Superman II (1981)
Character Names: Superman/Clark Kent
by Wallace Harrington (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Joyce Kavitsky (Kavitsky1@verizon.net)
Christopher Reeve was almost not in this sequel to Superman. What
happened was that the producers had accidently let Reeve's contract for
the sequel run out, and in order to get him back for the filming they
had to renogotiate with him. Money wasn't one of Reeve's greatest
concerns as he says, "I agreed to the money in two days." What he did
want was some artistic control over how the movie was put together. The
contract was signed and the movie was filmed. Filming was supposed to
begin in the summer of 1979, but production was delayed because of some
difficulties with the script and the director. Richard Donner, who
directed the first film, had been fired. Richard Lester replaced him and took advantage of the audiences' familiarity with the the original film's story and characters by getting
right into the action and briefly reviewing the scenes from it while
displaying the opening credits of the new film. Reeve was afraid that the sequel wouldn't be put together with as much care as its predecessor had been. Reeve says this about the finished movie: "This one's gonna be a winner, just like the first one!"
He thinks the new director has done a fine job of putting it all
together and that the film carries all the charm and goodness intended
in the original comic strip.
Superman II was an excellent sequel to the first Superman movie. It
completed the circle of the beginning of the first movie, in which Zod
swears that Jor-El and his family will "bow down before him". Luthor is
wonderful and devious, adding more fun to the movie, along with some humor.
Also, Superman finally confronts a problem in which he must use his brains
to stop a group that, with their powers combined, are more powerful than
he. Finally, everything works out in the end, bringing the audience another
wonderfully entertaining Superman movie. With the release of Superman II, Warner Bros. decided to use a backward pattern of openings that made the American audience the last to see it. Unlike other sequel films, when the film opened it went from South Africa, France, Spain, and Brazil in late 1980, to England, Holland,
Denmark, and Germany in early 1981. It was finally scheduled to open in
the United States in June 1981.
The plot of this follow up blockbuster in the Superman movie series starring
Reeve went like this: Before the planet Krypton exploded, three
arch-criminals were sealed for all time in an extraordinary prison known
as the Phantom Zone. These nefarious beings were: General Zod, an
ingenius megalomaniac, the wickedly beautiful Ursa and the brutish
giant, Non. All possess incredible powers that rival The Man of
Steel...a triple threat if they should ever escape and find there way to
Earth! When a terrorist gang invades the Eiffel Tower in Paris, armed
with a nuclear warhead, Superman swoops to the rescue. On the scene,
risking her life and limb for the big story, is courageous reporter Lois
Lane. In the nick of time Superman manages to nab the bad guys, save
Lois Lane from a fatal fall and spare the fair city from total
destruction. But when he ferries the bomb into deep space to be
detonated, a new, even more powerful evil is turned loose on the world.
The bomb blast in space shatters the Phantom Zone and releases the
still-alive villians, who set there destructive sights toward the small
green planet before them...Earth. Meanwhile, unaware of the impending
danger, reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane are off to Niagara Falls,
disguised as newlyweds, to expose a honeymoon racket. At Niagara Falls,
Superman rescues a child from drowning as a suspicious Lois Lane begins
to wonder: can Clark Kent and The Man of Steel be one and the same? To
test her theory, the impulsive reporter hurls herself into the rushing
water, certain of a quick Superman rescue. Instead, it's a somewhat
awkward Clark Kent who dives into the fray to save her life. Eventually,
Lois Lane does learn Superman's true identity, and the pair take off for
his amazing Fortress of Solitude. There, the young reporter marvels at
the incredible crystal structures even as an event in space heralds the
greatest threat against planet Earth in history: the now-freed villians
have arrived on the Moon, their phenomenal strength matched only by
their intense hatred of all things just and good. General Zod, Ursa, and
Non land on the Moon and briskly wipe out a Soviet-American team of
astronauts. When Ursa rips the insignia of the Houston NASA space agency
from a murdered astronaut, the trio presumes that their victims are from
the planet "Houston". So they head there, with intentions of conquering
the obviously inferior natives. Only the son of Jor-El can stop them.
