Superman (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

Superman (1978)



Critic Consensus: Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.

Movie Info

Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel in a big-budget epic with Oscar-winning effects. Marlon Brando, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Valerie Perrine, Jackie Cooper, Susannah York, Glenn Ford. Richard Donner directed.more
Rating: PG (for peril, some mild sensuality and language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton, Leslie Newman
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 1, 2001
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Christopher Reeve
as Superman/Clark Kent
Gene Hackman
as Lex Luthor
Margot Kidder
as Lois Lane
Jackie Cooper
as Perry White
Glenn Ford
as Pa Kent
Terence Stamp
as Gen. Zod
Jeff East
as Young Clark Kent
Marc McClure
as Jimmy Olsen
Valerie Perrine
as Eve Teschmacher
Maria Schell
as Vond-Ah
Lee Quigley
as Baby Kal-El
Aaron Smolinski
as Baby Clark Kent
Diane Sherry
as Lana Lang
Trevor Howard
as 1st Elder
Jill Ingham
as Perry's Secretary
George Harris II
as Patrolman Mooney
Rex Everhart
as Desk Sergeant
Harry Andrews
as 2nd Elder
Jayne Tottman
as Little Girl
Paul Tuerpé
as Sgt. Hayley
Phil Brown
as State Senator
Bill Bailey
as State Senator
Chief Tug Smith
as Indian Chief
Kirk Alyn
as Couple on Train
Noel Neill
as Couple on Train
Robert Dahdah
as Newspaper Customer
Vass Anderson
as 3rd Elder
John Hollis
as 4th Elder
James Garbutt
as 5th Elder
Michael Gover
as 6th Elder
David Neal
as 7th Elder
William Russell
as 8th Elder
Penelope Lee
as 9th Elder
John Stuart
as 10th Elder
Alan Cullen
as 11th Elder
Larry Lamb
as 1st Reporter
James Brockington
as 2nd Reporter
John Allen Cassady
as 3rd Reporter
John F. Parker
as 4th Reporter
Scott Antony
as 5th Reporter
Ray Evans
as 6th Reporter
Su Shifrin
as 7th Reporter
Miguel Brown
as 8th Reporter
Vincent Marzello
as 1st Copy Boy
Ben Feitelson
as 2nd Copy Boy
Lise Hilboldt
as 1st Secretary
Leueen Willoughby
as 2nd Secretary
Pieter Stuyck
as Window Cleaner
Steve Kahan
as Officer 1
Ray Hassett
as Officer 2
Randy Jurgenson
as Officer 3
Matt Russo
as News Vendor
Paul Avery
as TV Cameraman
David Baxt
as Burglar
John Cording
as 2nd Hood
Oz Clarke
as 4th Hood
Frank Lazarus
as Air Force One Pilot
Lawrence Trimble
as 1st Crewman
Robert Whelan
as 2nd Crewman
David Calder
as 3rd Crewman
Norwich Duff
as Newscaster
Keith Alexander
as Newscaster
Michael Ensign
as Newscaster
Graham McPherson
as Lieutenant
David Yorston
as Petty Officer
John Ratzenberger
as 1st Controller
Alan Tilvern
as 2nd Controller
Norman Warwick
as Superchief Driver
Chuck Julian
as Assistant
Colin Etherington
as Power Co. Driver
Stephen Kahan
as Officer 1
Billy Mitchell
as 1st Editor
Robert Henderson
as 2nd Editor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Superman

Critic Reviews for Superman

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (9)

It is this year's answer to "Star Wars," a movie that is pure escape and good, clean, unadulterated fun.

Full Review… | December 10, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Superman doesn't have enough conviction or courage to be solidly square and dumb; it keeps pushing smarmy big emotions at us -- but half-heartedly.

Full Review… | January 15, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

It's the simple, earth-bound quality of the film that makes this comic-book fantasy soar.

Full Review… | July 14, 2010
Washington Post
Top Critic

The film is best when it takes itself seriously, worst when it takes the easy way out in giggly camp -- as it does, finally and fatally, when Lex Luthor enters the action.

Full Review… | April 17, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

By keeping the spectacular possibilities open, through the opening scenes of the destruction of Krypton, and the subsequent growth to manhood of the planet's only son on the plains of the Midwest, the film allows naiveté and knowingness to coexist.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

All this makes a highly entertaining, though undemanding mixture, of sci-fi, romance and comedy, which could hardly have come off at all at any lower artistic level, nor without such a happy choice for the central part as Christopher Reeve.

Full Review… | November 9, 2014
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for Superman


I just recently re-watched this movie in all its remastered blu ray goodness and I have to say I smiled a lot and just enjoyed it for so much of what it was. Cheesy goodness!! Christopher Reeve as Superman will always be that character. No other reboot will ever fill his shoes. EVER.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


It's 2016 now and the world is full of superhero movies. Why there's practically a new one every other month or so. So what is it about this clunker from 1978, this grandfather, that makes it so special? It's that woven into the thing is a peculiar sense of wonder, the same wonder that made childhood childhood. And Richard Donner dollops the stuff all over the place. That wonder is of course underlined by the awshucks boy scout performance of Christopher Reeves. Perhaps still the best of all the superhero's films.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Superman is one of the greatest superhero films I have ever seen. Filled with superb dialogue and a heart wrenching story that triumphs over any hero film out there, Superman delivers on everything possible in cinema, during it's time. The build-up of Clark Kent in act 1 of the film is incredible, telling the backstory of his life on the farm, which is something that is missing from many superhero films nowadays. The villains are not overly charismatic which I loved, because it focusses on him having powers and having people, rather than having to deal with a bad guy 24/7, which is what modern day superhero films always do. The screenplay is terrific for what it is, the acting is very good, and the direction and camerawork is great! I love everything about this film, and although the effects are now somewhat dated, I find it easy to ignore, because the story is so powerful! "Superman (1978)" is a masterpiece of a superhero film!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Superman Quotes

Jor-El: Your name is Kal-El. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you've been raised as a human, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered.
– Submitted by Adam O (3 years ago)
Jor-El: They're a good people, Kal-El. They need only to be shown the way.
– Submitted by Brock W (3 years ago)
Clark Kent/Superman: Actually she's silver haired....
– Submitted by Dan K (3 years ago)
Lois Lane: Thats Clark nice....
– Submitted by Dan K (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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