wanted to gnaw my leg off" during Kidder's poem? Me too. That's the reason I walk with a pronounced limp. Wasn't a fan. Liked the second one much, much more. Well, except for the Fortress of Solitude crap.

  • June 5, 2011, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Choppah's right

    by Peter David

    First my eye was drawn to Superman overhead, and then to the woman in the background. I literally never noticed the guy in the foreground until you guys started going on about it. This is like when they released the "Watchmen" photos of Night Owl and Silk Specter and everyone was bitching about how Night Owl's costume was armor instead of fabric like the comic and meanwhile the incredible smoking hotness of Silk Specter was going right past them. PAD

  • June 5, 2011, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Funny thing is it looks like the landing posture from old TV show, but it is actually a takeoff

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Reeve was the man

  • June 5, 2011, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Jebus. The making fun of braindrain's tweets is still an obsession?

    by Subtitles_Off

    How many months has it been?

  • June 5, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Maybe, Peter,

    by Subtitles_Off

    "the incredible, smoking hotness of Silk Specter" was something that couldn't be argued, therefore, of no interest to Talkbackers. You've been here before, right?

  • June 5, 2011, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Hackman's Luthor...

    by Gislef_crow

    ...would have been a great villainous Lex Luthor in another movie. Not in this one, where he's trying to grab land . Would the government really let him keep land he had bought legally, after killing millions to increase its value? Yeah, it's a comic book plot, but still... that kind of thing was passe in Donald Duck comics. Lex Luthor in the comics is many things, but killing millions for wealth isn't one of them. Hackman would also have been a great Lex Luthor villain in a movie where he would _be_ allowed to be a great villain 24/7, instead of going for comic relief half the time (the missile theft scenes are horrendous), or surrounding himself with two idiots.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by BSB

  • June 5, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    Then to the mustached guy on the right apparently getting off on the same.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST


    by BSB

  • Wouldn't *that* have made an awesome BTS pic.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:23 a.m. CST

    only on AICN do you have people...


    ...impressed by a guy doing a single fucking pull up. He is playing Superman. If he can't do a pull up he might as well be playing Batman.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:25 a.m. CST

    You're right BSB


    Donner and Jimmy are checking out his fruit bowl.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    I as hoping for . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . an extreme closeup of Ms. Teschmacher's tits.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:53 a.m. CST

    that is what I am hoping for....


    ...EVERY time I log in here.

  • June 5, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    best superhero film far

    by FleshMachine

    fuck dark knight, fuck xmen, fuck spiderman.....reeves superman is a perfect film. full of fun and heart.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:16 p.m. CST

    For every great moment in this,

    by Subtitles_Off

    and Peter David mentioned a spectacular example above, there are two or three groan-inducing moments. "Do you like pink?" (And Singer's Scrawnyman gets the Stalkerman label?) "Dude, that's a ba-a-a-ad out-FIT." Thank you, pimp. I'll look the other way as you slap yer 'ho. "Can You Read My Mind?" Everybody wants to kick that weak dog. And there's good reason. The comic relief crap with Beatty and Perrine. (You can let that go, if you want, as part of the movie's charm, but I won't.) HA! I've got you now, Superman! Take a swim! Marlon Brando's shiny suit and dull monotone. And, yeah, piece of s#!t ending. It's an okay movie. Hardly a masterpiece. Like, better than THOR, not as good as SPIDER-MAN 2.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Hackman's Lex seemed like he was out of Adam West's Batman

    by sunwukong86

    too campy and over the top.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Superman is a good genre movie for it's time

    by DanSh1138

    Guys, SERIOUSLY.. I never understood the amount of lip service that this movie gets. Don't get me wrong, I think Superman is a really good kids/genre movie for it's time but when I hear people talking about this movie in such venerable tones I can't help but think it's really kind of silly. Superman blended the right element of earnestness and camp to make it palpable and believeable for a general audience... but to make some pithy statement regurgitating the movies tagline and say "I still beleive a man can fly" kind of puts this movie on a pedestal that I really am not sure it belongs on. Reeve was great as Clark Kent/Superman, let's not forget the younger actor who did a great job of portraying young Clark Kent too.. the rest of the cast performed well in an albiet campy way.. this seemed like a fun movie to work on and absolutely this was a fun movie to watch as a kid and as an adult it hits the right campy notes to still be fun.. but it's a popcorn movie and there is a ton of kitsch throughout the movie and it's pretty hamfisted overall. Reeve's tragic injury and subsequent death put this movie on a pedestal I'm not really sure it belongs on and people are soooo hung up on giving this movie glorious praise that it's almost impossible to do a fresh take on the character or look at the film objectively and the emotional bagagge that goes along with it cast as very long shadow. In my opinion, Superman Returns was completley hamstrung before it got out of the gate by Singer's fervent desire to make a movie that resonated with Donner's original and the resulting movie that Singer delivered was mediocre as a result. I'm not saying the movie isn't good, I think it's a great movie for kids and adults alike, but I never understood the amount of praise that this movie gets.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    oops i didnt read blanket-man's post lol

    by sunwukong86

  • "Your ability to manipulate power is formidable. That I will admit. But I... AM... POWER."