But fate seems to have other plans for The Man of Steel and the woman he
loves. The trio of villians speeds to Earth-landing in the sleepy, rural
village of East Houston, Idaho. When they arrive in their black leather
Kryptonian uniforms, it is logically assumed that they are tourists from
Los Angeles. But when they turn their Heat Vision on barns, shacks and
general stores, reducing the town to rubble, a more insidious origin is
suspected. As the villians begin their takeover of planet Earth, another
notable "bad guy"-Lex Luthor- has escaped from prison with a little help
from his bumbling pal Otis and a holography machine, which fools the
prison guards long enough for him to make the break. Another machine,
this one capable of zeroing in on certain locations, leads Superman's
old foe to the Fortress of Solitude.
In a moment of beauty, tenderness and love, Superman agrees to relinquish his incredible powers and become an ordinary mortal. He is in love with Lois Lane. So much in love, as a matter of fact, that no sacrifice is too great. Seeking advice from his
mother in the fabulous Crystal Bank, Superman realizes that although he
was born on a distant world, he was raised on Earth with the values and
emotions of a human man. "Mother, I love her!" he tells the image of
Lara before entering the mysterious, power-sapping chamber. Clark Kent,
now minus his incredible powers, discovers that being an ordinary mortal
has it's drawbacks. When he and Lois stop off at a diner, some local
trouble-maker starts a fight and sends the former Superman reeling to
the ground, bloodied and beaten. At that very moment a news flash
appears on television: three evil-looking aliens have all but demolished
a small town. Worse, they demand a confrontation with the so-called
"Superman" they've been hearing about...or else! A desperate Clark Kent
makes his way back to the Fortress of Solitude. Somehow, in some way, he
must regain his strength to save his adopted world from a cruel
enslavement. Miraculously, his special green crystal was spared the loss
of its power when Lois Lane accidently covered it with her handbag. With
this object, the same one that originally led young Clark Kent to the
Fortress of Solitude and paved the way for his destiny as Superman, the
return of his incredible abilities is assured. Until this current
crisis, Lex Luthor had been the most treacherous criminal mind on Earth.
But now that General Zod, Non and Ursa are on the planet, he's number 4
and has to try harder. In his own inimitable style he seeks out the
invaders and suggests an alliance of sorts. He will lead them to Kal-El,
son of their old enemy, Jor-El, in return for some small token of their
esteem. Like being named King of Australia. Midtown Metropolis becomes a
war zone as Superman and his powerful enemies slug it out, the villians
sending storefronts, trucks, buses and other vehicles sailing like
wind-whipped newspapers. As the battle rages, Lois Lane and Perry White
watch with growing concern from a tower window of the Daily Planet
building while a delighted Lex Luthor rubs his hands with manic glee.
With Lois Lane as a hostage, the Phantom Zone Villians and Lex Luthor
fly to the Fortress of Solitude and prepare their final assult on The
Man of Steel. Though it's three against one, with a little nasty help
from Lex Luthor thrown in for bad measure, Superman finally manages to
outsmart his Kryptonian foes by reversing the crystal process and
robbing them of their powers. The world, it seems, is safe for the time
being. The events of the past few days suggest one thing to Clark Kent:
his destiny as Superman, as protector of the weak and defender of human
freedom, cannot be stopped...not even by love. So to remove the
complications and burdens that knowledge of his secret identity might
bring her, Clark Kent gives Lois Lane a very tender "kiss of
forgetfulness", a farewell to their affair and a resumption of "life as
usual" around the Daily Planet offices.
And now the story.
In front of us is a giant red sun and past that the crystalline planet, Krypton. We approach through the clouds, and see a large white dome. Suddenly inside, a large hulking brute comes up behind a chamber guard and quickly breaks his neck. General Zod, his companion Ursa and their evil associate Non have entered the Kryptonian council chamber to begin a coup of the government, however, the council was prepared. Zod and his compatriots are quickly apprehended and summarily tried. One by one, the council declares the trio guilty and prepares the sentence. In a flash of light, Zod, Ursa and Non are projected into the Phantom Zone, a mirror-like prism that holds their bodily essences, to be contained for eternity. The prism slowly heads out into cold, dark space. Only their screams of sorrow can be heard as the crystal disappears into the distance. Zod blames their prosecutor, Jor-El, and swears in a final scream.
