Superman II : The Richard Donner Cut

Synopsis: The Version You Have Never Seen.

You haven’t seen all the Superman films until you’ve seen this! Superman II starring Christopher Reeve returns with a never-before-seen beginning and resolution. Director Richard Donner began shooting his vision of Superman II while concurrently filming Superman The Movie. For the first time, his unique vision is here. Jor-El (Marlon Brando in recently found footage) appears in key new scenes that amplify Superman lore and deepen the relationship between father and son. Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) plots more schemes to unmask Clark Kent as Superman. With so many changes, large and small, this version is an eye-opening alternate experience.

Superman II : The Richard Donner Cut 8.0

Oh, what a difference letting a director finish his movie makes! The theatrical version of Superman II was 40% of Donner’s footage and 60% of Richard Lester’s (who was asked to complete the movie even though Donner had finished 80% of the movie). Lester promptly changed a lot of the movie and reshot a whole bunch of material.

Now that it’s been restored pretty much to Donner’s original vision it’s a much better film – for a ’70s action film (it was filmed in the ’70s, but was released in 1980). Let’s face it, it’s the decade that brought us the Roger Moore 007 films and The Dukes of Hazard. From the mid-’70s onward, sets were a bit too much and the stories offen suffered from a naivete that was blatantly ignored by naked ambition.

This version of Superman II contains a lot of the cheese that can be expected from that era, but the structure is better than the theatrical version. Furthermore, many scenes are totally different and they change the way things develop; it just makes more sense, all in all.

It’s too bad that 20% of the footage had to be culled from Lester’s work and from audition footage. They did what they could with what they had and, as far as I’m concerned, they did a decent job of it. You just have to know what you’re getting into beforehand so that it isn’t too much of a shock.

Essentially, this is the movie that should have been, completed as much as it was possible to 30 years after the fact.

Well, they made a man fly. You gotta give them that laughing

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