Superman (1978) Review

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice hits Cinemas March 25th 2016 as the collective nerd word waits with baited breath as two of the most iconic hero’s of all time go one on one.

so what better way to look forward to the future than to have a glance back at the highs and lows (So many low’s) of the icons that changed the genre forever!

Its an adventure re-told, spanning the Man of Steel’s life from his Krypton infancy and Midwest boyhood to his career as Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent and through his titanic struggle with arch nemesis Lex Luthor.

1978’s Superman: The Movie is widely considered a cinema classic. Whatever the reception of its sequels, the Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder-starring film remains the benchmark against which all later adaptations have been measured.

The strength of iconography established in the film is a big part of what makes it such a classic. Just as Reeve became Superman for all successive generations, the stirring John Williams soundtrack became his instantly recognizable theme. When it comes to imagining the superhero, it is the events and imagery in this film that spring instantly to mind.

“This is no fantasy – no careless product of wild imagination,” says Jor-El in his opening lines, and he was right. This film made Superman real for the generations of moviegoers that came after.

Reeve plays both Superman and the stooping wallflower Clark Kent with equal relish, making his flimsy disguise as the ‘mild-mannered reporter’ almost believable with his rounded shoulders, stutter and clumsiness. As the Man of Steel he is charming and softly spoken, with good humor and a smile for victims and villains alike. When, as Kent, he comes close to breaking the Fourth Wall with a smile after a failed robbery, it takes a hard heart not to fall a little bit in love.

The effects continue to stand up well, and though they do slip from time to time it happens no more frequently than in many modern CG-filled blockbusters. It is not hard to sit back, relax, and really believe that a man can fly. The multiple rescue scenes in the latter act of the film are charming – if somewhat jumbled – and Superman’s much-derided time-reset-by-backwards-flying moment feels almost justified by Lois Lane’s genuinely harrowing living burial minutes earlier.

Superman’s flaws are hard to miss, but it is through the charm of its leads and the power of Donner’s vision that it has remained a classic for over three decades. For many Reeves is the definitive Superman as Keaton is the definitive Batman, its no doubt that these two whilst a decade apart set the bar very high for anyone else who wears their respective capes for years to come.

so out of a possible five stars Superman gains:

✪✪✪✪

What did you think of Superman?

you’re feedback is welcome here (Film and TV Nerd) or Facebook and the Twitter machine!

Thanks for reading

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