Superman Extended TV Cut (1978) Movie Review

Title: Superman.
Rated: PG.
Director: Richard Donner.
Story by: Mario Puzo.
Screenplay by: Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton & Tom Mankiewicz (uncredited).
Release Date: 1978.
Runtime:  188 min (Extended TV Cut).
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama.
Cast: Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Margot Kidder, and many more!
Budget: $55,000,000 (estimated).
Gross USA: $134,451,603.
Cumulative Wordlwide Gross: $300,451,603.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.


You can find out more about my thoughts by visiting me over on my blog here:

Roars & Echoes.



41 thoughts on “Superman Extended TV Cut (1978) Movie Review

    1. The Director’s cut is worth watching. It expands on some of the characters, including a great extra scene between Superman and Jor-El, and gives us a bit more action. The TV cut has its fans, but it’s basically an unrefined work print and isn’t worth watching. But I would argue that the Director’s Cut is the better version of the movie.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Great review sir, I’m just glad you’ve seen the other versions of this classic because anyone going into the 3 hour TV cut uninitiated might wonder what the heck the fuss over Donner’s Superman. It was literally an unrefined work print, whilst containing some interesting little pieces there are too many sequences with over-long scenes that needed tightening editorially.

    As for Ned Beatty, watch “Deliverence” and you may have a different view…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Chris. That’s true. Good thing this TV cut is harder to get your hands on. I never had the chance to see it before and thought it’s a cool idea to revisit this cut. I’ll definitely check out the Director’s Cut the next time I do a rewatch but now I’ll move on to the Donner Cut of the 2nd movie next month. It did sadden me to learn that this TV cut of the first movie was only released to make more money instead of respecting the movie’s soul.

      I haven’t seen Deliverance but it sounds fantastic. I’ll add it to my watchlist. I imagine he has a less “comedic” role in it. He was pretty fun in Superman as Otis though. It’s just so funny that a mastermind supervillain would keep such sidekicks around. Definitely not like the Lex Luthor we get nowadays!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Though my first exposure to Superman was through George Reeves, I was so young at the time that when Christopher Reeve came on the scene I quickly re-identified him as “The” Superman. I remember loving all the movies, and likely watched them multiple times. Not sure I’d rewatch them now, so I admire your dedication to doing so, and I’m glad to see you’re enjoying them even when extended beyond what might be best for the story. I do sometimes miss those earlier days when there was a lighter feel to the superheros and not so much need to turn them dark and broody and full of self-loathing. There’s certainly a place for that, too, but it’s refreshing to have these less dark visions once in a while.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I honestly didn’t know about George Reeves till recent years. My first Superman was Christopher Reeve and I don’t think anyone else managed to do better. Sure, Henry Cavill’s physics makes his Superman pretty cool but it’s a modern take and doesn’t have the same charm as Reeve’s Superman. And Reeve’s Clark Kent is just perfect. Exactly how I always conceived the character in any format!

      I’m having fun working my through the remaining DC live-action movies that I haven’t reviewed on my blog. I’m only missing a couple more but since I’m just keeping it at 1 movie review a month, I should be fine for the upcoming months! 😀 I can’t wait to check out Superman II though. Actually, the rest of the Superman saga pre-Nolan is a blur in my memory.

      That’s true. Good thing we can always revisit these for the lighter take on these heroes. I honestly have a hard time imagining them making a more comedy-oriented live-action Batman or Superman anymore. That would be a hard sale.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all the actors in this.
    Poor Christopher Reeves…
    Hey, be nice to Ned Beatty! Goofy sidekicks need love too!
    There is something about the old school manner of special effects that is charming, and cgi just cannot capture that charm.
    Up, up, and awaaaaaay!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We lost so many great actors from this movie in the past years. It really is sad. Time flies… Hahah I have nothing against Ned Beatty! Otis was a fun addition to the movie. All-around silly! And I agree. The old-school effects, just like in Batman (1966) give this movie its own charm.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The extended TV cut is basically a look at an unedited, unrefined version of the movie. I could see it being interesting for film students, and it does have its fans, but it doesn’t add anything of significance that isn’t already in the Director’s cut. I would recommend the Extended Director’s Cut over the Theatrical Cut though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It indeed is. A huge, unedited, and unrefined cut. It sort of makes some plot elements seem dumb (e.g. when Superman just stares at his solution to saving a town from drowning while Lois drowns in dirt; him basking in glory for countless minutes because of the length of that sequence makes him seem so silly when Lois is dying around the corner). I’d probably revisit the Director’s Cut the next time I rewatch this movie though.


  5. Great review, Lashaan! I haven’t seen it, but I’m pretty sure I would find it very entertaining, and maybe even more entertaining than the “new” versions of this story!

    Liked by 1 person

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