  • June 5, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Well-typed, dansh.

    by Subtitles_Off

  • June 5, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Superman is the most grand superhero film of all

    by The Krypton Kid

    From the chilling moments on Krypton, to the classic vintage Americana of Smallville, to the fast-paced temp of Metropolis, Superman: The Movie is a true epic. It also boasts the greatest superhero performance ever, the greatest superhero theme ever, and the greatest superhero moments ever. Sure the humor is a bit dated, but its moments of majesty and brilliance are unrivaled by any other superhero film.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST

    re: well typed

    by DanSh1138

    Actually it was pretty badly typed and I apologize. Like I said, please don't take my opinion as someone who is bashing the movie or the fans. I'm not at all. I just don't understand the AMOUNT of praise that this movie consistently gets.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Richard Donner and Jimmy Olsen"

    by SnootyBoots

    The actor who played Jimmy Olsen has a name too. Guess that's what IMDB is for.

  • June 5, 2011, 1:50 p.m. CST


    by SnootyBoots

  • June 5, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Subtitles off


    What Did you think Of thor? You never emailed me your review.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST

    nice muffin top

    by Mel

  • June 5, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Of the superhero movies that are "holy"

    by Winston Smith

    Namely this to some people, Burton's first Batman back in the day, Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight, Batman 89 is the one I understand the most and Spidey 2 is the one I understand the least (why it's that well regarded).

  • June 5, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    If only he would have fallen and broken his tail bone.

    by UltraTron

    And then been irritated every time he rode a horse. He might have given up the horse thing

  • June 5, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Sure, but does it in any way detract from the movie achieving greatness? Not for this true believer. I have no problem with Can You Read My Mind. I think it's beautiful and Reeve and Kidder pulled off the romance perfectly. It's a shining cinematic moment.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST

    I think the Deus Ex Machina is brillaint

    by Continentalop

    At that moment Superman transforms into a full-fledge God. And people might have problem with that, but it is very much like the Superman in the comics...and even his breaking his father's commandment has consequences (or would have if they hadn't change the opening for Superman 2). I think it is a poetic and fitting ending.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    I agree for the most part. The problematic part is introducing time travel which is always sketchy. But when Reeve screamed after putting Lois down, that redeemed everything.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Don't be the Asimovlives of Superman talkbacks. This is not a winnable situation. Not by a long shot.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:43 p.m. CST

    I just watched this again last night!

    by Zardoz

    Still an awesome movie. Christopher Reeve IS Superman, no doubt! I was reading some stuff about him on imdb and, if it's true, he turned down the lead roles in "The Bounty", "Lethal Weapon", "Romancing the Stone", "Fatal Attraction", "American Gigolo" and "Pretty Woman". If that's true, then Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas and Richard Gere pretty much owe him their careers! Thank you, Superman!

  • June 5, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Billy don't be calling genderblender a dude


    I am trying to get on her good side. I want to take her out to Starbucks for a soy latte and a vegan scone. Until that happens you best mind your p's and q's.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but bsb everyone here is forgetting

    by Continentalop

    Time travel was a big part of the Superman mythos at that time. He was always flying through the time stream. The Legion of Superheroes, traveling back to meet Cleopatra or Helen of Troy, going back to Krypton while still around, always trying to change history (like when he failed to save Lincoln)... All of these were very much part of the old Superman mythos. Superman: the Movie took something so silly and treated it seriously and profound.

  • June 5, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Best superhero movie ever. . .

    by heyscot

    I just can't see it getting better than Christopher Reeves in Superman. . .

  • June 5, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    "We all have our faults, Superman."

    by Zardoz

    "Mine's in California." Great line from Luthor, delivered perfectly by Hackman. (Still the most ironic, great actor's name in movie history. "Hack" "Man"?)

