An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writers:

Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman), Joe Shuster (character created by: Superman) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
883 ( 232)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Jor-El
Gene Hackman ... Lex Luthor
Christopher Reeve ... Superman / Clark Kent
Ned Beatty ... Otis
Jackie Cooper ... Perry White
Glenn Ford ... Pa Kent
Trevor Howard ... 1st Elder
Margot Kidder ... Lois Lane
Jack O'Halloran ... Non
Valerie Perrine ... Eve Teschmacher
Maria Schell ... Vond-Ah
Terence Stamp ... General Zod
Phyllis Thaxter ... Ma Kent
Susannah York ... Lara
Jeff East ... Young Clark Kent
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Storyline

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, young Clark discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor, while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie that makes a legend come to life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for peril, some mild sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the second highest grossing film of 1978, behind "Grease" (1978). See more »

Goofs

After jumping across in front of the moving train, a reflection of the cameraman can be seen in the train windows as Clark runs home. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boy: In the decade of the 1930s, even the great city of Metropolis was not spared the ravages of the worldwide depression. In the times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public was the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper whose reputation for clarity and truth had become a symbol of hope for the city of Metropolis...
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Crazy Credits

Next Year: "Superman II" See more »

Alternate Versions

Only in the ABC version are young Lois Lane and her father seen in the train. In the ABC version, Kirk Alyn (the original screen Superman) and Noel Neill (as Lois Lane's parents) have their speaking roles restored. 'Ned Beatty'S walk down the street is longer. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Smallville: Drone (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Around the Clock
(uncredited)
Written by Max Freedman and James E. Myers
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets
(Theatrical version only)
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User Reviews

 
"Super" is a way that will never be matched
8 April 2005 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

This is my 301st review on IMDb, so I'm going to make this short, simple, and super:

"You'll believe a man can fly!" - the tagline for "Superman"

He stood for "truth, justice, and the American way." Ahh, to just think that this is the movie that started it all, ladies and gentlemen. Carefully adapted from the popular DC Comics character created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, Richard Donner's 1978 epic has stood the test of time to become the supreme superhero film. Alongside Tim Burton ("Batman") and Sam Raimi ("Spider-Man"), Donner earned his place in cinematic history by becoming the first director to make a perfect superhero film. Superman is the most recognizable comic book superhero in history, and when Clark Kent (the late, great Christopher Reeve) rips open his shirt to reveal that symbolic "S" an hour and 11 minutes into the film, you know that it's one of the greatest cinematic moments. This epic defined the superhero film, and in the 27 years since its release, every subsequent comic book superhero movie is forever indebted to "Superman." The plot (and what a plot) runs complete throughout its epic 154 minutes and believe me, there's not a single wasted moment in the film's entire running length. Of course, Clark Kent is sent from his dying home world of Krypton by his father Jor-El (the late Marlon Brando), grows up and works at the Daily Planet, falls in love with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), and must foil the diabolical plans of Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). Put simply, there will never be another movie like "Superman," and who can forget those *cosmic* credits, the aforementioned "S" scene, the Superman and Lois date over New York City and later above the clouds, and that one, definitive climax when Superman lets out a painful cry that reveals that one glint of humanity that he's earned from his time on earth. Reeve will forever be linked to the role that really made people believe he was a super man, even when he wasn't wearing the blues, reds, and yellows, and was instead confined to the prison that's called a wheelchair. But we know that he's up there, flying high with the Almighty and proving to us all that he is who we believed he was. The recent news that Bryan Singer ("X-Men") is directing a new Superman is not exactly getting me giddy, considering the low standards of today's film-making and the onslaught of CGI effects that dominate many Hollywood action movies these days. I love "Superman" and even today, I'm still touched by its magic, and deeply saddened by the real-life tragedies that have followed it.

A perfect, "super" 10/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Canada | Switzerland | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Superman: The Movie See more »

Filming Locations:

Barons, Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,465,343, 17 December 1978

Gross USA:

$134,451,603

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$300,451,603
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1980 video release) | (2000 restoration) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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