With Man of Steel opening this week, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to jump back in time and go through the series one by one. Starting with the first and my personal favorite of the bunch...
Superman: The Movie
There is a subtle beauty to this poster. It's bright, bold, colorful yet restrained and strikingly simple. The tagline "You'll Believe a Man Can Fly" says it all. And I believed. With every fiber of my little four year old body I believed I could fly when I saw this movie decades ago for the first time! I had Superman Pajamas with Velcro on cape and everything! I even used to take running leaps into my parent's living room in hopes that I would break free of earth's gravity and fly away just as Superman does... but that stopped the day I came within a centimeter of cracking my head on our brick fireplace!
In spite of not being able to fly myself, this movie holds a warm grip on my heart to this day. Thinking back I remember being totally enthralled by this movie. My eyes glued on the TV screen unable to look away. I can't remember my exact first viewing of this movie, but I remember every emotion. I remember being scared when Krypton exploded, amazed when a small boy lifted up a truck, stunned at the first shot of Superman flying towards the screen, excited when he saves Lois and the falling helicopter, and sad when he cries out after being unable to save her again. I remember these emotions because these are the same feelings that come up today. My inner child won't let me turn them off and I am eternally grateful.
As an Older Kid, I now wear the slightly jaded goggles of a film school graduate when I watch these movies. I can't help nitpick a small thing here and there, the silliness that ramps up in the second act for one, but I don't let it ruin the experience. This was and remains one of my all time favorite films. From the moment I hear the opening introduction that leads into the rousing credit sequence, I am hooked. I can't turn away. I am easily nostalgic towards the things that got me excited as a kid. I still read Comic books, I love Conan the Barbarian and Batman is the shit, but Superman, he holds a special place deep down that no other hobby or movie could possibly touch. Superman was and remains my hero. Of all the original four Christopher Reeve movies, this is the best one to me. And now, as I sit her in my early 30's listening to the soundtrack and remembering, it makes me excited just remembering the images and emotions my brain calls back.
When I watch this movie, I am a kid again. In heart and soul, I am a small boy excited by the dazzling images that float on screen. When I hear the music, I am powerful, strong enough to take on the world! If asked what movies would I take with me if I was lost on a deserted island, this is one of them. Every time a new Superman film is announced or is about to be released, I have the hardest time not comparing it to this cinematic gem from 1978. When you get it right the first time, everything else is a tough act to follow.
I'll leave you with the film's first teaser trailer, like the poster it's subtle, understated, to the point, and AWESOME: