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 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Scott McOldsmith   (Member)

Roger Ebert liked it. A lot. smile Eh, I just know that everyone in my sphere really loved it at the time. All this criticism seems very recent to me

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

All this criticism seems very recent to me

To me, too. At the time, I remember that the first movie was considered overlong and episodic, and there were a lot of complaints that the Krypton, Smallville, and Metropolis sections were all in different styles. I'm not endorsing or condemning that feeling, but it was fairly prevalent. The sequel dispensed with the heaviness and just told one story with big stakes. It was very well received at the time (although not by everybody, of course).

But movies date differently.

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 11:06 AM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

The backlash basically is a last 20 years thing. When the film finally became available in widescreen on dvd in that box set, a lot of fans were able to watch it back to with the first one and the flaws became really obvious and the demand for the Donner version became deafening.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 1:19 PM   
 By:   Cliffs71   (Member)

The backlash basically is a last 20 years thing. When the film finally became available in widescreen on dvd in that box set, a lot of fans were able to watch it back to with the first one and the flaws became really obvious and the demand for the Donner version became deafening.

Yes, I had always thought of II as superior to I. But, for me, when the Superman II was finally released on Widescreen LaserDisc in October 96, that's when the cracks really started to reveal themselves and I started to see it as a fairly well made "B" movie that lacked the soul of the original. That tarnish only intensified when I became obsessed with Dharmesh Chauhan's Superman Cinema website around 1999/2000 and really reading about the production problems and all the stuff Donner shot that was cut.

Here's a story for you (and apologies for taking this further off course)... back in 2001 I was still writing for DVDFile and did a major write up on the Superman:The Movie DVD. Through various phone conversations and emails with Michael Thau, we kept discussing the fan hope that Donner's original cut of II would eventually be put back together. Michael had never heard about any of this, but basically told me one day, "I don't think Dick (Donner) would ever go for it. It's still too painful." Cut to 5 years later and the Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut gets released to DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray. I ran into Michael Thau, Dick Donner and Tom Mankiewicz at the Saturn Awards in May 2007 (where The Richard Donner Cut was winning Best DVD Special Edition Release) and Michael told me they'd been looking for me to cover the making of the Donner Cut because he said I was the one who got the ball rolling and actually got Michael to talk to Donner who talked to Warner.
So if you like the Donner Cut, you're welcome. If you don't... that was all Michael Thau.

I actually think the Donner Cut is superior to the theatrical so long as you remember that it's incomplete and will never have all the missing pieces it needs. I have no doubt that had Donner been able to finish the film as they intended it would have been superior to Superman I to this day. I think they stuff they were playing with (like the "blanks" reveal of Superman) is just better that what they subbed it out for. But that's just me.

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 1:27 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Critic reviews of series like 007 and Supe are irrelevant to fans.
This is because the expectations and standards are completely different.
Fans of Bond for example have a lifetime of fandom invested in the saga. Critics look at each film as a one off and don't usually care if it honors the spirit and legacy of the character.
Brm

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Critics look at each film as a one off and don't usually care if it honors the spirit and legacy of the character.

I don't think that's true.

I also find it odd that you think "critics" are some unified force, when there are film critics of all stripes.

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 1:40 PM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

Considering Supes' "fans" demand more of Snyder's grim dark pseduo-fascist Superman, they have become irrelevant to me.

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Critics look at each film as a one off and don't usually care if it honors the spirit and legacy of the character.

I don't think that's true.

I also find it odd that you think "critics" are some unified force, when there are film critics of all stripes.


Zebras have stripes.
Critics have deadlines.
They dont look at the legacy of a films series when writing for a newspaper.
Never question my wisdom!
smile
Brm


ps i said "usually"

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

Considering Supes' "fans" demand more of Snyder's grim dark pseduo-fascist Superman, they have become irrelevant to me.
Fascist?

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 3:19 PM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

Considering Supes' "fans" demand more of Snyder's grim dark pseduo-fascist Superman, they have become irrelevant to me.

Fascist?


...what you haven't seen BVS?

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Considering Supes' "fans" demand more of Snyder's grim dark pseduo-fascist Superman, they have become irrelevant to me.

Fascist?


...what you haven't seen BVS?


Wasn't Batman the fascistic one?

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2018 - 5:37 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

BvS is a dreary film that has various good scenes and decidedly good characters. But the story? Not good.

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 2:59 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

A lot of people enjoyed, or at least paid to see, Superman II, as it was the #3 box office hit of 1981. I had no idea it was that successful.

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1981&p=.htm

I also know how much young me liked the film then. I have nothing but fond memories associated with it. I never thought it was superior to the 1978 movie, though, but Superman II is a worthy sequel.

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 3:09 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

In keeping with the positive and uplifting spirit of this thread, what are your memories of the music when you first saw Superman: The Movie?

I remember it all when the opening music started as we "traveled across the galaxies", then again moments later when that "noble-sounding" Krypton theme played when the camera approached the large dome, followed by the, "This is no fantasy" speech. I can't explain why, but it gave me chills/goosebumps. It all seemed so... important --- even though it was just a comic book adaptation!! I loved every minute of it...


I was 7 in 1978, and even then I was pretty well versed in Superman's origin/history/mythology, but I was blown away by Superman: The Movie's "epic scale." Those "whooshing" credits, the grave atmosphere of the opening scenes on "Kryptin", as that older, stately, white-haired man who was no doubt an important and respected actor pontificated endlessly on the urgency of the planet's circumstances. Much of that went over my head (I was, and remain, a dopey kid), but I was completely immersed into the imagery and the drama unfolding on screen.

Oh, and the red dirt contrasting with the white clothing of those important muckety mucks being buried alive as "Kryptin" and its inhabitants died before my eyes...the imagery--and the music, of course--made an enormous impact on this then-young Superman fan.

