Superman: The Movie Parent Guide
It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's Superman!
Parent Movie Review
For nearly 70 years, Superman has been part of American pop culture. What little boy hasn’t pasted a super-sized S on his chest or tied a towel around his shoulders and jumped off the couch in an attempt to get airborne? Our own household assortment of Superman figures and paraphernalia attests to the fact that this 1930’s comic book crusader for “truth, justice and the American way” still captures the imaginations of children in the new millennium.
This 1978 movie version of the Superman story begins when Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and his wife, Vond-Ah (Maria Schell) realize their planet, Krypton is about to be destroyed. Devising an escape for their infant son, they encase him in a protective pod and send him hurtling through space. Landing on Earth, he is discovered by the Kents (Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter), and given a loving home in Smallville, Kansas. Named Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve), the orphaned alien must hide his extraordinary powers of strength and speed from the local residents while facing the normal challenges of teen life and high school bullies. Only after the death of his adoptive father, does Clark leave the family farm to discover who he really is.
Twelve years later, he returns as the red-caped superhero, taking on the disguise of a Daily Planet news reporter in the bustling city of Metropolis. During his first day on the job, he stumbles into the lovely Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), a fellow journalist who immediately captures his attention. Meanwhile, hundreds of feet beneath the city’s pavement, the diabolical Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) hides in his palatial, underground headquarters and refines his plan to increase the real estate value of the Californian desert. Using his Kryptonic powers, Superman must try to avert Luthor’s villainous plot while protecting the people of Metropolis.
While the movie includes extended and intense earthquake scenes and one brief shot of childhood nudity, this mild mannered reporter proves once again that you should never judge a man by his glasses. With values like truth, kindness and common courtesy, this enduring superhero is the reason why I just smile to myself, and fold the towels… again.Starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder. Theatrical release December 14, 1978. Updated July 17, 2017
Superman: The Movie
Rating & Content Info
Why is Superman: The Movie rated PG? Superman: The Movie is rated PG by the MPAA
Overall: A- An alien superhero uses his unusual powers to bring criminals to justice and avert global disaster.
Violence: C+ The consequences of many of the depicted accidents and acts of violence in this film are diverted by super human rescue efforts. Violence includes: An intense explosion, causing people and objects to fall and crash. Prisoners encased in glass prison. Reporter refers to sex, murder and violence in news stories. Man points gun at man and woman, threatens them and shoots bullet. Men attempt to steal from store vendors. Man hit and killed by subway train, body not shown. Man makes references to people being killed. Helicopter accident including explosions, man knocked out with an injury, and woman falling from the helicopter and then from tall building. Man tries to break into building and falls from great height. Shootout between police and criminals during high-speed chase ends in car crash. Man hits another man with iron bar. Lightning hits plane. Woman falls from height. Man repeatedly steps on man’s fingers. Man threatens city population with gas leak. Man hit with stick. Man immobilized with foreign substance. Extensive scenes of destruction during an earthquake including bus and car accidents on a bridge, dam breaking, rocks falling, gas station explosion, near train accident, accidents at electrical plant and car with passenger falling into crack in roadway, woman killed in quake accident.
Sexual Content: A- Superman as a young child is seen completely naked for a brief moment in a non-sexual context. Woman’s clothing and swimsuits reveal some cleavage, woman kisses man, man kisses woman.
Language: B+ Use of name-calling and at least 5 mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B Policemen talk about having a drink after an unsettling incident, man smokes cigar, woman drinks wine and offers some to man, one main character and other minor characters shown smoking.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Superman: The Movie Parents' Guide
Pa and Ma Kent prove to be loving adoptive parents, who offered good advice to Clark and encouraged him to find his purpose on Earth. How often are adoptive families portrayed this way in movies? How do you know that Clark loved and appreciated his human parents?
Believe it or not, America’s greatest comic book hero was created by a Canadian, Joe Shuster, and his friend, Jerry Siegel in Cleveland, Ohio in 1934. Unfortunately the twosome sold their rights to Superman for a $130 and never enjoyed the profits from their animated creation. For more information about the creator check out the following site: http://www.fortress.am/Creators/shusterBio.html
The most recent home video release of Superman: The Movie movie is April 30, 2001. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Superman Triple Feature
Release Date: 13 November 2012
Warner Brothers Studios is releasing a box set of three movies starring this superhero: Superman, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (not reviewed), and Superman Returns.
DVD Notes: Superman - The Movie (Special Edition)
If the theatrical version of Superman had you convinced a man could fly, you’ll be soaring even higher with this DVD release. Extended by eight minutes (the new run time is 151 minutes), thanks to the inclusion of previously deleted scenes, this revised edition of the caped crusader offers lots of bonus extras too. These include three behind-the-scenes documentaries: The Magic Behind the Cape (special effects), Making Superman: Filming the Legend (production and release) and Taking Flight: The Development of Superman (preproduction). Director Richard Donner and creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz also provide an audio commentary. As well, you can watch the screen tests for Superman, Lois Lane, and Ursa, listen to the audio outtakes for eight sequences, reminisce with the old TV Spots and see what you missed with two additional deleted scenes. The English audio track is available in Dolby Digital 5.1, with subtitles in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
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For other unusual adoption stories, check out Stewart Little, Babe, or Dinosaur. For other super hero flicks (not all of which are too super when it comes to violence), read our reviews of Batman-Subzero, Iron Giant, X-men, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mask of Zorro.