Back to Reviews

How do people not fly off of the earth when he reverses the flow of time? What were the Salkinds' problems? Sounds like something worth discussing on our message board.

This month saw the release of 1978's Superman on DVD. Not ony has the film been cleaned up for the transfer to this format, but lots of extras have been added too. We've looked through them all and share the highlights here.
Superman: The Movie Special Edition DVD

Screen Tests
Lots of actors auditioned for the lead roles in this film. The DVD presents, for the first time, the screen tests of several actors who didn't get a part.

-- Stockard Channing auditioned for the role of Lois Lane, but was passed over for Margot Kidder because it was the 70s and everyone was doing lots and lots of drugs.

-- Ray-Jay Johnson auditioned for the part of Daily Planet Editor Perry White. He ruined his shot by going through his entire, tired "you can call me 'Ray' or you can call me 'Jay'" etc, etc before finally getting to the scripted line "don't call me 'Chief'."

A rare shot of Benji playing Krypto, the dog of Steel, seen here running at super-speed through Metroplois.

-- A drunken Adam West kept showing up to audition for the role of Batman, even though he was politely informed that the character was not in the film. Eventually, the producers had him read a scene with Reeve in which they crossed out the name "Lois Lane" in the script and replaced it with "Batman" in crayon.

-- 70s canine sensation Benji was cast in the role of Superman's loyal dog, Krypto, before the part was cut. Rumors persist that Krypto was removed from the production after Benji ate one of Marlon Brando's sandwhiches.

Alernate versions
The DVD offers several interesting options for alternate edits of the film. Some are great ideas, others not so much.

-- Longtime fans of the comic book series may prefer the Alternate-Pronunciation Jor-El version in which Marlon Brando does not repeatedly mispronounce "Krypton," "Kal-El," and "Lara" and damn near every other word he speaks with that odd accent he's using.

-- In the regular version of the film, Superman spins around the planet against its rotation to reverse the flow of time and save Lois Lane's life. It was probably a good idea to delete the extra footage in which Superman reverses the flow of time again 17 more times to try out different pick-up lines when he next sees Lois.

-- I don't see why anyone would prefer to watch the Pantsless Jimmy Olsen version.

In this scene from the DVD, Lex Luthor has been captured, but thanks to yummy Hostess Fruit Pies, he doesn't even mind!

-- A different ending is included in which Superman distracts Lex Luthor with delicious Hostess Fruit Pies with real fruit filling and light, flaky crust.

-- While it's interesting to see the villians from Superman II sentanced to the Phantom Zone at the beginning of this film, it's probably for the best that the footage was cut in which Richard Pryor shows up to announce he's going to help ruin the series in Superman III.

Misc. Supplemental Material
-- Counter in corner of screen tallies how many hundred thousand dollars Brando got per second of on-screen time.

-- Documentary in which aged special effects technicians weep in sorrow when they see sequences that took them three years to complete finished in twenty minutes on an iMac.

-- Commentary track with Wardrobe Assistant Helen Gill complaining for two hours about cleaning sweat stains out of Superman outfits.

-- Deleted scene in which Lois Lane is made fat by a crazy scientist's experimental fat ray, then Superman has trouble picking her and two other fat ladies up in a broken car.

-- Interesting home video footage of 'Supergirl' director Jeannot Szwarc being beaten by fans at a comic book convention in 1988.