Zac Snyder's â€œBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justiceâ€ is on its second week of screening. The controversial ending hints of Justice League, which fans of DC Comics look forward to. Whether or not it will match the commercial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is anyone's guess, but this will be the right time to revisit Richard Donner's â€œSupermanâ€. Released in 1978, this is arguably the best adaptation of the superhero.
Here are five reasons:
Richard Donner. In a career spanning five decades, the New Yorker would be remembered for the Man of Steel. Many filmmakers have been attached to this movie, but only Donner's remained a commercial and critical success. Some saw it as a sum of parts. (Screenplay by Mario Puzo, an enviable cast, a topnotch production crew.) Donner knew this was an adaptation of a comics book, so there was no need to make it gritty. It was simple and straightforward, it also doesn't seem long for a movie running almost two and a half hours. It was the most expensive for its kind, but the director sensed history was about to be made. He lived long enough to see Marvel and DC superheroes to dominate the big screen.
Mario Puzo. Don't be surprised if the author of "The Godfather" thought of the story. Fans were looking for revenge, and they were treated in the end. But this picture was targeted for a Christmas playdate. The native of Manhattan, New York peppered the script with funny one-liners, but let's not forget the scenes involving Clark Kent and Lois Lane. There were no words, which was better than a mouthful.
John Williams. A catchy tune would be a composer's goal, which must appeal to a generations of listeners. This is a Herculean task in the fickle world of music, but John Williams happens to be one of those few composers who have the knack for this kind of thing. Fans of the Superman series can identify the movie by the first few notes of the theme song. It's the best score of the year, but there are other outstanding works. (Ennio Morricone was nominated for an Academy Award for his composition in "Days of Heaven".) And Williams has three Oscars in his mantelpiece.
Christopher Reeve. A young generation of moviegoers won't recall Christopher Reeve, who played the titular role. And they might not bother to look back into the past. (Warner Bros. wants to rival MCU.) But the late actor was perfect for the role. He had rustic charm, which was good enough.
Gene Hackman. The two-time Oscar winner was overlooked for his performance as Lex Luthor, which was a shame. Almost four decades later, no other actor was able to match Hackman's performance.