Time Out saysGiven the publicity hoop-la, it is easy to overlook how effectively Richard Donner visualised this revamping of the Depression-born defender of the weak and righter of wrongs. Without really plumping for any particular interpretation of the myth (or any one visual style for that matter), Donner and his screenwriters Mario Puzo, Robert Benton and David Newman (plus Leslie Newman) flip through various genre possibilities, and allow that we might see Superman as either a Big Joke or the Son of God. 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. Only when it goes all out for cold Batmanesque villainy in the second half does it narrow its focus and lose its way.
Cast and crew
Ned Beatty, Susannah York, Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper, Maria Schell, Phyllis Thaxter, Trevor Howard, Christopher Reeve, Marc McClure, Marlon Brando, Larry Hagman, Valerie Perrine, Glenn Ford, Harry Andrews, Terence Stamp, Jeff East, Gene Hackman