Friday, May 10, 2013

CLASSIC FILM REVIEW: Superman: The Movie (1978)

CLASSIC FILM REVIEW:  Superman: The Movie ****

As time goes by, it is becoming increasingly clear that the 1978 big-screen version of the Superman story was a one-of-a kind event. Very few comic-book movies have been up to its level of story-telling and film-making expertise on display.

Director Richard Donner (who also made "The Omen," "Lethal Weapon" and "Ladyhawke") fought to keep the story from becoming too comical, as it would in later sequels, which helped to create a mythology around the character still in use today. While many of the character's traits were there from the first comic books, details of the Planet Krypton and other aspects of Superman's existence came from this film. The screenwriters included Mario Puzo (of "The Godfather" fame), David Newman and Robert Benton (they wrote "Bonnie & Clyde") and David's wife Leslie Newman.

The cast is filled with character actors like Gene Hackman (as Lex Luthor) Jackie Cooper (as Perry White) and Ned Beatty (as Otis), legendary Oscar-winner Marlon Brando (as Jor-el) and then-newcomer Christopher Reeve in the title role. Reeve's earnest portrayal of Superman and his off-beat charm as his mild-mannered alter-ego Clark Kent remains the most popular version of this character. Margot Kidder (then a relative newcomer from the Brian DePalma thriller "Sisters" and the Bob Clark-directed horror "Black Christmas") brings the right balance of reporter smarts and romantic vulnerability to the role of Lois Lane. "Superman: The Movie" was followed by three sequels, inspired numerous TV series including "Superboy" (1988-92), "Lois and Clark" (1993-97) and "Smallville" (2001-2011).

Some consider the 2006 reboot starring Brandon Routh ("Dylan Dog: Dead of Night") as a sequel, due to its creative influence and design from the first two Reeve-led stories, though none of the original actors or makers are connected to the film. Another reboot was to be released in 2013, with Henry Cavill ("Immortals") in the lead.

No comments:

Post a Comment