Wednesday, June 02, 2010

There were Saturday morning cartoons, even a Broadway musical, while the comic books chugged along for the next decade or two, until the Superman feature films. Superman was the biggest film release of 1978, and the most expensive in film history to that point. I saw it at one of its New York press premieres (also attended by at least one famous director and his actress wife I happened to run into.) The theatre was so full I was in the front row, so I didn’t see it properly until later. But I do recall that the credits were revolutionary—the titles swooshing out, and then the endless credits at the end—were widely imitated, and the end-credits are now standard.

At its premiere, Superman was judged for three things: Marlon Brando, Christopher Reeve as Superman, and the flying effects. Reviews of Brando’s performance—especially his Claude Rains English accent for Jor-el—were mixed, but the flying passed with flying colors, and Christopher Reeve was obviously perfect, both as Clark Kent and Superman.

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