Superman (film)
Superman The Movie poster
Directed by Richard Donner
Produced by Alexander Salkind
Ilya Salkind
Pierre Spengler
Starring Marlon Brando
Gene Hackman
Christopher Reeve
Margot Kidder
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
Editing by Stuart Baird
Michael Ellis
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (United States)
Columbia-EMI-Warner (United Kingdom)
Release 10 December 1978 (United States)
13 December 1978 (United Kingdom)
Running time 143 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $55 million
Gross revenue $300,218,018
Followed by Superman II

Superman (also known as Superman: The Movie) is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Jackie Cooper, Trevor Howard, Marc McClure, Terrence Stamp, Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty. The film depicts Superman's origin, including his infancy as Kal-El of Krypton and his youthful years in the rural town of Smallville. Disguised as reporter Clark Kent, he adopts a mild-mannered disposition in Metropolis and develops a romance with Lois Lane, while battling the villainous Lex Luthor.

Several directors, most notably Guy Hamilton, and screenwriters (Mario Puzo, David and Leslie Newman and Robert Benton) were associated with the project before Donner was hired to direct. Tom Mankiewicz was drafted in to rewrite the script and was given a "creative consultant" credit. It was decided to film both Superman and Superman II simultaneously, with principal photography beginning in March 1977 and ending in October 1978. Tensions rose between Donner and the producers, and a decision was made to stop filming the sequel—of which 75 per cent had already been completed—and finish the first film.

Ultimately costing $55 million, Superman was released in December, 1978, to critical acclaim and financial success, earning $300 million during its original theatrical run. Reviewers noted parallels between the film's depiction of Superman and Jesus and particularly praised Reeve's performance. It was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Film Editing, Best Music (Original Score), and Best Sound Mixing, and received a Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the film's legacy presaged the mainstream popularity of Hollywood's superhero film franchises.


External links

  • Superman at the Internet Movie Database
Superman Films
Films 1978-1987
SupermanSuperman IISuperman IIISuperman IV: The Quest for Peace
Other films

SupergirlSuperman II: The Richard Donner CutSuperman ReturnsMan of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Adapted characters
General ZodJor-ElJonathan KentMartha KentNonUrsaLaraLois LaneLucy LaneLana LangLex LuthorJimmy OlsenSupergirl / Kara Zor-ElSuperman / Clark KentPerry WhiteOtisRoss WebsterGus GormanDaily PlanetMetropolis
Gene Hackman films

Superman (1978)  · Superman II (1980)  · Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)  · Heartbreakers (2001)  ·

Christopher Reeve films

Superman (1978)  · Superman II (1980)  · Superman III (1983)  · Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)  · Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)  ·

Marlon Brando films

The Godfather (1972)  · Superman (1978)  · Superman II (1980)  · The Score (2001)  ·