Clark Kent bumbles into the offices of the Daily Planet after returning
from a brief vacation, and stops in to see Perry White who tells him
that he needs to begin writing a background story on terrorists. Hostages are being held by terrorists in the Eiffel tower and Perry has already sent Lois to Paris on the Concord to cover the story. Realizing that Lois is in potential danger Clark slides out the door, even as Perry decides how the headline for a bombed Paris should read. Running
out of the Planet Building, Clark darts into an alley, changes to Superman and speeds off for Paris.
At the Parisian press conference, officials alert the media that the
terrorists possess a hydrogen bomb and intend to set it off if the
government does not give in to their demands, which they have no
intention of doing. Lois decides that she must get to the top of the
tower for the "inside scoop". Leaving a Gendarme trying to figure out
the tourist's translation book of French phrases, Lois slips past
security and heads up the tower stairs to an elevator on its way
up to collect several freed hostages. Lois climbs underneath the
elevator, and spells "Nobel Prize" to quiet her nerves when the elevator
starts up. Once the hostages are free, the French police intend to
destroy the tower elevator with a bomb of their own. They don't realize
that by doing so, they will set the timer of the H-bomb in motion and
have only sixty seconds before detonation. Plastic explosives are
placed, and the elevator drive is destroyed, sending the elevator
containing the bomb, and Lois, plummeting to the ground. The emergency
brakes come on to no avail. In the nick of time, Superman arrives,
having flown across the Atlantic, speeds toward the tower, flies under
the elevator and slows it to a stop. "I believe this is your floor." he
says to Lois. She hugs him and then screams "The bomb!" Superman nods,
and lifts off pushing the elevator up, crashing through the roof
of the tower. Guiding it into space, he sends the bomb hurtling into the distance to
explode. The concussion wave from the explosion spreads shattering the Phantom Zone crystal which just happens to be floating past the moon freeing the
three Kryptonian villains who blithely head toward the moon, and the
Back on earth, Clark starts across the street to join Lois, and looks
rather bewildered after a taxi has crashed into his legs. Joining Lois
in her office, she speaks so lovingly of Superman, making Clark cringe
when she tells him that he's a good friend.
In prison, Luthor and Otis have been assigned to laundry detail, but
even that does not impede the crafty Luthor who hatches a new plan to
escape and get revenge on Superman using his black box of Alpha Waves to
lead him to Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the North Pole.
Zod, Ursa and Non arrive on the moon. The Apollo mission, Artemus, with
two American astronauts and one cosmonaut is the first joint
Russian-American moon mission. While exploring the lunar surface, Ursa
makes first contact with one of the men. She flies after him and rips
the patch off of the suit now exposing him to the vacuum of space. In an
instant, he is dead. Zod kicks the Russian cosmonaut into the distance.
Seeing the carnage that the three have reeked, the last astronaut
attempts a hurried launch of the lunar excursion module. Non simply rips
the craft apart. Back at the space center, mission controllers are upset
when they lose contact not realizing that the Kryptonians have killed
all three astronauts. [John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff Claven in
Cheers as well as the Army missile controller in Superman: The Movie
plays one of the controllers.] Mistaking the astronaut's radio
transmissions to Houston Space Center as the planet's name, the three
villains stand on the moon reveling in their new abilities. Then head
off to the planet Houston. They aren't looking to visit, they intend to
It's lights out in the prison, but the lights in Luthor's cell don't go off. The guard enters Luthor's cell only to find that what he thinks is Luthor and Otis playing chess is really a 3-D projection from another of Luthor's creations. Luthor and Otis have escaped. Miss Teschmacher is in a hot air balloon, which she has flown over the prison walls. Letting down a ladder, Luthor climbs up, but as Otis tries to climb, he pulls the balloon down. Luthor cuts the ladder, and Otis can only wave as the balloon drifts away and guards and dogs apprehend Otis.
