Superman (1978)

Richard Donner directs Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman in this superhero origins story where a Kryptonian orphan is raised on Earth and becomes the humanity rescuing embodiment of “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

The birth of a genre that now dominates cinema. What still makes Superman such a crowd pleasing thrill is not the FX work, nor the epic scope that takes us from Krypton to the Fortress of Solitude to the New Yor…ahem… Metropolis skyline to the San Andreas fault. Not even the busy all star cast, for it is the two unknowns who make the lasting impression. Superman’s strength is the unguarded sweetness of the romance between himself and Lois Lane. Kidder and Reeve have perfect chemistry, they are unbeatable in their roles. She is full of spunk and goofy guile, he is just the epitome of natural heroism. Their first date in the skies is a sequence so full of wonder; the irony free internal monologue poem of Lois as she flies through the air, the muscular tenderness of Supes as he protects and seduces his paramour. You don’t get moments like that on the big screen anymore. They justify the goofier plot machinations of the time twisting finale. It is the resolution we want even if it makes zero sense, and if we can believe a man can fly then we can forgive a plot that rewinds itself to gift us a happy ending.

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