A look back at Superman: The Movie, 40 years later

It was 40 years ago that the Son of Krypton got his first major motion picture. The movie introduced us to Superman and his alter ego, Clark Kent, and showed us how strong, yet humble Earth’s savior was. We sat on the edge of our seats and cheered as he did everything it took to save the world, and quickly accepted him as one of us. The rest, as they say, is history.

Superman: The Movie became a hit, and made a significant mark on pop culture and on the future of superhero franchises. Superman became beloved by both fans of comic books as well as those who had never flipped one open in their lives. Christopher Reeve, who starred as the hero himself, will forever be known as Superman no matter how many other actors take on the role.

To commemorate the legendary movie’s 40th anniversary, production houses are hosting a series of events. The movie will also be returning to theaters on November 25, 2018. Superman: The Movie made the Man of Steel a household name. In addition, it set the foundation that DC needed to build a fanbase.

What is it about that movie?

Many modern cinemagoers scoff at people who regard Superman: The Movie as better than most superhero movies produced today. What about Black Panther? Did we forget Avengers? No, we did not! Though these movies are good and can be used as film making case studies, they miss a very important element that Superman: The Movie has in abundance: the magic!
Whether you are a film purist or someone who would watch anything as long as it is entertaining, Superman: The Movie ticks all the boxes. First let’s talk about the music. Be it the haunting melancholic melody that is played after Jonathan Kent’s death or the love theme song that introduces us to the softer side of the Man of Steel, the music strikes a chord with the audience. Throughout the movie, the music plays an important role in keeping audience glued to their seats in anticipation of what’s coming their way.

Directing and camera work

Then there are the well written and expertly directed scenes. These scenes take the audience on an emotional roller coaster. Hopelessness sinks in as audience watches Krypton get destroyed. The very next moment, however, the camera zooms in on a spaceship carrying Krypton’s last son, and the audience goes into a cheering frenzy. While the “can you read my mind” scene introduces people to the chemistry between Superman and Louis Lane, the Man of Steel’s first rescue keeps people at the edge of their seat. Nobody wants to leave the theater for the bathroom or a snack break!

A spiritual journey

Superman: The Movie is more than just a motion picture as it is also a chronicle of Superman’s journey from being an apocalypse survivor to the protector of his adopted world. And it’s not just the tragic and serious scenes that showcase this journey. Thanks to Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent and his clumsiness, there is no dearth of comic scenes that make the superhero all the more believable.