Taking its rightful place as the centrepiece in an exhibition charting a trio of cinematic Sci-Fi anniversaries, an original Superman costume stands proudly among selected screen used props currently showcased in Moyes’s Hall Museum UK.
Celebrating its 8th Sci-Fi Action exhibition in acknowledgement of 30 years of the Alien franchise, 40 years since the camera’s rolled on the original Star Wars and 50 years of Star Trek, the West Suffolk site is currently housing over 100 items of memorabilia from these enduring saga’s and more.
Described as ‘Perhaps the most iconic Movie costume of all time’ and on loan from Propstore, the Christopher Reeve Superman display has had somewhat of an upgrade since it was last seen in public at Covent Garden in 2012. Although the costume remains the same combination of mis-matched tunic & tights last seen by SUPERMANIA on the Propstore tour, it has apparently been neatly re-mounted on the mannequin with a new \S/ shield base and the cape now sports its yellow patch – missing since the original display since its first appearance in 2010. Stephen Lane himself told me he had the shield in storage the whole time (which accounts for its clean appearance) but had yet to re-attach it – making this the very first time the costume has been displayed 100% complete.
Superfan Andrew Hanton took the fantastic pics above and had this to say about his close encounter –
“My wife works in Bury St Edmunds and said she had seen a leaflet about a small sci-fi exhibition in Bury’s Moyse’s Hall Museum in the town centre. I wasn’t too interested as I usually attend the big Showmasters Comicon events said ‘Mmm I don’t think I’ll bother’ – then she said ‘they have Christopher Reeve’s Superman suit on display!’ Well my reaction was ‘No way!!’
Sure enough it was true so the next day we drove to Bury to see the costume, when I walked in the room I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was a dream come true for me – a Superman and in particular a Christopher Reeve fan since the age of 8 (I’m now 41). There it stood in a glass case and to top it off it was standing proud on a Christopher Reeve mannequin.
Although a little battered & bruised it looked amazing and to be up close to the real thing was overwhelming, the tunic was a little faded but for me that added to it, as the ‘S’ stood out vibrant in colour and proud.
We were allowed to take as many pictures and video it as we liked which was brilliant, apart from seeing this iconic suit for me it affirmed the authenticity of my ‘Super Costumes’ replica as I have to say mine is pretty damn close to the original which makes me even more pleased with it.
All in all a wonderful day and only £5 to get in – who’d of thought I’d get to fulfill a life long dream – seeing a Superman costume & in little old Bury St Edmunds…!”
The exhibition runs until Sunday November 13th so be quick if you want to share the experience of seeing it for yourself – click on the tab in the right hand column for details and be sure to leave comments here about your visit..!
Edition One of Merit Publications magazine is quite the enigma given that there were no subsequent issues and that it is arguably one of the finest pieces of vintage Superman items produced in conjunction with the movie.
Though it proclaims to showcase Warner Bros. New films, it is actually an elegant portfolio of photographs and accompanying text all from Superman: The Movie featuring the best publicity stills and some uncommon prints. Anybody seeking info on Clint Eastwood’s and Stanley Kubrick’s latest would’ve felt short-changed as coverage amounts to nothing more than ads for Every Which Way But Loose and The Shining inside the back cover.
As if the glorious layouts (above) were not enough, the centrefold is a pull-out poster of the iconic ‘Punch’ shot taken by Bob Penn in New York in 1977 – all of the above making this the ideal companion piece to the Collectors Album and SUPERMANIA’s recommendation for an inexpensive addition to the perfect Super-library…
Coming soon – The Japanese edition…
Presenting the latest piece of vintage memorabilia to be added to the SUPERMANIA archive – this unique poster magazine was released exclusively in Spain and is so rare this is the first and only copy seen in decades of collecting.
The Superman Movies have a long and rich history with this most ’80’s of collecting staples. Most big genre movies of the decade were awarded with similar colourful fold-outs which would adorn many a childhood bedroom wall until, much like cinematic events themselves, their fade into obscurity.
Whereas the foldout format would be limited to European/UK shores (with II and III upcoming in future posts) Stateside offerings would be appropriately heftier affairs with the glossy magazines for Superman III and IV by Starlog Press emerging as arguably the best tie-in’s for each picture – both of which will also appear here soon..!
“He hopped off of the balcony and said “Good evening Miss Lane” – and Geoffrey Unsworth looked over at me and went (mugs impressed face) because the tone was just right. We went through the test and we knew…we had him. I remember we sent the test back to Warner Brothers and we prayed. We said we love, love this kid. And they saw it and they went great, go with him, if you feel that strongly that’s terrific…”
-Tom Mankiewicz, Taking Flight – The Development of Superman
An infamous casting call so grand in scale it echoed the the search for Scarlett O’Hara decades before, the question of just who would fill Superman’s boots for the upcoming 1978 movie would similarly become the stuff of Hollywood legend.
39 years ago today, young, idealistic and ambitious actor Christopher Reeve took to the makeshift set at Shepperton Studios clad in the most embarrassingly makeshift of superhero costumes to perform a pivotal scene for Director Richard Donner.
Sweating profusely in longjohns with layers of black shoe polish in his hair, Reeve, although clearly nervous, manages to somehow transcend the outfit and even at this early stage, convey the most human of aliens in the most earnest of ways.
It would take a year of weight gain and pumping iron before lean Reeve would fill out the cape in the style to which comic-book readers had become accustomed to over forty years, but the excitement (and relief) must have been tangible by the end of the audition process – having screened everybody from Sylvester Stallone to the producers dentist.
The final word is best left to Donner about his ‘discovery’ of the man who would go on to embody the Man of Steel for 10 years, three more movies and beyond.
“I didn’t find Chris. God gave him to me…”
Thanks to Seb Colombo/Capedwonder.com for the rare pics above and Jim Bowers for the video.
Pitched somewhere between the heights of Rona Barretts Hollywood and the depths of The National Enquirer, this special pull-out from obscure US publication Modern People is a perfect example of 1970’s trash journalism.
On the stands from February 11th 1979, this cover story plus four page spread focuses on the seedier aspects of the hit movie of 1978, with (mostly fabricated) tales of the love lives of both leading men casually enforced by paparazzi photographs nestled alongside official press release stills.
SUPERMANIA continues its mission to revive and restore the most obscure vintage ephemera from around the world by adding this great rare find to the archive. Enjoy!!