“The original Superman,” said mean ol’ David Denby in New York magazine, “was one of the most disjointed, stylistically mixed-up movies ever made. The mystico-sublime rubbed elbows with low farce and pop irony, and everything gave way to disaster-movie squareness in the end. But now all is well.” Phew, that was a close one.
I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time, it turns out. I had a feeling I might be. I’ve spent the last six months writing an endless series of little articles about the Superman movies, and none of them have started like this:
I remember taking a car ride with producer Ilya Salkind to Pinewood Studios when Superman: The Movie was just in its final stages of post production.
That’s how Mike Munn started his article in Starburst about The Making of Superman II, and the thing that I love about it is how casual he is about dropping an unspecified “car ride” into the conversation.
There’s no need to get into whose car it was, or why he was in it with Ilya. It just happens to be a thing that he remembers, that’s all. Sometimes people remember things. It’s no big.
The main thing is, everybody loved Christopher Reeve.
Gene Siskel called him “totally believable,” and Jack Kroll called him “ridiculously good-looking” and “a delight”. Vincent Canby said “he manages to be both funny and comic-strip heroic without making a fool of himself,” and Roger Ebert said “Reeve sells the role; wrong casting here would have sunk everything.”
Even Pauline Kael said that Reeve was “immediately likable”, and she hated the film worse than she hated kidney stones and road accidents.