More SuperPaperbacks…

Further selections from the Superman novel back-catalogue include possibly the finest of them all – from top – ‘The Making Of Superman: The Movie‘ by David Michael Petrou is a disarmingly honest account of the largest and most expensive production of its day. Aside from the thorough coverage of everything from casting to Special Effects, Petrou manages also to convey the sheer excitement and magic of bringing the Man of Steel to life. Read it online here at Superman1978.

Despite its fun tagline ‘Once upon a time-warp’ the novelization of Supergirl by Norma Fox Mazer is standard Movie Tie-In fare built almost word for word around the screenplay by David Odell (made even less appealing by its lack of picture gallery in the centre!)

Before its shoe-in as the novelization of Superman: The Movie (offered among the glut of other glossy offerings from Warner Books) Elliot S! Maggin’s origin story ‘Last Son of Krypton’ was first published by Arrow in 1978. As the events depicted within (although well-executed) bear little resemblance to the final film the comic-book style cover was far more appropriate.

Lastly, the ‘Man of Steel’ by Andrew Helfer was released in 1983 under the banner of the popular ‘Super Powers’ toy line by Kenner. This ‘which way’ book (where the reader has the option to choose the story’s outcome as he reads) was popular in the ’80’s and is written in the style of pure comic-book fodder...

Adventure Running In The Family…

Love it or loathe it, The Maid Of Might‘s 1984 feature is nothing if not a product of its time. Originally conceived as as the first Movie Superhero team-up, the script was hastily re-written when Christopher Reeve declined last minute to participate and it shows. What remains is a curious and somewhat humorless fairytale resplendent with pantomime villainy. Helen Slater’s sensitive and vulnerable performance earned greater material while Peter O’ Toole and Faye Dunaway managed to chew up the scenery regardless.
Though their choice of Director (Jeannot Szwarc) was ill-advised, the Salkind’s were prudent enough to retain their effects team from the Superman series and the wirework (especially the ‘Flying Ballet’ sequence) has yet to be surpassed. Beleaguered by poor reviews and a bemused audience expecting another Superman Supergirl has nonetheless gained a steady cult following over the years thanks in no small part to Jerry Goldsmith’s stirring score.
Shown above is the definitive collectable from the movie in the form of the Anchor Bay limited Edition DVD release from 2000. Years ahead of its time in terms of content, transfer and presentation, this rare 2-disc set contained the never-before-seen directors cut of the film with all-new commentary and the vintage ‘Making Of’ special.
Given the existence of such excellent material and its genuine place in the Superman cinematic canon, its omission from the upcoming Blu-Ray set is mystifying but like everything else associated with this picture, it deserved better…

Super Auto’s Cont’d…

Obtained in person by me at various conventions – Helen Slater was a rare treat and was very sweet and quite shy. Margot Kidder was fantastic and very funny. Sarah Douglas was bolshy and fabulous while Jack O’ Halloran was a gentle giant. So privileged to have met some of the performers that made this Movie series so great…