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Superman - The Movie

4.5 out of 5 stars 870 customer reviews

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DVD
(Nov 28, 2006)
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Special Edition
4
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DVD
(Feb 25, 2003)
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Collector's Limited Edition
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DVD
(May 01, 2001)
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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


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

Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman
  • 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 (870 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059Z8J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,863 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Superman - The Movie" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on April 28, 2001
Format: DVD
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 Amazon.com 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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Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The movie:

"You'll believe a man can fly." That was the advertising tagline. Well, I can't think of many instances of it, but this was one time when a movie delivered on its hype. "Superman" fires on many cylinders, but the main one, the integral one, was believability. This film is an absolute achievement in terms of tone, style, and effects. For 1978, the effects are terrific, but also the performances and the writing really gel and sell the concept to the audience.

We haven't seen yet the actor who can top Christopher Reeve's Superman. The solidness, the goodness radiating from his presence in costume, combined with the vulnerability and sheer hilarity of his Clark Kent are (perhaps) impossible to top. Margot Kidder turns in a feisty Lois Lane, and their chemistry is great. Gene Hackman is a credible Lex Luthor, both funny and menacing at the same time. Supporting players fill out a cast that just really inhabits the world and never feels less than real.

The run time of the movie is perhaps a bit flabby, and this edition adds about 3 minute of new material. But I for one am quick to forgive it - it just so captures a feeling of innocence, wonder, Americana, that I'm willing to just bask in it, even when the action slows down.

The Blu-Ray:

Well, this is not one of the discs you'll pop in to show off "how great HD looks." The film was shot almost throughout with soft focus filters which bump up the haze of lighting and obscure detail.

BUT: It looks as good as it probably ever can and ever will. In A-B comparisons with the previous DVD (which was great for its day) the upgrade is subtle but evident. Some shots show very strong detail, when it's in focus. Check out the foliage in Lois' rooftop apartment.
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