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Superman - The Movie (1978)

Christopher Reeve , Margot Kidder , Richard Donner  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray Widescreen Edition $9.29  
DVD Four-Disc Special Edition $9.95  
  1-Disc Version $7.99  
Other [VHS] $6.17  

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Superman - The Movie + Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut + Superman III (Deluxe Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty
  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Writers: David Newman, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Leslie Newman, Mario Puzo
  • Format: Digital Sound, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2001
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059Z8J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,227 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Superman - The Movie" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Incorporates Added Scenes
  • 3 Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries:
  • The Magic Behind the Cape (Special Effects)
  • Making Superman: Filming the Legend (Production and Release)
  • Taking Flight: The Development of Superman (Preproduction)
  • Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz
  • Superman, Lois Lane, & Ursa Screen Tests
  • Audio Outtakes: Alternate Scoring for 8 Sequences
  • 2 Deleted Scenes
  • TV Spots

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The planet Krypton is doomed and Jor-El sends his infant son to refuge on a distant planet where he develops superhuman powers that he must hide from the mortals around him.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: PG
Release Date: 8-FEB-2005
Media Type: DVD

Additional Features

Filled out with about eight minutes of additional footage, this deluxe Superman almost doubles Marlon Brando's screen time with added scenes on Krypton and in the Fortress of Solitude and fills out the early life of Clark Kent, contributing to a more mythic portrait of America's greatest hero. There is also more disaster footage during the earthquake climax, and Lex Luthor's "Gauntlet of Death" sequence (seen on network TV broadcasts) is reinstated.

The commentary by director Richard Donner and "creative consultant" Tom Mankeiwicz lacks the focus and detail of a filmmaker really grappling with his work (it has been almost 25 years, after all), but it's full of interesting asides, casting trivia (Goldie Hawn as Miss Teschmacher?), and the good-humored byplay of two old friends.

The three documentary featurettes hosted by Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) are essentially chapters of a comprehensive behind-the-scenes study, full of illuminating interviews (Donner and Mankeiwicz are more revealing here), special-effects tests (including all the failed attempts to make you believe a man can fly), and the bizarre true story of the unceremonious firing of Richard Donner after he had turned Superman into a worldwide smash and shot about 70 percent of the sequel.

A separate supplement features screen tests for Christopher Reeve and five different Lois Lanes (including a giggly Leslie Ann Warren and a snappy Stockard Channing), and two legendary, delightfully demented scenes featuring Lex Luthor's snarling "babies" (also seen on TV broadcasts) are featured in the gallery of Deleted Scenes. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
135 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Superman' on DVD...THE one to buy! April 28, 2001
At last, Superman is presented the way it was meant to be! The master print for the 1978 classic had deteriorated so badly that the film, particularly the white-on-white Krypton opening scenes, was almost unwatchable. (I had even gone so far as to write a critique on demanding a 'Director's Cut' DVD edition, digitally transferred and remastered, be made!)
Somebody was listening! While this isn't a 'Director's Cut' (Donner has said that the version that premiered in 1978 was the version he preferred), the movie has been expanded, to include a couple of brief scenes with Brando, and the famous Superman Gauntlet sequence at Luthor's underground lair (the remaining unused sequences can be seen in the 'Deleted Scenes' Chapter, on Side 2).
Technically, the DVD is fabulous; the Krypton sequences are now clean and sharp, a couple of shots where, previously, color balancing problems had turned Superman's costume green have been corrected, and, best of all, the soundtrack has been digitally remastered and sounds even better than it did in 1978!
Three fabulous documentaries are included on Side 2 about the making of the film, and how the flying effects were achieved. This was an incredibly expensive and difficult film to make (so much so that Donner, after 'Superman' was released to rave reviews, was fired, and replaced by Richard Lester, for 'Superman 2'), and through interviews with Donner, Christopher Reeve (who is honored for his work in the film, and his courage since his crippling accident), Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, and several of the creative team, you can appreciate what a unique and wonderful film this is!
Two other 'pluses'; a full-length audio commentary track with Richard Donner, and a 'music only' option, where you can admire one of composer John Williams' greatest scores!
This Special Edition DVD should be an essential part of any film lover's collection!
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Video Quality Review (Blu-ray) January 30, 2007
This is a tough one to review. For a film made in 1978, I don't think it could look any better. I'm willing to bet this Blu-ray disc is as good if not better than the premiere screening of Superman back in 78. Great care must have been taken to clean up and restore this picture. It is practically free of scratches and dirt. It is detailed, far above standard definition. Colors are balanced and eye catching. Contrast is natural and evenly spread. Inserted scenes are consistent with the rest of the film. Never looked better. Still, 1978. There are a few scenes with plenty of grain and most of the film gives the impression of being a little out of focus, a little blurred. Five star transfer, four star visual impact. I doubt if a 1080p display is getting much more out of this picture than a 720p display.