Perry has sent Lois and Clark to Niagara Falls to pose as newlyweds in
an undercover attempt to expose the corruption in the "honeymoon"
industry. Amongst the tacky atmosphere of the hotel, a pink polyester
bear rug, cheap champagne, heart shaped bath tub and a motorized bed,
Clark is enjoying pretending that he and Lois are married. Lois ignores
him pointing to the complementary couch where Clark is going to sleep.
The next day is spent sight-seeing. But, seeing all of the honeymooners
and happy couples, Clark wanes romantic and asks if he can hold Lois's
hand. Lois allows Clark to take her hand, but stares over the rail to
the falls. The mist fogs Clark's glasses and when Lois pulls them off of
his face to wipe them, she stops short when she begins to hand them back
when she recognizes Clark without his glasses has Superman's face. Clark
quickly pulls on his glasses and in an attempt to divert her attention
by offering to get Lois her favorite meal: a hamburger and orange juice.
As he walks to the refreshment stand, a boy playing on the rail
overlooking the falls slips, and Lois screams for help as the boy
disappears into the mist. In an instant, the Man of Steel arrives and
saves the boy, flying him back to the observation deck. After chiding
him for playing too close to the edge, Superman flies away, seemingly
ignoring Lois altogether. Lois obviously feels snubbed and wonders why
Superman just happened to be in Niagara Falls, and by the way, "where's
Clark?" Superman lands behind the refreshment stand and changes back to
Clark. He brings Lois her hamburger when she starts questioning him
suspiciously about where he was when Superman saved the boy.
In the meantime, Luthor and Miss Tessmacher still head north. Eventually
they find the Fortress of Solitude and once inside, they discover the
control panel which Luthor uses to watch holograms from Krypton. Lara,
Keeper of Archives of Krypton, and Kal-El's mother, appears and answers
Luthor's questions about Krypton and especially Krypton's criminals.
After hearing about the three Kryptonian villians, Luthor reallizes that
they must be the three blips on his black box and wants to contact them.
Back in Niagara Falls, Clark and Lois stand next to an exhibit of all
those that have attempted to go over the falls. Lois then tells Clark
that his disguise was nearly perfect and will risk her life to prove
that he is Superman. With that, Lois jumps into the Niagara River and is
swept away. Panicked, Clark runs down the shore of the river searching
for something that he can use to help save Lois without revealing
himself. Finally, he sees what he needs and burns off a tree branch with
his heat vision. It falls into the river and Lois is able to grab it.
She maneuvers herself to a calm spot in the river. Clark tries to pull
her up, but is instead pulled into the river himself, and it is Lois who
has to save Clark.
Eventually, the three Kryptonians arrive on earth, at a quiet fishing lake. While Ursa and Non put down on solid ground, Zod descends into the lake. He has never seen anything like water on the crystalline Krypton, and finds it all rather odd. Zod seemingly levitates then walks across the water to the shore. Little by little they discover the powers they gain from the yellow sun of earth. The ever-curious Ursa finds a rattlesnake and picks it up to study. However, the snake bites her and without thinking, she fries it with her heat vision. They may indeed have those powers, but the child-like Non has not mastered them quite yet.
Back in the lodge, Lois is lamenting her actions, thinking how stupid
she is. Bringing Lois' hair brush to her, Clark trips and falls into the
fire place. Fearing that his hand is burned, Lois jumps up to help. But
there are no burns and she realizes that he is Superman. Clark turns and
walks to the bed. Before your eyes, he grows taller and his shoulders
grow wider. She tells him that she is in love with him and he wants to
talk at his place and the two head north to the Fortress. Once there, he
gives Lois a tour, explaining to her that the green crystal he hands to
her to examine actually called him to build this place and to be
Superman. Superman wants to make this day special and flies off to
Hawaii to pick a Bird of Paradise, and to France for champagne and
gourmet food. In a thoughtful reflection, Lois leans back to look at the
Fortress and casually cover the mystical green crystal with her purse.
