Top 10 Films takes a look at the original Man of Steel’s best bits in Richard Donner’s 1978 classic Superman. Relive saving Lois Lane, the romantic flight, and the helicopter escape!
I’m not afraid to admit my favourite superhero movie is Richard Donner’s Superman from 1978. So with all the Man of Steel excitement among film fans right now it seems fitting to celebrate one of the greatest superhero achievements in cinema.
Based on the DC Comics character, Superman was a movie that took several years to move from development into production. Many writers and directors were attached to the project – such as Guy Hamilton and The Godfather writer Mario Puzo – but the film stalled until 1977 when Richard Donner took directorial duties alongside Tom Mankiewicz in the writer’s chair and Christopher Reeve playing the man of steel.
Not only did Superman precede the superhero craze, it recognised the potential of sequelisation with Donner filming both Superman 1 and 2 at the same time. Of course, one of the great Hollywood stories tells of disagreements between the studio and Donner, eventually forcing the director to abandon Superman II when it was about seventy-five per cent finished. The sequel would later be released sans Richard Donner’s name; Richard Lester would be credited as the director. Nevertheless, despite the tension between Donner and the producers, the original film was a massive hit with audiences and critics.
Donner’s “Man of Steel” sees Superman crash land on earth to be raised by the Kent’s. Initially an origins story, we see the young Superman learn of his obvious strength and otherworldly powers before heading to the city disguised as reporter Clark Kent. There he falls in love with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and does battle with megalomaniac Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman)
A boyhood Superman surprises his adoptive parents by lifting their car after the jack fails
A teenage Superman exerts his frustration at being marginalised in school by running alongside a speeding train
Superman learns of his past as well as his purpose in life from his biological father
Superman, in blue and red suit, is revealed
Superman, as Clark Kent, catches a bullet to save Lois Lane’s life
Superman saves Lois from a stricken helicopter
While standing on the side of a building, Superman scarpers just before an office clerk looks out the window and thinks he sees the man in the red suit but shakes his head in disbelief
A police officer claims he saw Superman: “I swear! Flying, with a big red cape! And bright red boots as well! Flew up into the air like a big blue bird.”
Lois Lane and Superman take a starlit, romantic flight
Superman reverses time to save Lois Lane’s life – again!
Bonus “moment”! Who can forget this…
“Fly. Just fly. We got… something. I ain’t saying what it is. Just… trust me.”
Written and compiled by Daniel Stephens.
What are your favourite moments from Superman?
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