Writer: Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton (Screenplay) Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (Creator)
Starring: Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, New Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Margot Kidder
Plot: 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.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Best Early Comic Book Film
Story: Superman starts when Jor-El (Brando) fears for this species future on Krypton goes against the wishes of the race and sends his baby son to Earth with preparation to understand the reasons in time. Just in time is appears as Krypton is destroyed.
Arriving on Earth the baby, named Clark is adopted by the Kent family who teach him how to hide his talents from the world, but a growing boy only wants to use his skills to impress. When his Earth father dies, Clark goes on his on quest to find himself only to learn the truth about his past.
Now a man Clark (Reeve) works as a journalist for Perry White (Cooper) where he meets Lois Lane (Kidder). With Clark finding his steps in his daily grind we also meet Lex Luthor (Hackman) living below the city planning his crime of the century and the police are not succeeding in stopping him.
By night Clark Kent becomes Superman keeping the city safe from criminals and accidents becomes a hero for the people. When Lex’s gets a strange a strong dislike towards Superman he targets him searching for the one weakness that will kill him so he can complete his master plan.
Thoughts on Superman
Characters/Performance – Clark Kent is the social awkward journalist but as soon as he becomes Superman he is strong, confident savoir of the American people. Lex Luthor is always considered one of the best villains in superhero films and having a smart human villain against a powered up hero always makes for interesting reading. Lois doesn’t get the full screen time you would like from her character, the support character add comedy to the film but otherwise not too important to the main story.
Performance wise the Reeve’s was really the best Superman we have had to date with Hackman enjoying the villainous role slightly too much. The rest of the performances are all good for the film we are seeing.
Story – We have seen plenty of origin stories in the superhero genre and even though this one is very long, we don’t meet the actual Superman until about an hour into the film, it pulls you in to understand the conflict Clark must face to become the hero the word needs, he starts with the need to help only for his innocent good nature to become his biggest weakness against Lex Luthor. I do feel like this shows how to do an origin story and it should be looked at by all the directors out there who try too hard to make us want to cheer for their new heroes.
Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi – The action is all fine through the film without being over the top with the biggest piece of action being through the final moments which is good, the adventure shows off the way Superman starts to learn about his destiny.
Settings – Each setting is good without being overused for any moment in the film, we get the traditional big city attempted destruction because we would all care slightly more if we knew what was getting destroyed.
Final Thoughts – When you look at how many origin stories we get now, we rarely get to see any that meet this level.
Overall: Long but truly one of the best superhero films out there.