I don't even mind that the "Trip to Earth" cue sounds like what would become "Yoda's Theme." wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 3:39 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Superman: The Movie was also #3 for its respective year (1978).

https://www.the-numbers.com/box-office-records/domestic/all-movies/cumulative/released-in-1978

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 3:55 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

My first memory of the music was months before I saw the movie and heard the album. The TV ads at Christmastime 1978 ended with the final chord of the destruction of Krypton, which even then seemed a striking new way to do the same big-brass orchestral idiom that captured our hearts in Star Wars.

Here 'tis.



Superman: The Movie TV spot for the film's airing on HBO:



That 4 o'clock airing must have not been its premiere. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 6:58 AM   
 By:   panavision   (Member)

I will pass on 50 people of the London High School Band playing John Williams Music...Thin Tinny Sound not my cup of tea. The Salkinds truly took the Cheap O way out!

Now I await John Williams and LSO Performing Superman


The Salkinds didn't necessarily take the cheap way out at all when it came to the production of the film. If they did, why did they reshoot so much of the movie? Anything they liked from the Donner shoot they kept in the film. They went to Paris, St Lucia. The music was given a budget, Ken Thorne had to work to a budget.

My only criticism was that they felt cutting Marlon from the film was a good idea -- it wasn't, certainly not artistically. Also, they cut the post-production time on Superman 2 so they could release it in late 1980 in Australia for their summer season. Some of the special effects are sloppy because of it.





All of you have to remember, Donner was filming Superman and Superman 2 at the Same Time. Donner had completed..depend on you talk to..70%-80% Of Superman 2. When Donner and Spengler And Salkinds could never patch things up..The Salkinds brought in lil dick Lester whom they still owed money to for Three and Four Musketeers...when the DGA stepped in and said Lester had to shoot 50% of reshoots to Superman 2 to get Directing Screen Credit..but Tge Salkinds did one thing right..Asked Richard Donner did he want Shared Directing Credit for Superman 2..Donner Refused..


Dick Lester took over from Guy Hamilton, who was there for a short period of time.
Renowed author George McDonald Fraser also did some script work.
The DGA didn't step in.

Lester, the writers and the producers sat down to watch what had been shot and decisions were made on what they felt was good material that should be kept:

They clearly didn't like the opening, for starters. They wanted to see Superman in action, because in the Donner version he doesn't appear in an action sequence until they get to Niagara Falls.
Obviously they couldn't use Marlon.
The Salkinds felt that the world destruction was too much too soon, they wanted to build up to it, hence the Houston sequence.


Remember..Geoffrey Unworth, Tom Mankiewicz (who saved Superman from Over wrought over camp mess from Mario Puzo...500 page script) most scripts are 150 pages. Stuart Baird ..were all there for Superman 2...So when they released Superman to rave reviews..and box office large amounts..The Salkinds Fired Donner..By Telegraph...How Nice!


The Mario Puzo script was rewritten by David and Leslie Newman, which is the one Donner read.
The script is available on-line.
A lot of material from that script survived in the Mankiewicz version. Tom restructured the script, added in the thematic material which wasn't in the Newman scripts. You have to give credit to all of the writers, but Mankiewicz got the film made.

Incorrect, most industry scripts are not necessarily 150 pages, and not really indicative of good or bad writing.


Lil dick Lester took over..and reshot 50% of Superman 2...But Since Lester and Thorne had worked before..I rather doubt Williams Recommended..Thorne. The Salkinds invited Williams to see the film and meet with Lil dick Lester..Williams wanted to use the LSO again...high price, and Williams salary ..of course high price after some Oscars and Grammies. Lol. But it was said..That Williams only had a very slight chance of composing new music..Since Raiders, coming up..and Boston Pops being a New Hire for Conductor...since it was a very limited budget..it was Lil dick Lester’s job to break the news to Williams..to save funds..No LSO. John Williams has said in interviews, that he was not happy how the Salkinds treated Richard Donner..and Told them all..No Thanks.


I don't think that is true. According to Ilya Salkind, John sat with Dick Lester to view a cut of the film, after the screening John told Ilya that he couldn't work with him. Ilya talks about it in an interview which isn't on-line anymore, unfortunately. I'm basing this on my memory of the interview and my personal conversations with Ilya.

So much for your "Salkinds are cheap..." statement. They were prepared to pay John Williams to score the movie, he apparently refused. How is that cheap????



Wow..I should write that Book! “ How The Salkinds Truly Fucked Up Superman! Lol.


And be prepared to be sued! Your views are distorted and you have no understanding of the industry.

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

Even if JW hadn't "refused" (details remain sketchy of the actual exchange) he wouldn't have done the movie anyway. The final session dates butted right into Empire Strikes Back. However that might also explain why Williams elected to not come back to redo the score when the film sat on a shelf for a year before its US release.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 7:58 AM   
 By:   panavision   (Member)

Even if JW hadn't "refused" (details remain sketchy of the actual exchange) he wouldn't have done the movie anyway. The final session dates butted right into Empire Strikes Back. However that might also explain why Williams elected to not come back to redo the score when the film sat on a shelf for a year before its US release.

Empire was already done by then.
If John was courted to do it, he could have probably done it between May and the fall of 1980.
The film was released in Australia on 4th December 1980. The U.S. got it on 19th June 1981.

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2018 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Thanks to Cliffs71, panavision, and LordDalek for your interesting posts on the "sausage being made" details. It sure isn't pretty, but it makes for fascinating reading.

As for "The Making of Superman", are there any books on that very subject? A (quick) search yields several online articles, but a book on the topic would make for some no-doubt deee-lightful reading.

 
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