When Superman: The Movie was first released on DVD in 2001 it came with three new documentaries that examined various aspects of the costly and complicated production in exhausting detail. Last November, Warner Bros. uploaded all three docs to their YouTube channel. You can watch them here below.
Each documentary features extensive interviews with many of the film’s surviving cast and crew members, including the late Christopher Reeve, as well as vintage behind-the-scenes footage, original screen tests for actors and actresses who tested for the roles of Superman and Lois Lane, and visual effects test footage. The first two are even hosted by Jimmy Olsen himself, Marc McClure.
“They were gonna reboot the franchise, and resurrect it for everybody after the debacle that was Superman III. Little did we know that we were actually going to be working on the debacle to end all debacles.”
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is a bad movie. It is legendary in its badness. It’s not just one of the worst comic book movies of all time, but truly it is exists a few meters above the bottom of the cinematic barrel, dipping to the bottom on occasion for scrapings to keep its putrid reputation alive for a little while longer.
It was a movie made with the purest of intentions; star Christopher Reeve, the iconic final piece in the puzzle that was the long-gestating Superman: The Movie from 1978, had envisioned The Quest for Peace to be both a spectacular superhero adventure with plenty of thrills and laughs for the summertime moviegoing audience and a thought-provoking social commentary about the destructive nature of the nuclear arms race. The final film proved to be neither, and in fact was the first movie in the franchise to actually lose money for its financiers.
Two archetypes of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world were born today, September 25: Mark Hamill, best known to the masses as Luke Skywalker, who goes from a humble, naÃ¯ve, wide-eyed teenager to an anointed full blown Jedi in the original Star Wars trilogy, and the late Christopher Reeve, who will always be immortalized as the spit-curled, donned in tights and red boots Man of Steel in the most popular incarnation of the Superman film franchise. Hamill is 61 today; Reeve, who died in 2004, from cardiac arrest due to complications after a riding accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, would have been 60.
Both men are etched in cinema history in their respective roles. In the case of Mark Hamill, mainly a character actor before he hit paydirt as the protagonist of George Lucas’ storied space opera of a film in Star Wars, his Luke Skywalker remains one of the 20th century’s most well known and liked characters in any form of entertainment. The underdog Skywalker, receiving his tutelage of the Force by way of seasoned veteran Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first film, and later fine tuned by Jedi Master Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, sets him up perfectly for Return of the Jedi, in which the climactic showdown between himself and his father Anakin Skywalker, who has manifested himself into the dark, cold blooded, sadistically evil man in black, Darth Vader, has become a direct source of Sci-Fi symbolism to millions of fans to this very day, and as a hero to the common man globally.
Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray
Starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey
Release date: June 7, 2011
With all the superhero movies that have been made over the last few decades, the first Superman movie is still by far my favorite. Based on the DC Comics character, the 1978 film was the superhero film for all ages, not just children, and set the bar for all comic book movies to follow.
Now, all four original films, which starred Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, along with the 2006 sequel/reboot hybrid Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh, are now collected in high definition in Warner Home Video’s new offering Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray Edition.
That’s less than seven bucks per movie! A great deal, especially since the first two movies come with lots of bonus features. See details below.
The collection includes the four Superman movies which starred Christopher Reeve as the title superhero: Superman – The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV – The Quest for Peace.
SUPERMAN THE MOVIE 4-DISC SPECIAL EDITION 2000 Expanded Edition Movie with Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz 2 Loaded Bonus Discs: Documentaries, Additional Scenes, Screen Tests, Gag Reel, Additional Music Cues, Vintage Movie Superman and the Mole-Men, Starring George Reeves and 9 1940s Fleischer Studios Superman Cartoons.