  • June 5, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Damn- at 6 foot 4

    by UltraTron

    he would have made a crazy lethal weapon. Especially if he trained like Gibson did. There are alternate universes where folks watch these films

  • "No, by causing the death of innocent people." THAT is a great Luthor line.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    To those who don't get the love for this movie

    by Zardoz

    Yeah, I suppose I can see some of your points: The SFX are pretty dated in parts and some of the humor is hokey, and Lex Luthor has two idiots for henchmen, but man, the rest is just, well, super! It was the first film to take superheroes seriously, (and stay true to it's source) it was on an epic scale, it has a truly timeless and heroic musical score, a dramatic and witty script,and a fantastic, "lightning-in-a-bottle" cast. For me, it just has never really been replicated or surpassed. Which isn't to say that I don't think there are better superhero movies that have come after it, there are, but it was the first and it holds a special place in my heart and the hearts of many others. Without this film, and it's HUGE success, you would undoubtedly never have a Batman movie or a Spider-Man movie and certainly no X-Men movie. We all owe you a great deal of thanks and gratitude, Superman! I wish I could've seen it at the LATimes Hero-Complex Screening with Richard "call me Dick" Donner in attendance. I hope we will have some news about that soon, maybe...?

  • June 5, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    When you put it that way, and given that the funny books had time travel stories, then yes, Donner pulled it off in the best way possible. Not making it central to the overall story, and doing it in an emotionally satisfying way. I do see your point, given the canon from which Superman was drawn from.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Usually that's reserved for a second date, and you want to take things further. You might wanna start off at Dunkin' Donuts so as not to put too much pressure on the gal.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    A fitting start to a nigh perfect movie.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST


    by BSB

  • June 5, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Gave a somewhat hammy Lex a real sense of danger. That's the thing - there is so much talent in every aspect of Superman, not the least of which in the writing. I mean, Brando's lines alone were magnificent.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST



    It's ok. They were giving out $5 gift cards to Starbucks at the free clinic if you decided to get checked. I can look like a next level baller when all I really had to do is take a Q-tip up the dick tip. Plus my pee whole is the diameter of a quarter so it is really no big deal.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST

    I meant my whole pee hole



  • June 5, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST

    If I can get her out where I live we'll go to Mueller's.


    You can get coffee, cookies, toilet paper, half & half, live bait worms, minnows, and crickets...and bottled bobcat urine. Oh, and you can make photocopies. I'll see if I can get her to sit on the machine and make me a keepsake.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    And when you add some free cinnamon to her latte, her head'll be bouncing in your lap in no time. (No offense, GB)

  • And, bsb still has a one thing on his frontal lobe. Predictability - Get Used To It.

  • June 5, 2011, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Don't be jealous Subby


    you can watch that cerebral shit with her...... ...then when she is ready to have a good time she can come find THE_CHOPPAH. Do we wanna get into this? I tried to side step you but if you insist...........

  • June 5, 2011, 3:58 p.m. CST

    I must be one idiotic excuse for comic fan . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . cause Spider-Man II doesn't even SNIFF my top 5. Maybe not even my top 7 best comic flicks. Just . . . don't . . . get it . . . The original Supes is definitely up there, but definitely not the best . . .

  • June 5, 2011, 4 p.m. CST

    whats the top 5 marmot?


  • June 5, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST

    "I tried to side step you"

    by Subtitles_Off

    All I "insist" is that you fukk off, once and for all. Nope, you had to take a swipe. "You didn't e-mail me your review," he types, thinking he's the funniest snot in all of the third grade, forgetting he's in his forties. I respond. He shakes his dick. His gang comes to fling poo. Boring. Now, type something else. Try to make it relevant to SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.

  • June 5, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The ending, explained.

    by Greggers

    Yes, there's something a little weird about being able to fly so fast that you can traverse time, while only minutes earlier, you seemed to be struggling to keep up with an ICBM. But love lets you do incredible things sometimes, and I think that's really the point. It's a moment where the story "goes to 11" for the sake of love, not just for Lois, but for his father too. And if you believe in the movie up to that point, it's not really hard to take that last kinda-sweet/magical leap. Or else you're a small, small person who is dead inside. DEAD, you hear me? DEAD! Okay, just kidding. Or maybe not. No really, just kidding. (Credit to the poster Cormorant who articulated this point much better than I did a gazillion years ago on an AICN talkback.)

  • June 5, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    relevant to SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE


    SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE is epic. How epic? Almost as epic as the douche bag level of Subtitles Off. BORING err uh BORING. So ummmm..THOR review?

  • June 5, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    Everybody seems to forget that Superman: the Movie should be viewed in context of its time. This was Superman before Alan Moore's What Do You Give the Man Who Has Everything or Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Before John Byrne's MAN OF STEEL, before Morrison's ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and Waid's Birthright. Hell, before WATCHMEN, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and MIRACLE MAN, when comics started to get dark, gritty and were aimed towards guys in their 20s-30s instead of in their teens. This isn't an adaptation of the Superman of nowadays, who has limitations and a Lex Luthor who is a diabolical businessman. This is an adaptation of a character who could push planets, fly through a star or black hole, and move through time, and whose arch-nemesis was a mad scientist who was mad at him for making him bald as a kid. In that context, Superman: the Movie was a very faithful and successful adaptation.