The trio from Krypton now find their way to East Houston, Idaho, a small
farming town. On the backroads, they happen upon the sheriff and his
deputy on rounds. Thinking that they are "Hippies from LA", his deputy
tries to have them get out of the way. Here, Zod uses his heat vision
that can also levitate objects. Ursa takes the deputy's badge and Non
rips the red-light off of the top of the sheriff's car, giving it to
Zod as a memory of Krypton's red sun. In the town, a young boy is the
first to see the Kryptonians. Non is still practicing his heat vision
when Ursa walks into the local lunch counter and challenges one of the
locals to an arm wrestle. The red-neck doesn't expect much competition
until Ursa breaks his arm though the table. Zod rolls his eyes in
disgust at Ursa's brazen move but when one of the red-neck's friends
stands up for his buddy, he nonchalantly throws him through the wall,
through a truckload of chickens and out into the street. Zod uses his
finger to levitate a townsperson many feet in the air. When the man's
son pleads for Zod to stop, he lets the man fall to the ground. The army
moves in to attack. Almost as if showing off, Non steps forward and
blows out the tires of a jeep with his heat vision. Zod then blows
the flames from a flame thrower back at the soldiers, and Ursa downs a
helicopter with her super-breath. Zod, screams out to be challenged.
In the Fortress, Lois and Superman have a romantic dinner. They talk
about Clark, and even Superman treats Clark as if he is a separate
entity. When Lois tells Superman that she needs to put on something a
little more comfortable, Superman takes the opportunity to confer with
Lara, his mother, for advice on matters. His mother tells him that if he
wants to live his life with a mortal, he must be a mortal and that once
his powers are given up, there is no return. Superman nods and enters a
red, crystal chamber. Once energized, the chamber removes Superman's
power and he emerges not as Superman, but as Clark Kent. While Clark
sleeps with Lois; Zod, Ursa and Non continue to reek havoc: they
reconstruct Mt. Rushmore, then they enter the White House by plowing
through the troops to get to the Oval Office. Zod calls for the
president and tells him to kneel then realizes that he is not the
president because he kneeled too quickly. The real president comes
forward and kneels to Zod.
Lois and Clark make their way back to Metropolis from the Arctic. It is
not explained how they got south, or where they got a car, but they pull
into a diner so Lois can have a hotdog. They choose some seats at the
end of the counter and Clark heads to the men's room. A local bully
named "Rocky" (Pepper Martin) takes Clark's seat. Clark, now the
protective lover, challenges Rocky to a fight outside. As Clark turns to
go outside, Rocky punches him from behind. Clark lies on the floor,
bleeding and Lois comes to comfort him. After wishing Superman were
here, Clark re-attacks Rocky, who again, knocks him to the floor. Trying
to calm the place down, the owners turn on the television. National
television features the President addressing the nation, telling them
that he has abdicated his powers to Zod. In a desperate move, the
President screams for Superman and Zod challenges Superman.
Clark, beaten and bloodied, having no gloves or boots and wearing only a
light jacket, heads back north. He hikes onward, through a blizzard,
through the snow and cold, finally reaching the Fortress of Solitude.
Entering the fortress, Clark can do nothing but scream in frustration.
He pleads for help from his mother and father, but in the
Fortress his pleas go unheard, only echoing off of the crystalline
walls. Walking to the control panel, the crystals flake in his hands;
all is dust. But, then, to his right he sees a faint light. The glint of
the green crystal Lois had covered with her purse; still preserved, it's
light shines above all else.
Entering the fortress, Clark can do nothing but scream in frustration. "I've failed!" he screams. He pleads for help from his mother and father, but in the Fortress his pleas go unheard, only echoing off of the crystalline walls. Walking to the control panel, the crystals flake in his hands; all is dust. But, then, to his right he sees a faint light. The glint of the green crystal Lois had dropped in the snow; still preserved, it's light shines above all else.
