Yes thats right. If it wasn't for this big money extravaganza from 1978 there may very well have been no X-Men, Fantastic Four, Batman etc etc. Warner Bros poured a huge amount of money into this film, some $50 million which 30 years ago was a hell of a lot. The good thing is that every penny is up there on the screen. New special effects had to be invented for parts of this film because it was so innovative and although this was years before CGI, the production team did a fabulous job (only the scene where young Clark runs alongside the train looks really fake).
A top notch cast helped propel this to box office success, Hackman and Brando especially. However where the film really scores is with the casting of the then unknown Christopher Reeve, who is superlative and easily the best Superman ever. Kudos must go to the producers, the Salkind brothers, who refused to cave in to Warner Bros demands to cast a named actor (Warners wanted Burt Reynolds!). I think even Warner Bros must admit that they were glad they lost that argument.
The film is long, a good 2.5 hours from what i remember but what a ride! The scene where Superman saves Lois Lane (a well cast Margot Kidder) when she falls out of a helicopter is worth the cost of the disc alone. The effects are all top drawer for the time and were done by the people who worked on the Bond movies and Gerry Anderson tv shows (like Space 1999). A mention must also go to John Williams masterful soundtrack. The theme became so iconic that when Bryan Singer made Superman Returns in 2006 he said he would only do so providing he could use the same piece of music as the theme.
This film is excellent, although a little long for small children. Characters are given a chance to develop and the script is quite intelligent and witty. However for an extra £9 you can buy the exactly same disc plus the other 3 Christopher Reeve films (Superman 2 is great fun, 3 is so so but has some great moments and 4 is not a good film but worth watching).
This disc has some decent extras. The screen tests, the documentaries and the deleted scenes give make up a fine dvd release and add to the quality of this release.