  • June 5, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    My only complaint about Hackman's Luthor

    by Continentalop

    Is he wouldn't shave his head for the entire movie, instead of just wearing a bald cap for one scene. Of course you could argue that the original Luthor had hair - beautiful red hair - before they started drawing him bald. So you could say that Donner was just referencing that (but really it was because Hackman didn't want to be bald).

  • June 5, 2011, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Superman II

    by Zardoz

    Yeah, that one really falls apart on subsequent viewings. I liked it as a kid, but the cheap humor takes over, becoming a parody of itself. And talk about plot-holes! ("Super-amnesia-kiss"? Please!) I wish Donner had been able to complete it and that Brando could have been in it, too. The Donner cut is quite interesting, but ultimately a pale shadow of what we were rightly denied the first time. It is a pity! As for Superman Returns, it was just an absolute boondoggle! It couldn't be it's own thing; too repetitive and derivative of the first film, poor casting choices, overly long, deathly serious and most damning of all, BORING! With the new one, they need to make a complete re-boot, ala Batman, Bond, Trek and now, X-Men. Start from scratch and make it totally your own. Make it dramatic and real, but not leaden and heavy. Fun and exciting, but not drenched in pathos. I sincerely wish them luck!

  • June 5, 2011, 5:15 p.m. CST

    It must be really hot there...

    by brocknroll

    The shirtless fat dude, the woman in the background showing too much skin. Look like they're filming the desert or somewhere down south. I believe Richard Donner is the one sitting cross legged.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    California is still around afterwards. Therefore Superman must have been able to stop the earthquake from sinking the West Coast and from doing a lot of damage, even in this altered timeline. The only thing he failed to do the first time is save Lois's life, so he went back to correct that one thing. It is Superman choosing to go against his space father "God" (Jor-El) and instead choosing the lesson's of his earthly father Pa Kent ("you must have been put on this planet for a reason"). Like I said earlier, poetic.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:07 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    "the incredible, smoking hotness of Silk Specter" was something that couldn't be argued, therefore, of no interest to Talkbackers." Fair point. PAD

  • June 5, 2011, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Valerie Perrine

    by Peter David

    When I was in my 30s, I attended a show biz charity auction. Various notables were there. And at one point I turned around and Valerie Perrine was standing about a foot away from me, chatting with some people. And I had a mad crush on Valerie Perrine. Between "Superman: The Movie" and "Lenny" there was, to me, no hotter woman on the face of the Earth. I handled it perfectly. I stood there with my mouth hanging open. There may have been a bit of drool running down it. And then she turned and looked right at me and flashed a megawatt smile and said, "Hi." And I nodded and my throat locked up and I turned and ran without saying a word. You know how Raj acts with all women on "Big Bang Theory?" That was me with Valerie Perrine. Not my finest moment. On the other hand, I suppose saying nothing beats saying something stupid. PAD

  • June 5, 2011, 6:28 p.m. CST

    How am I rationalizing it?

    by Continentalop

    That's what happened and that was also the intent. The entire first movie (and a lot of the second) is a Jesus metaphor. An intentional Jesus metaphor.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:31 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    Yes, the missile was a hit, but it caused no major damage other than the death of Lois Lane thanks to Superman. The only thing he failed to do the first time was rescue Lois Lane, so he went against God, I mean Jor-El's, commandment about changing the course of human history to save her life. The missile still hit, Superman still stopped the earthquake but he also rescued Lois Lane. That is what happened.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:33 p.m. CST

    I used to work in Hackensack.

    by D Ropaela

    Lex was right.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Donner is leaning against the car with Marc McClure