(PS3 - 1080p projector - 92")
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75 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superman DVD gets A+ February 22, 2001
Last night a friend that works at Warner Brothers brought over a surprise: The Superman-The Movie two disc DVD! And after watching it, I've got some good news, and some bad news.
First the good news- This new version is even better that the original edit of the film. A lot more of Marlon Brando's scenes. And the really cool sequence in Lex Luthor's underground hide out where he tries to kill Superman with bullets, fire & cold. Plus more...
The picture quality is just stunning. Krypton has this insane glow to it. And the new sound rivals brand new movies. The music is bright & vibrant, swirling all around you, and the entire 5.1 mix is used very well.
Now, the bad news- There's only the one version of the movie. I had hoped you'd be able to play the original, too.
More good news- The second disc has an enormous amount of brand new special features (almost two hours worth.) In their entirety, they seem to transport you back in time to relive the fascinating story of how the two Superman movies got made--up until director Richard Donner was stupidly fired, and not brought back to finish the second film. There's a lot of never-been-seen before, behind-the-scenes footage. In the casting tests you can see early versions of the Superman costume as Chris Reeve plays against many actresses including Leslie Warren, Anne Archer (both who were very good,) and of course Margot Kidder.
And then there are the two exceptional documentaries with new interviews from almost everybody. They follow the history of the two films, and include very interesting business aspects. Chris Reeves' story is very touching. Also included is a documentary on the special effects with neat(!) early flying tests.
Now more bad news- My friend took the discs with her.
To some up: this is the most complete, classy & top notch DVD package I have ever seen. Very well done ! A+
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! September 26, 2006
It is about time that this classic gets the full treatment--loaded with extras. However, if you are also interested in the Superman II special edition, it is more cost effective to get the "The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection - (8-Disc Deluxe Special Edition)" which is currently the same price as buying this set and II, only you get films 3 and 4 too (which is better than paying for them, right?)

Also, Amazon has the Richard Donner Cut of Superman II available for pre-order which has the extended version of the film never before available (the special edition will be the theatrical release only).
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The name Superman brings back so many memories doesn't it? Well watching this special edition brought back all of those feelings and more. This is a FANTASTIC dvd! All dvd's should aspire to be this good! The other reviews seem to mostly touch on the sound and picture quality (which are great), but I thought I would do a review mostly on the EXTRAS on this disc which are just incredible.
First of all, there are 3, approximately half hour, documentaries on the making of Superman. These are the real gems of this disc. They're great! One involves pre-production, one involves production and one involves the special effects. They are all roughly a half hour each and they are all well worth your time. You see the original screen tests for both Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder plus screen tests of ... Anne Archer, Leslie Ann Warren, Stockard Channing and other famous actresses all tested for Lois and you see them all. I didn't notice anyone famous trying out for SUPES because they decided early on that they wanted an unknown but there are screen tests of plenty of unknowns including the dentist of one of the producers wives! Too funny. There are some great scenes here. The great thing about all these documentaries is that you get to hear from everyone involved in NEW interviews, even Christopher Reeve. Many documentaries or featurettes on other dvd's try and cut together old interviews and try and fool you into thinking you are getting something new. Not here! This is all new stuff! The second documentary even touches on the shady dealings of the producers of this film and all the wrangling done to get this film to the big screen. It's all quite fascinating. The third documentary is on special effects and it shows you numerous flying tests that they tried to get the man of steel to fly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars S-TM
This film promised that "you will believe a man can fly" - and it did just that. Great Movie!
Published 5 days ago by Bowman
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
What can I say, this is a classic. It's hardly worth reviewing, because almost everyone's already seen it. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Kent Mills
4.0 out of 5 stars Good replay value
Watched this again after more than 20 years. It's still pretty entertaining. Gene Hackman really makes this work and Ned Beatty is great for comic relief.
Published 9 days ago by sghunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie for kids of all ages!
My kids, 5 yr - 11 yr, loved this movie. No nightmares were reported.
Published 14 days ago by DeeGee83
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
What do you really have to say?
Either you love Christopher Reeve as Superman or you don't.
I do :)
Published 22 days ago by Denise F.
5.0 out of 5 stars ... huge special effects fight scenes ect - but i love this classic -...
a classic - yo ucant beat this - yes now a days everything is huge special effects fight scenes ect - but i love this classic - film for the time it was done they did a amazing... Read more
Published 27 days ago by tiffster
4.0 out of 5 stars STILL THE BEST SUPERMAN
I still have yet to get through all the extras but had to watch the extended version which includes a nice moment between Kal-el and his father following the first apperance of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by SLAPPYWAG1
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy
Published 1 month ago by Sandra Ricouard
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wonderful movie
Published 1 month ago by Chad A Wolfe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Slaps the new version down hard.
Published 1 month ago by Bob
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Topic From this Discussion
Why does reversing the rotation of the Earth make time go backwards?
Speeding up would only make time for you go slower than people on earth but it would still be going forward. Even Einstein never figured out how to go backward in time. It was just for effect and fun. It never bothered me but it does kinda amaze me than in a film where a man flies and has x-ray... Read More
Jul 23, 2010 by E. Von Ray |  See all 12 posts
Why does Marlon Brando wears the "S" on his chest at the beginning of...
The "S" is the family symbol for the House of El! Remenber to us it is an "S" but it is in fact a Kryptonian glyph. Think ancient egyptians or sumerians.
Jan 2, 2013 by J. RAMIREZ |  See all 5 posts
Problems with Superman DVD's
I love Superman I. It was great in the theater. Then, it was sold to TV many years ago, at which time about 45 minutes was added to the film that knocked my socks off again leaving me to wonder why these scenes were not part of the film to begin with. Now the original release was about 128... Read More
Mar 21, 2012 by Ray Sutton |  See all 4 posts
Deleted scenes
your lucky,that was the original release version when they first aired it over 30 years ago on abc, i wish i had that version, although i do have superman 2 on vhs when abc first aired it, like in the mid 80s, it has 14 minutes of extra footage not on the theatrical release, the superman dvd has... Read More
Mar 2, 2012 by Donny |  See all 3 posts
Superman 2 was better.
I like Superman 2, but I love the first one. It is my favorite superhero film and even one of my favorite films in any genre. I think it is a miracle of a film. It works because of the incredible cast, great dialogue and a dual performance by Christopher Reeve that is just flawless. He really did... Read More
Mar 15, 2012 by E. Von Ray |  See all 6 posts
Which version is the BD: 1978 release cut (Donner's fav), or the 2000... Be the first to reply
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