Oh the 70’s… When hoisting Christopher Reeve up with fishing wire was considered a “special effect”, and films had a five-minute long opening credit scene. Despite the many bad things that can be said about movies from this era, there’s some kind of magical nostalgia deeply embedded in the classics. It’s time to revisit a classic that’s so classic it’s the epitome of a classic: Superman.
The beauty of this movie is it was made in a decade where things could go unexplained; enormous underground lairs could be built under the busiest city in the United States without any question, and making the world spin backwards somehow turns back time. Don’t get me wrong; I love this aspect of the film (the 3 montages of Superman saving the day are actually my favorite scenes). It’s this perfect blend of cheesy humor and action that makes Superman a memorable gem of the 70’s.
Speaking of cheesy, lets talk about the Man of Steel himself…
(I mean, look at that costume). With a phenomenal portrayal of both mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent and sexy smooth talking Superman, Reeve proved he is perfect for the role. The brilliancy behind Reeve’s acting is shown in his ability to switch from shyly stammering to a charismatic stud; his performance is one for the ages, that’s for sure.
Finally, the staple that brings the whole film together…
…an evil villain with a sinister plot. Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor is the last movie villain I can remember with a secret agenda that wasn’t given away in the first five minutes. Through out the film, little hints are dropped here and there to reveal bits and pieces of Lex’s “crime of the century;” but it isn’t until the climax of the film that the audience discovers his master plan to level half of California. Great writing mixed with great acting, makes for a tremendous villain.
All of these things, plus the brilliant scoring done by John Williams, are what make Superman: The Movie at the top of your rainy Sunday afternoon watch-list.