As we have confirmation that the, extended, 3 hour version of Superman: The Movie is to be released on Blu-ray (how exciting is that for fans of the Man of Steel? I know our Editor In-Chief, Paul, has been skipping with excitement ever since the announcement.), I thought, why not share my experience of seeing this movie for the first time, with readers of DC World.
If ever a tagline summed up one movie, then it has to be the one attached Superman: The Movie; “You’ll believe a man can fly.” Not only does this tagline do what it says on the tin, but it is attached to, in my own humble opinion, the greatest superhero movie of all time. (And my favourite DC Superhero is Batman, so this is a big statement.)
I remember first watching this movie as a 10 year old; the first superhero movie I had even seen (unless you count James Bond in Moonraker as a superhero?). The closest I had ever come to seeing a superhero on screen was when watching the cartoons of the day, He-Man, Dangermouse and the like. However, I was well aware of Superman and all the other DC comic book characters (DC characters were the first comic book characters I came across and DC is still my favourite comic book company today). Anyway, it was Christmas Day, 1983 and The Queen had just finished her speech, I have no idea what she talked about because, as a 10 year old, I wasn’t really interested, and lunch was done and finished (Nanna always did a cracking lunch). Anyway, after lunch, it was time for a chill out, but I couldn’t hide my excitement as I was about to see Superman for the first time. I had the same sort of feeling I had as when I saw my first James Bond movie, Moonraker, during Christmas the year before.
So, television on, sound cranked up as far as I was allowed to have it and the announcer tells me it’s time for Superman. (Yes, he told me, he wasn’t talking to anyone else……was he? At least that’s what I thought at the time). The movie starts and my eyes are just fixed on the TV, nothing could disturb my concentration. The cinema curtain opens on screen and, despite watching on a small 1980’s TV (probably bought from a local Rumbelows store), that little piece of detail gave it a cinematic feel to this young lad. Then the credits roll, or rather fly, on to the screen and, mixed by the wonderful score from the legend that is John Williams, we have a truly wonderful opening. It’s a shame that the days of credits like this has gone by the wayside, imagine something like that at the beginning of Man of Steel or Batman vs Superman. Unfortunately, times have moved on.
The movie then starts for real. Eek, more excitement showing from me; I was a little giddy. From the first scene, zooming in on the Krypton Council Dome to the end, seeing Superman break the fourth wall and smile to the camera, this had me glued to the television, gasping and whooping at Superman’s heroics. I was in awe of this super man. I won’t go through my experience of watching the whole movie, as this could then be a massive write up, but it was an experience I will never forget. Seeing him fly, his strength, his heat vision, x-ray vision, they are all there and for a boy of 10 years of age, I was in awe.
I loved how we got to see his origin story; to be fair I didn’t know what an origin story was back then, but I did enjoy how we got to see how he came to Earth and his growing up. I loved the little touch of his Ma’s names as “Martha Clark Kent”, with Clark Kent becoming his own Earth name. I laughed at Clark Kent when he joined the Daily Planet and always thought he was funny, still do. I loved all the characters as much as the other, Lois Lane (took me a while to really notice she was the little girl on the train), Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor etc. etc., all of the just brilliant. However (and I know CK is the same character), none of these hold up to the Man of Steel himself, Superman. Oh, how he amazed me for that couple of hours (more if you include adverts). This was as much a Christmas treat as the presents I received (I never told my mum that, though).
Watching Superman then was an experience that will always be with me and one I will always love and cherish; not just for seeing the movie but, as a memory of watching it with my family, particularly my late mum. I still watch the movie at Christmas time thanks to these memories, whether it’s on the tellybox or if I throw on the DVD or Blu-ray.
In all fairness, Superman: The Movie is one of my go to films when there is nothing else that I feel like watching. It is a movie that I hold in such high regard. As I said at the beginning of this, I believe this to be the greatest superhero movie of all time and one that all others aspire to, and at nearly 40 years of age that is quite the statement.
“The movie that makes a legend come to life”
We would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the, upcoming, Blu-ray release or your own experiences of watching Superman: The Movie for the first time. You can comment below or give us a nod on social media. We look forward to hearing from you.