    by Greggers

    That's what Donner looked like in those days: 70s hair and Mark David Chapman glasses. And not to get all Superman nerdy on y'all, but that Hackman Luthor is a combination that comes from a lot of sources, including: 1. The Batman TV show. Of course, SUPERMAN THE MOVIE drew from the Adam West Batman TV show: It was the most successful live action iteration of a superhero up to that date. The Puzo and Newman's scripts were, reportedly, much campier all around than the film we ended up with. That's the movie that Gene Hackman (who, along with Brando, was one of the marquee names that allowed the movie to be financed) signed up for: He was there to clown around and get a check. Heck, we're lucky that he agreed to shave his mustache. (Unlike Cesar Romero.) 2. Silver Age Lex Luthor SILVER Age, not Bronze Age. The Silver Age Lex Luthor was the Lex Luthor that the adults who were making Superman in the 70s had read as kids. This was the Lex Luthor they had in their minds. And this Lex Luthor *was* camp. *Unintentional* camp, but camp all the same. Villains written for 8 years, when seen through an adult lens, can look melodramatic and preposterous. Bald, pudgy, prison garb wearing, "I'll get Superman this time!" vowing Lex Luthor is, when you read it today, melodramatic and preposterous. 3. Bronze Age Lex Luthor too. According to Elliot S! Maggin, he and Cary Bates had a weekend brainstorming session with Mario Puzo in the early 70s to teach Puzo what Superman was all about. Afterwards, Puzo wrote his draft. In the intervening years before the movie came out, you can see some of the elements from the movie in the comics and in Maggin's Superman novel THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON. (Not a great book btw. Oddly, it reads like fanfic.) In the movies, you can almost see an amalgam of Bates and Maggin's Superman, to wit: Cary Bates' Luthor was a complete irredeemable bastard who was prepared to kill anybody and punch babies in the back of the head. This Luthor would have no problem killing half of California. Elliot Maggin's Luthor was a villain with a heart of gold. The endpoint of Maggin's Luthor would be for Superman to one day turn him to the side of right. Maggin's Luthor's main problem was his ego, and it manifested itself in not only non-lethal villainy, but a comical arrogance and pomposity, just like Hackman's Luthor. Cary Bates wrote about 75% of the Bronze Age Superman (and good portion of DC as a whole, really), but I'd say whatever influence fell on the movie Luthor was about 50/50. And there you have it. You stone-cold killah comic book nerds may not like the campy Lex Luthor of the movies, but it's perfectly reprentative of the Lex Luthor who Lex Luthor was.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    The ending of Superman is indeed ludicrous.

    by D Ropaela

    But ludicrous in a big, romantic, ballsy comic book way. It's still the best superhero movie.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    We need a Slaughterhouse-Five BTSPOTD.

    by D Ropaela

    With Ms. Perrine revealing the full Wildhack.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:56 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Did you catch the trailer for this MMA (UFC?) movie that's coming? Saw it last night during X-men. Looks really good dude.

  • June 5, 2011, 6:59 p.m. CST

    BSB: What did you think of X-MEN?

    by D Ropaela

  • June 5, 2011, 7 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    I found it uneven but loved it overall - here's me comments in the XFC talkback ...

  • June 5, 2011, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Jesus Metaphor

    by Peter David

    Some fans once did a parody of the first film and they had Jor-El intoning, "And so I give them only son...the true Messiah. But don't get a swelled head about it." But really, that was subtle compared to the Jesus themes in "Superman Returns." You've got the father (Superman) and the son (his kid) and the Holy Ghost (Jor-El), not to mention basically--as far as Lois is concerned--an immaculate conception (remember, she doesn't recall their assignation in the Fortress). You've got the godlike way he looks down upon the earth. When he falls toward the end, he does so in a way that's a crucifixion pose, and then he's resurrected. PAD

  • June 5, 2011, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Choppah thinks the rocketeer is the best superhero


  • June 5, 2011, 7:03 p.m. CST


    And here's why: He ain't boring like some certain people around here.

  • This might change your mind about Tom Hardy as Bane, 'Lop ...

  • June 5, 2011, 7:06 p.m. CST

    peter david

    by D Ropaela

    Stop with the "PAD." I'm more of a tampon guy.

  • June 5, 2011, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Thanks, bsb.

    by D Ropaela

  • June 5, 2011, 7:12 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I'm not going to watch the trailer for Warrior. I have a friend at Lionsgate and I am supposed to see an advanced screening soon, so I don't want anything to be given away. He thinks I'll love it. And nothing will change my opinion of Bane. Should have been the f'ing Penguin...

  • June 5, 2011, 7:15 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    I think he's right. I won't say anything either except it's on my must-see list now.

  • June 5, 2011, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Hey I'm not going to deny the Jesus Metaphor isn't

    by Continentalop

    Pretentious, but I still dig it. It gives it a little extra than just "Superman Saves Everybody." I like the extra depth.

  • June 5, 2011, 8:12 p.m. CST

    "He ain't boring like some certain people around here."

    by Subtitles_Off

    Aw. Is that Choppah, "side-stepping" again? Or, is it the first fully self-realized moment he's ever had? Don't be so hard on yourself, "friendo." Yes, you're boring. You're also passive-aggressive. I've never seen you, so you may also be ugly. But, you gotta love yourself, or no one else will.

  • June 5, 2011, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Oh...its that Sub-titles off guy again.

    by Charlie_Sheens_Coke_Numbed_Penis

    I been meaning to ask you, what exactly did THE_CHOPPAH ever do to you to make you so angry? Did you get CHOPPED or something?

  • June 5, 2011, 9:15 p.m. CST

    No shame in being chopped.

    by D Ropaela

    I consider it a rite of passage. An honor, even. The key is not fighting it. Just accept your chopping with a broad smile and loose buttocks, and you should be golden.

