- 2 hr 23 min
Superman is a 1978 superhero movie starring Christopher Reeve as the titular character, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and Gene Hackman as the villainous Lex Luthor. Directed by Richard Donner, the film tells the origin story of Superman, from his birth on the planet Krypton to his arrival and upbringing in Smallville, Kansas as Clark Kent, and his eventual move to Metropolis to become Superman, the protector of Earth.
The movie opens with the destruction of Krypton, where Jor-El (Marlon Brando), Superman's father, sends his infant son in a spaceship to Earth. The spaceship lands near Smallville, where the young Clark is found and adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent (Glenn Ford and Phyllis Thaxter). Clark grows up with extraordinary abilities, including super strength, speed, and the ability to fly. Though he tries to keep his powers a secret, he saves the life of Lois Lane following an accident at the Daily Planet newspaper office.
As Clark begins his new job at the Daily Planet, he takes on the persona of Superman to fight crime and help those in need, while also developing a romantic interest in Lois. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor, a wealthy and eccentric criminal mastermind, plots to destroy California and build a new continent in its place, using stolen nuclear missiles.
As the movie progresses, Superman's adventures include saving a plane from crashing, stopping a robbery at a grocery store, and rescuing Lois from a helicopter crash. Luthor, however, is determined to stop Superman and sets a trap for him, using a powerful earthquake and a missile headed towards California. Superman is able to stop the missile and save the day, but not without confronting Luthor, who has found Superman's Achilles heel in kryptonite.
Throughout the film, Reeve delivers a standout performance as both Clark Kent and Superman, showcasing the character's sense of compassion and justice, as well as his powers and bravery. Kidder shines as Lois, bringing a sense of wit and determination to the character. Hackman is also excellent in his role as Luthor, providing a campy yet menacing portrayal of the villain.
The movie's special effects were groundbreaking for their time, with Reeve performing many of his own stunts, including flying. The score by John Williams also became iconic, with its soaring and heroic themes accompanying Superman's exploits.
Superman was the first major superhero movie, paving the way for later adaptations of comic book characters. It remains a beloved classic and a defining moment in both Reeve's career and the genre it helped create.
Superman is a 1978 science fiction movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 23 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 82.