Concluding this month’s SUPERMANIA special feature on the vintage Laserdisc releases of the Superman series is the franchise denouement/killer Superman IV: The Quest For Peace –
Despite its quaint assessment by Desmond Ryan of The Philadelphia Enquirer as ‘good fun’ (See tagline on US release, third pic down) this final entry proved to be bittersweet but no less controversial than any of its predecessors. Dogged with problems from its conception onward and executed with a fraction of its intended budget, the above is notable for representing both the shortest and longest cuts of the movie before the advent of DVD.
The longest and therefore most coveted is the Japanese import release from King Video distributors (Top & Second pic) which was popular with US fans due to its 93 minute runtime. This, along with its sharp and unique sleeve art made it a serious collectable in its own right until ‘all’ of the lost footage was found and reinserted (as deleted scenes in workprint form) by WB years later for the Deluxe Edition on DVD.
Typically, the Western version was what would only be described as ‘Vanilla’ even back then, with a 90-minute runtime and uninspired presentation (replete with a still from a deleted scene carelessly included on the rear of the sleeve) though the reproduction of Daniel Goozee’s fantastic poster art on the cover is first class.
I hope you have enjoyed this overview of these great pieces of cinematic, now collectable history – please feel free to leave any comments or questions. Until then, a very Happy Easter to you all..!