Even though Superman the Movie employed all the technical tricks popularized by 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, I see the whole movie as harkening back to the grand days of old Hollywood. The influence of cinema greats like Howard Hawks, Frank Capra, John Ford--and perhaps Fritz Lang--runs through the movie. This is signaled in how the movie begins, in black and white, with the curtains opening. The movie takes you on a journey through time and space to a world of pure values. In 1978, battered by the social, political, and cultural battles of the 60s and early 70s, Americans were hungry for movies that reminded them of their glory and their pride. And Superman the Movie did that. It may have been made in the 1970s and shot in places far from Hollywood (England and Canada), yet it's a true Hollywood classic.
The problem was that that comment was not needed at all. Ear was not talking about society in general, just the days of Hollywood.
Not every teenager is the same.Originally Posted by Francisco
Yes, but you took it out of context for no real reason other. You were missing the whole point. Yes, the climate wasn't perfect. But from a perspective years down the line, it seemed more idealized. The changes of the 60's and 70's left an impact on a generation that grew up in the 40's and 50's, many of whom were surprised by how the world had changed. That was O'Neil's pitch for "Hard Traveling Heroes" in 1969 and that was what Donner was going for in the two films. Hollywood cinema in particular had gone from a sense of wonder and an upbeat feeling, to a darker and grittier attitude. A lot of the films in that era reflected that mentality brought on by the turbulent 60's and 70's. "The Easy Rider", "Midnight Cowboy", "The Godfather", "Serpico", "Dirty Harry" and "The French Connection" were the kinds of films which were grounded in reality. But they were also films that ended on down notes. There was nothing that made you feel good when you walked out of the cinema. When "Star Wars: Episode IV" came out, it was the start of a new era in Hollywood. People cheered. People smiled. People felt good. "Superman: The Movie" was the next step in maintaining that vibe. Like SW, it reminded people of the compassion that exists in humanity. That good can triumph over evil. The Smallville scenes were reflective of that old fashioned mentality about life, which is why the jump to Metropolis is so different. It represents the reality of life. Hence the scenes with the pimp and the mugger, as well as Lois's reactions to Clark's seeming old fashioned attitude and remarks.
That last scene in which Lois and Supes almost kiss but are interrupeted by Jimmy. Then Superman flying in the distance. And Jimmy says: He never stops (or something like that) does he?
Then Supes out in space smiling at the camera just before then screen goes black and the credits role. Pure unshamed optimism.
The extended cable tv edition is perfect. To me its as close to the perfect superhero movie. I really liked Kidder as Lois Lane. Her and Christopher really shared a chemistry which you often do not see much in other superhero movies. Plus playing the dual role is a hard thing to do - Reeve really nailed the dual identity of Clark Kent/Superman. Just look at how horrible the casting choices were for Superman Returns. Lots of pretty faces but they were not the characters. Remains to be seen how they do the dual role in Man of Steel?