SUPERMAN

a film by Richard Donner released through Warner Brothers Pictures in 1978

The great-granddaddy of today's CGI-supplemented superheroes, and unashamed to stand for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way," Superman is a one-of-a-kind cine-spectacular, in parts realistic, optimistic, and fantastical.  Irrespective of the greed that contributed to its daring conception, it stands unique as the most inspiring of Hollywood blockbuster fodder.

Reverent but engaging, glossy but pristine, the movie works as both an epic adventure and elegant romance.  Elements of comedy and drama are balanced adroitly by director Richard Donner.  Brando, Hackman, and Kidder deliver in spades, but Christopher Reeve astounds; his heroic turn must be one of the best-cast roles in history (thank you, Lynn Stalmaster!).  Though it predates the mantra by decades, this wonder-work epitomizes Go Big or Go Home, with the most astonishing title sequence of all time, John Williams's greatest movie score, and a heart-stopping climax that draws on Greek tragedy and sci-fi.  But Superman also gets little details right.  Clark Kent's sheepish dialogue, the measured application of violence, the gods-descending trumpeting of Superman in the Fortress of Solitudeall ring true. 

Rich in symbolism, yet charmingly innocent, Superman remains one of the great achievements of cinema, epitomizing the magic of movies.  It summons us to excel; man should distinguish himself through servanthood and strength...while always remembering he is woefully incapable of such perfection without the greatest of help from above.

★★★★★

Best for ages 7+

 

 

FEATURING

MARLON BRANDO, GENE HACKMAN, CHRISTOPHER REEVE, MARGOT KIDDER,  NED BEATTY, AND VALERIE PERRINE

2023 Ian C. Bloom