  • June 5, 2011, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Gene Hackman

    by proevad

    I realize this is aintitcool and retardation runs high on this board---but really? Hackman not being good in this movie? Christ, please die painfully. Also. Tried twice now to make it all the way through that remake/reimagining/sequel thing from a few years ago--I just couldn't punish myself for more than an hour either time. I like me. I hate Kevin Spacey now, but I still like me.

  • June 5, 2011, 9:45 p.m. CST

    About the choppah

    by proevad

    It's more than one person who posts under his name. Scientists have proven that the amount of horseshit that he generates couldn't possibly come from just one human being. I'm thinking it's probably that Kirk Cameron cult, but that is strictly opinion.

  • June 5, 2011, 9:48 p.m. CST



    It is a rite of passage. Like a bris. Wee shavers step up to the slab and if they are worthy limp away men.

  • June 5, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Christopher Reeve was SUPERMAN.

    by kermit_the_fraud

    Everyone else is just playing a part.

  • June 5, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Superman Does NOT "Reverse Time"

    by Autodidact

    He goes back in time. The way they depicted it in that wide shot makes it confusing, but if we were watching Superman fly backwards through time, then from our POV the earth would appear to be spinning backwards. I think it's cool and I'm sort of sentimental having grown up with that ending... but from the first time I saw the movie as a very young kid I thought having Superman be able to go back in time really cut off a lot of story possibilities.

  • June 5, 2011, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Reeve Superman Literally Best Casting Ever

    by Autodidact

    I don't think any character has ever been as perfectly cast. Being an atheist, Superman taught me most of the moral lessons I didn't get from my parents... use your power wisely, stand up for people, make time for people... so it's like Chris Reeve is the face of my own personal Jesus.

  • June 5, 2011, 11 p.m. CST

    Right on, autodidact . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    Someone to hear your prayers. Someone who's there . . .

  • June 5, 2011, 11:04 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    As does his Hand, who keeps watch over the talkbackdom under many guises.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Good Superman

    by Gwynplaine

    Bad Movie.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:16 p.m. CST

    My hand stay wrapped around my penis (over)

    by Charlie_Sheens_Coke_Numbed_Penis

  • June 5, 2011, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Choppa But...

    by kabookieslap

    Superman has the distinction of the first people to actually see Superman (in a movie that was party aimed at kids) was a pimp sitting in his car with his hoes toed in line. That is just one of the thing that makes this movie kick ass.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:33 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    He replign'd back in time to do that part.

  • June 5, 2011, 11:39 p.m. CST

    greggers actually the Puzo treatment and script was very dark

    by kabookieslap

    It was the David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton, overseen by the first director who made Bond movies, that was the camp. You can find it at scifiscripts. I would post links but they don't allow posting links here. 197 MOVING SHOT, WIDE: SUPERMAN swoops down on his prey, seizes his shoulder. SUPERMAN (gotcha) Hey! 198 The man whirls around and it is...TELLY SAVALAS. With lollipop and big grin: TELLY Hey! Superman! Who loves ya, baby? SUPERMAN smiles, trying to pretend he dropped down to say hi, and then flies up. As he ANGLES TOWARD CAMERA we SEE the disappointed expression on his face. Donner went back to the Puzo original script, which to my knowledge has never been released publicly due to contractual agreements. In fact, the novelizations for both films, because they were based on his treatments, could not be on his treatments, so that is why they are completely different stories from the movies. In the Puzo script, Donner mentioned it was much much darker. Apparently Luthor kills someone by stabbing them. Donner realized that the parents would be dropping their kids off at the theaters to watch it alone with their friends, so he needed to tone the villains down. That is how Lex Luthor is the way he is, and the reason for Otis. I believe it is in the Cinefantastique article from the late 70's. It actually had nothing to do with the 60's Batman show. As a matter of fact, Donner and crew were fighting that whole shows stigma of superheroes are only for kids.

  • June 6, 2011, 12:13 a.m. CST

    why hire savalas for a silly cameo

    by Crimson Dynamo

    instead of offering him the role of luthor, especially since hackman was against playing luthor bald

  • June 6, 2011, 12:13 a.m. CST


    by Greggers

    In response, first let me direct you to an analysis of the scripts I was able to dig up from the old Superman Cinema website. Apparently the website is defunct, but luckily they left some of the pages up, including this one, where the author gives a pretty comprehensive breakdown of the different script versions. According to this guy's analysis, Puzo's script had a campy lean to it as well, and it was Donner and Mankiewicz who added the more serious content. Puzo's Luthor might have killed somebody, but without the context, it's difficult to know how it was played. Further, I'd suggest that the flavor of camp villany shown in both the Batman tv show and Superman were just too similar to be able to credibly deny influence. If Donner and Mankiewicz weren't intentionally influenced by it, you can bet that Hackman and the Salkinds were. Camp was the only successful context for presenting superheroes to adults up to that point, and that approach, exemplified by Batman, had to leave its mark.

