Roger Ebert, on Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman:
More recent superhero movies are top-heavy with special effects
and wall-to-wall action. Superman is more restrained in its
telling, but doesn’t seem slow, probably because it tells a good
story rich in archetypes. It started something. “It is to the
superhero genre what Snow White is to animation,” writes the
young Indian critic Krishna Shenoi. “It is literally the film that
started the superhero film genre. Without it, there would be no
Batman, no X-Men, no Iron Man.”
Superman pointed the way for a B picture genre of earlier
decades to transform itself into the ruling genre of today.
Not a word, though, for John Williams’s score, which I’d argue did as much to make this movie work as anything visible on screen. Effects and scenes that looked like B-movie cheesiness instead felt like they were real, because of that music.
★ Friday, 5 November 2010