3034. Superman (1978)

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8.2 They don't make 'em like they used to
  • Acting 8.2
  • Directing 8.3
  • Story 8.2
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder

Director: Richard Donner

Running Time: 143 mins


Superman is an American film about an alien who crash lands on Earth, but grows up to become a protector of the planet with the use of his super powers.

You’ll often hear people say: “They don’t make ’em like they used to!” Well, in the case of Superman, that’s absolutely true.

A gorgeous, wholesome and enormously enjoyable spectacle from a bygone era, not only is this the quintessential superhero movie, but perhaps even one of the greatest big-screen spectacles of all time – and one that will put a massive smile on your face.

Though some may call it outdated, I loved every moment of this movie. It’s the ultimate superhero story, complete with soaring action, beautiful visuals, a moving score, great humour and memorable characters.

But if there’s one thing that I adored more than anything else, it’s this film’s immense optimism. Superman is a superhero movie that’s not afraid to be positive, to be fun, and to be uplifting.

Sure, it’s a fairly simple story, but the movie isn’t concerned with avoiding plot holes or making sure all its special effects are as polished as can be. Instead, its main focus is fun, spectacular and wholesome entertainment, and that makes it a delight to watch for nearly two and a half hours.

From the bright colours to John Williams’ triumphant score, the excellent humour and the fun-loving yet still exhilarating action, Superman is a film that will make your heart soar like no other.

What’s more, Christopher Reeve gives an iconic performance not just as Superman, but also with immense charisma in both his role as the ultimate superhero and the awkward yet lovable Clark Kent.

Meanwhile, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman and more bring so much energy and charisma to the supporting cast, meaning that even the moments where Superman isn’t saving the day are just as much fun as the movie’s biggest action set-pieces.

At its best, Superman is a film that’s just as sweet as it is spectacular. Its action is dazzling, but its characters and story are just as wonderful, particularly in its soaring middle act.

Yes, the first act is a little long-winded, going through the motions as it establishes Superman’s well-known back story. Also, the action of the final act is certainly overlong, occasionally missing the character focus and humour that makes the film’s best moments so unforgettable.

And yet, Superman is a film that’s so full of joy, energy and relentless positivity that it’s impossible not to love. Its iconic status is only the half of the story, because it really is one of cinema’s greatest spectacles of all time.

Triumphant, uplifting, exciting and quite simply enormous fun from start to finish, this is one of the most wonderful, memorable and wholesome blockbusters I’ve ever seen. Modern superhero movies may have the edge when it comes to effects, but when it comes to fun-filled action and spectacle, I’d pick Superman every time. That’s why I’m giving it an 8.2 overall.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com