The Original ‘Superman’ Movie Has Some Super Big Holes in It
Photo: Warner Bros.
Hey, we love the Man of Steel (that is, Superman, not Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel), as much as the next sucker for superhero films. But the 1978 original feature, starring Marlon Brando and Christopher Reeve, has a number of super big holes we couldn’t help but notice.
As Superman edges close to four decades of existence, we look back fondly with a few curious points of criticism. Besides the five-minute intro and countless continuity faux pas, which seems to be a staple of any older classic, the original Superman is riddled with a number of scenes that leave us with the hows, whys and what the hells from fade in to fade out. See if you can get through the film without screaming. Still a great film though, of course, for 1978.
The Original ‘Superman’ Movie Has Some Super Big Holes in It
Why did they kill off Jonathan Kent so early in such a long movie?
It only took the first half hour for them to do away with Clark’s dad, the guy who teaches him more about his human side than anybody. They made four films, the first of which was nearly three hours long, but yes, let’s kill off Clark’s biggest human influence immediately.
So many questions about the fortress scene.
What kind of little shit leaves his mother right after her husband dies? And once he becomes Superman, he never goes home to visit the rest of the film. What kind of shit son is that? Nevertheless, Clark decides he must find his destiny. How did Clark know to stick the crystal in the slot? That’s like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters, where you do once stupid thing and your world explodes.
Who does his tailoring?
In the comics, as well as on Smallville, the suit was designed by Clark’s mother, Martha Kent. In the original film, he goes in as Jeff East and comes out much larger as Christopher Reeve, already flying and wearing his suit with nothing in between, like flight lessons perhaps.
Time discrepancies & omission of vital information.
Brando reappears as a Jor-El hologram to introduce himself to Clark in the fortress and give him the rest of his powers. He later makes reference to Einstein’s laws of relativity, despite being dead for thousand of Earthly years. Clark enters the fortress at 18, then shoots forward 12 years, leaving the fortress with all this knowledge about his powers but nothing of his weaknesses (kryptonite).
How’d he manage a job at The Daily Planet? (school/super stuff).
Considering Clark missed out on 12 vital years of his life where people are educated about things like journalism and get degrees and do unpaid internships, he instead just shows up at The Daily Planet working close with the Editor-in-Chief, Perry White, and top reporter, Lois Lane, who strangely doesn’t know how to spell “massacre.”
The only thing funnier than going from boy Clark (Jeff East) to a flying Superman (Christopher Reeve) to this scene with a nerdy Clark at The Daily Planet in under 10 seconds is the immediate grammatical callout by Perry White in his first scene: “There’s only one “P” in “rapist.”
Lois sure knew a lot about him during his first interview.
For a first interview, she seemed to know a lot about our brand new superhero, like his X-ray vision and his invincibility. Perry White said whoever gets the first interview is going to make it big, then it conveniently cuts to Superman showing up right before her date with Clark.
How horny is Lois? Very.
“How big are you–how tall are you?” she asks, just before she asks about his bodily functions. Does he like pink? Lois, you little minx, of course he likes pink! It’s not a hole as much as just an incredibly awkward scene.
How does Lex just happen to know about Krypton?
Oh, you mean the nonexistent planet galaxies away that exploded thousands of years ago? Yes, the fragments of the planet must have traveled to Earth over those thousands of years and should be deadly to the one guy from there because of its radioactivity. Obviously! When Lex, Otis and Eve all say it “will kill him” in unison, that might be the worst acting we’ve seen since Troll 2.
They don’t really introduce Lex as anything other than another rich prick so the fact he seems hellbent on killing Superman seems pointless compared to other interpretations we’ve seen. He buys up “worthless acres” in California in a plot to make it worth a lot. First, he’s already crazy wealthy, but then again there’s no such thing as worthless property in California. Even Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor makes more sense. How does Lex speak to Clark in a different frequency that only Clark can hear?
Missiles would never be that poorly transported or easily attainable.
First of all, we know it’s a wig but what’s with the hair? The scene before, he had dark hair with a white stripe, and now it’s red. Why does Lex need a remote control to cause a car wreck on the road? And there is no way stupid Otis could reprogram the directional vectors of a missile considering he can’t read the writing on his arm. Once he screws up, now he sends the ditzy blonde to do it, the same blonde who saves Superman once they reached their goal of killing him (and then kisses him, of course). Women.
There is no way the same man (Lex, dressed in different clothes) could dupe authorities twice into hijacking their bombs. Also, a 500-Megaton bomb would do a lot more than creating a massive earthquake along the California fault line, as the greatest explosion recorded has been only 57. However, spinning the planet in reverse orbit would do a lot more damage, like cause huge earthquakes and tsunamis worldwide. Way to go, Superman.
The damn dam scene.
Superman saves Jimmy but can’t get to Lois in time. Then he reverses time, which fixes the dam but Jimmy isn’t back at the dam. Jimmy is in the desert where Superman left him and interrupts the lip-lock between Lois and Superman.
He can reverse the Earth’s in seconds to save a woman, but a missile takes minutes.
Took seconds to reverse the spin of the Earth’s axis to reverse time in order to save Lois, but they spent a minute of him chasing a missile through the desert. More time discrepancies, but then again we must have a suspension of reality.
And then he left her high and dry before the rock slide (again).
Words cannot express how confusing this is. He went through a lot of effort to go back in time and save Lois, but as soon as he saves her in the desert, he leaves her high and dry in the desert with Jimmy (who should be at the dam). What’s to say the rocks won’t slide on her again or they won’t just die of thirst out there? I give up.