Superman: The Movie – This Scene Made Christopher Reeve a Legend

In this episode of Scene Breakdown, we take a look back one one of Superman: The Movie’s most iconic moments.

In 1978, Warner Bros marketed Superman: The Movie with the tagline, “You’ll believe a man can fly.” This served two purposes. One, it teased how much special effects had evolved throughout the seventies, to the point that making a superhero fly on screen could look realistic rather than cheesy. But, it also promised a fantastic performance by star Christopher Reeve, who slipped into the blue tights and cape and became a legend with his heartfelt performance. Generations later, he’s still the definitive Superman.

When James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy was casting, one of the things that took them the longest to determine was what two actors had the most chemistry as Superman and Lois. The romance between the Man of Steel and Lois Lane always defined the early Richard Donner movies, and when they lost that aspect following the termination of Donner, the franchise fell apart. That’s because Christopher Reeve, as brilliant as he was, and the special fx crew weren’t the only ones to make us believe a man could fly. Margot Kidder, as Lois Lane, did too.

If any scene in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie holds up today, it’s the romantic flight between Superman and Lois Lane over Metropolis. It’s certainly a bittersweet scene to watch now, given the tragedies that befell both stars later in life. It’s a beautiful moment, even if Lois’s soliloquy is a bit controversial among some fans, and the music by John Williams is gorgeous.

In our show, Scene Breakdown, we dig into some of our favorite movie scenes, and this one definitely applies. You can watch the video above, but one thing we dig into is how perfect a moment this is for Superman fans. While a lot of us loved Henry Cavill in Man of Steel, I don’t think any moment has ever as perfectly captured the essence of Superman as this one. Cavill brought a lot of strength to the part, but Reeve brought charm. Watching him and Kidder together in this sequence will always be bittersweet for fans, but they will always be a huge part of our shared cinematic history, won’t they?

If you like this video on Superman – The Movie and want more from us about how this whole cinematic series was developed, check out a feature-length breakdown we did right here!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.