  • June 6, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST


    by CT1

    at least it doesn't look gay

  • June 6, 2011, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Still in my all-time personal top 10

    by gregg benac

    The reason? The helicopter scene. First the danger builds, then Clark sees it and runs to change, the "S" filling the screen. Then there he is! She falls, the crowd gasps! "Easy miss, i've got you.""You've got me...whos got you?" Then, for a moment, i remembered George Reeves always struggling with super-strength on a 50's TV budget, and i got my moment. He grabs the copter with one hand and carries it to the roof. For that sequence i was 5 years old again. And i believed a man could fly. If you show me that scene right now, i will still get the biggest smile on my face.

  • This movie did not make it "cool" to like comics. Back in those days if you wore a comic book shirt to school, you'd have your ass kicked. Then, do a jump to 89 - when Keaton's Batman came out, you couldn't get people to even get people to acknowledge Superman: The Movie. People treated Burton's Batman the same way they do Nolan 's.

  • June 6, 2011, 3:27 a.m. CST

    greggers According to the Cinefantastiq rticle with Donner

    by kabookieslap

    Donner stated in his interview that Puzo's was dark. The script he was sent when he signed on was the Newman Benton draft. he said that he and Mankiewicz went back to the Puzo one, which was darker. he specifically mentions Luthor stabbing someone, and that he had to tone down the characters as he knew parents would be dropping their kids off at theater. Go read the article if you don't believe me. That is why the Luthor and crew are toned down. I also read somewhere that he was trying to make sure to make his film go away from anything of the Batman TV series, which many suggested they were doing. Tom Mankiewicz - "Dick had a motto for the film, which was “verisimilitude”. We had signs in our office saying “verisimilitude”. If you write it like it’s really happening, the picture is going to work. It is too easy is to stand back and show the audience that you’re smarter than the material. That’s camp. The old Batman series on television was camp. It can work for 22 minutes on television but it has never worked for a two hour dramatic movie. You can’t make fun of your characters. You’ve got to treat them seriously – especially Superman, who is a piece of American mythology." That article also said that Puzo came up with the S's for the council members "...(each of the Elders should wear) the futuristic letter 'S' imprinted on their clothes, as does Jor-El. There should also be a huge futuristic letter 'S' design on the Council Chamber." but Mankiewicz clearly says he and Donner came up with it Tom Mankiewicz "I said to Dick one night. this was the '70s and I loved my Jack Daniels and Dick would have a joint or two. We were in the car (with a driver by the way) and I said, Why does Superman have an S on his chest? I know the S stands for Superman. But it can't stand for Superman up on Krypton because up on Krypton he's not Superman. So we devised this thing, if you look at the Council of Elders everyone has a different letter on their chest. We decided it was a family crest. So, Jor-El has an S on the middle of his chest inside an inverted triangle. The others have Es or Ls or whatever" So I am not sure how valid that whole page is. I trust Mankiewicz recollection of things over a guy who was not involved with the film.

  • June 6, 2011, 3:27 a.m. CST

    We need to clone us some Christopher Reeve.

    by Onin Solstice

  • June 6, 2011, 3:48 a.m. CST

    greggers pt 2

    by kabookieslap

    Puzo delivered his 500-page script for Superman and Superman II in July 1975.[6] Jax-Ur appeared as one of General Zod's henchman, with Clark Kent written as a television reporter. According to Mankiewicz "not a word from the Puzo script was used".[14] "It was a well-written, but still a ridiculous script. It was 550 pages. I said, 'You can't shoot this screenplay because you'll be shooting for five years'," Donner continued. "That was literally a shooting script and they planned to shoot all 550 pages. You know, 110 pages is plenty for a script, so even for two features, that was way too much."[17] Mankiewicz conceived having each Kryptonian family wear a crest resembling a different letter, justifying the 'S' on Superman's costume. And I have no idea where I read him say Puzo's script was dark and they had to tone down Luthor as he stabbed someone. I thought I read it in the Cinefantastique article but it isn't there. but I remember reading it at some point. And he said "Parents are going to drop their kids off to see it." It is in some interview he gave but which one it is I have no idea now.

  • June 6, 2011, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Reeve's Superman Is A Huge Player

    by Mike-El

    The smile walking away after delivering the "Statistically speaking..." line? Superman knows he's in like fucking Flynn with Lois now. And the coy-and-shameless-at-the-same-time flirting during the interview scene is priceless. Reeve's Superman had a Super Mack Hand.

