Superman (1978) is a well deserving film for one of America’s greatest icons. I not only loved the film for the nostalgic feel it brings, but for how well made Superman is.
Superman tells the story of Kal-El (Christopher Reeve), the only living being from the distant planet of Krypton. He is sent as a child by his father Jor-El (Marlon Brando) to Earth from Krypton and found by Jonathan and Martha Kent (Glenn Ford and Phyllis Thaxter) who take him in as their son, naming him Clark Kent. Clark grows up learning of his powers and where he comes from.
As an adult Clark takes a job at the Daily Planet as a journalist and meets the young Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) an independent and determined journalist whom he falls for. Clark juggles from being an everyday journalist to being Superman, flying around and saving the day. The latest plot he must foil is that of Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), a cunning, evil business man who puts millions of people’s lives in danger.
The casting in the film, especially Christopher Reeve as Superman and Margot Kidder as Lois, is superb and couldn’t have been better any other way. The actors fit the characters like a glove and make it feel so real. Christopher Reeves is Superman, not just a guy who is playing the part of Superman. Reeve also plays off the nerdy, bumbling Clark Kent perfectly. Seeing him act that way just about convinced me Clark Kent was a completely different person.
Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor was also a perfect fit, every minute with him on screen was a pleasure. He is twisted, dastardly, and determined to see his evil plans through. His whole performance reminded me of an over the top Bond villain. Throwing out great one liners and being a little over the top sometimes.
I also particularly like Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Superman`s biological father. Brando is always fun to watch in any film and Superman is of no exception. Just hearing speak exposition can be satisfying to any viewer.
The relationships between Clark, Superman, and Lois Lane are one of the best aspects about the movie. Seeing Clark interact with other people in his environment is fun as he contrasts greatly from his character of Superman. He is always stuttering, not very confident, and apologizes for everything. Watching Lois and Clark together on screen is great as well, as she often brushes him to the side.
The special effects compared to today`s standards may come off as cheesy, particularly the flying sequences. The viewer will still enjoy all the effects even though lots of the flying is green screened and a little dated. Perhaps because they still feel real in the sense that everything is really there and not computer imagery.
The soundtrack for Superman was done by John Williams and it definitely shows. There is just as much emotion and creativity in the Superman soundtrack as there was in Star Wars or any other John Williams work. The music properly reflects the scenes taking place in the film and emphasizes the film in all the right ways. Superman may have felt like a completely different film without the John Williams soundtrack.
Superman has made its way as a classic American film. It will continue to charm audiences with its clever writing and interesting characters. Superman is a legendary film worth seeing time and time again.