  • June 6, 2011, 9:18 a.m. CST

    As much as I loved Valerie Perrine

    by Chris

    Luthor should have had a team of professionals working with him. In my opinion, if Luthor had been surrounded by a team of smart people with different areas of expertise, then he would have looked even smarter if he pointed out some flaw or easier way to do things. I think Micheal Rosenbaum was a better Luthor simply becausehe had a more serious presense as someone who could be more menacing. Gene Hackman tried to play it too much over the top, in my opinion

  • June 6, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    The Kryptonian Council had emblems on their chest

    by Snookeroo

    because Marlon Brandon wanted to wear the Superman "S" emblem on his costume. It was just another of the many bat-shit crazy things Brandon wanted - and got - for playing the part of Jor-El. Donner had to find something to make it fit, so he gave each Council member their own symbol.

  • June 6, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    What makes Superman the best superhero movie

    by ufoclub1977

    Is the emotional tone of it was so fun, adventurous, epic, romantic, and dramatic. And perfectly structured. As a kid you could really feel that moment when he senses he forgot Lois in all his "superdeeds".

  • June 6, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST


    by BetaRayBill07

    Who the fuck is Marlon Brandon?

  • June 6, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    I'm with Autodidact...

    by workshed

    Chris Reeves IS Superman like Connery IS Bond, Arnie IS Conan, Bill Bixby IS Bruce Banner and, yes, Adam West IS Batman... etc etc.

  • June 6, 2011, 12:31 p.m. CST

    snookeroo No that is not why they did it

    by kabookieslap

    Why do internet boys think they can make up stuff and get away with it? Again Tom Mankiewicz "I said to Dick one night. this was the '70s and I loved my Jack Daniels and Dick would have a joint or two. We were in the car (with a driver by the way) and I said, Why does Superman have an S on his chest? I know the S stands for Superman. But it can't stand for Superman up on Krypton because up on Krypton he's not Superman. So we devised this thing, if you look at the Council of Elders everyone has a different letter on their chest. We decided it was a family crest. So, Jor-El has an S on the middle of his chest inside an inverted triangle. The others have Es or Ls or whatever"

  • If you watched the Behind The Scenes Documentaries or listened to the Commentary, you could see how truly sad Donner is that the movie was taken away from him, even 30 years later. He talked about how they envision 4 or 5 more movies and looked forward to making the Superman/Clark Kent/Lois Lane Love Triangle going for years. Oh well. One of the many What Coulda Beens in movie history. It's just really sad what the Salkind's did. Firing Donner and cutting Brando out of the sequel, just to save a little money on a mega-blockbuster. They really were dirty scumbags.

  • A computer than can make people into robots.... How cool was that? Lex Luthor never came up with one of those, noooooo he didn't. Gus Gorman is my hero.

  • June 6, 2011, 2:58 p.m. CST


    by riggs_and_murtaghs_love_child

    You know the grouchy old man at the local bar, the one who no one really likes, who thinks he knows everything, who longs for "the good old days", and is always there, and people put up with him because he just doesn't go away? Yea, that's who this clown reminds me of.

  • June 6, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Marlon Brandon

    by Snookeroo

    Is a character from the movie "Trying to Type While At Work". It's a honk. You should see it sometime.

  • June 6, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST


    by Snookeroo

    I'm familiar with Mankiewicz story. Stan Lee has a lot of stories about the characters he "created", too. Time passes, and everyone takes credit for the undocumented. The story about Brando wanting to wear the "S" emblem was from an interview with Donner that I read a few years after Superman was released in the theaters. Who knows what the real truth is - I just thought it was an interesting sidebar.

  • June 7, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST

    snookeroo I apologize. Did not know Donner said that

    by kabookieslap

    Who knows if he was joking around. But I do know that they mention it in the DVD commentary and all of the other interviews with them. Who knows, maybe Donner was joking. But if you read it in an interview with Donner, then I apologize for the "internet boys making up stuff" comment.

  • June 7, 2011, 11:05 a.m. CST


    by Snookeroo

    I read it in an interview some years after Superman was released - however, at that time Donner was pretty bitter about the whole experience, so who knows what the real story was? And who knows how reliable the publication was (can't remember - it was one of those things like Cinefantastique); that was all pre-internet. I do know that Superman would not have been the movie it was without Mankiewicz input. In any case - no harm/no foul, man. :)

  • June 7, 2011, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Luthor has to be the smartest guy in the room

    by proevad

    or in this case--the planet. Surrounding himself with "smart" people would be completely out of character. Hackman played him perfectly--Spacey played Kevin Spacey in a bald cap.

  • June 7, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST

    snookeroo Cool

    by kabookieslap

    Thanks for accepting my apology. I appreciate it.