Inside the White House, the Kryptonians plot their next move. To their
surprise, a brazen human, Lex Luthor, walks into the room to introduce
himself to Zod. His bravado catches them off guard, when he tells them
that he can give them Superman and negotiates with them to be the
emperor of Australia in return.
Back at the Planet, Perry, Lois and Jimmy wonder where Superman could
be. Normally, Superman would have been there at the first hint of
trouble, yet he is no where to be seen. Suddenly, Non crashes through
the offices, followed by an unamused Zod, Ursa and Luthor. When Perry
moves towards Zod, he lifts Perry through the ceiling. In a futile
attempt, Lois hurts her hand trying to hit Ursa. Luthor tells them that
Lois is "Superman's Girlfriend" and could be the key in tempting
Superman to show himself. Suddenly, among the stillness of the city's
desperation a wind whips by and a fully rejuvenated Superman appears on
the flagpole outside of Perry's office.
The ensuing battle is of Herculean proportions and the effects were
truly ground breaking for their time. The citizens of Metropolis rejoice
at the sight of Superman. But he is one against three, and all have the
same powers. First, Zod attacks by throwing a large concrete block at
Superman. He uses his heat vision to blow it up before it can hit him.
Then Non attacks. Superman knocks him into the tower on the top of the
Empire State Building. The tower falls off the building tumbling to the
street below. Superman grabs it just in time to save a woman pushing her
child in a carriage. Zod then realizes that Superman cares for the earth
people and uses his heat vision to blow up cars in the street and seeing
a stalled tanker truck turns his heat vision on it's gas tank. Superman
uses the trucks mirror to reflect the beam back at Zod, then uses
superbreath to freeze the tank. The reflected heat vision explodes on
Zod, charring a billboard behind him. Standing in the street, Superman
is caught off-guard when Non attacks from above, knocking him completely
through the pavement into the sewers beneath the street. The earth
shakes as they battle, and among the grunts, manhole covers explode down
the street. Superman finally punches Non through the asphalt, through
the Planet building and out over the river. Ursa makes here move by
throwing a manhole cover at Superman, knocking him onto a car and
breaking the windshield. Zod takes the advantage, landing on the hood of
the car. Wrestling on the roof of the car, with the occupants still
inside, Zod throws Superman through a truck. Superman rushes back and
grabs Zod, spinning him around his head and sending him flying into a
giant Coca Cola sign. Non and Ursa then pick up a bus full of people.
Superman screams for them to stop, but instead they throw it down the
street. Superman tries to stop the bus, but the force drives him back,
crashing into another truck. Once stopped, the people start climbing out
of the bus but Superman is quiet. People think that he has been killed
and attempt to fight off the Kryptonians. The trio uses their
super-breath to blow them back. Finally, Superman crawls out from behind
the bus. He realizes that many lives are at stake and that Zod has no
regard for human life. Superman decides that he must leave Metropolis
and go to a more secluded area, even though the people do not understand
what he is doing and scream for him not to leave them. Thinking that
they have won, the three Kryptonians return to the Planet building.
Again, Zod is about to kill Luthor when Luthor offers another tidbit:
he tells them that he knows where Superman has gone and how to trap him.
The Kryptonians grab Lois and Luthor and fly north to the Fortress.
Superman steps from a corridor to reveal himself. Non tries to strike
first and flies at Superman. To every one's surprise Superman literally
peels of a cellophane replica of his "S" emblem and throws it at Non. In
mid-air, it grows and captures Non like a fly in a spider web. One by
one, more new powers are revealed. The Kryptonians attack Superman with
a ray emanating from their fingers. Superman seems to catch these energy
bolts and throw them back at them with even greater force. Then, each of
them disappear and reappear, first teleporting, then appearing in
multiple images. One of the images is the real Superman who comes up
behind Zod and puts him in a head lock. In retaliation, Ursa and Non
quickly grab Lois and Zod tells them to rip her in half. Superman has no
recourse but to release Zod, who then demands that Superman be his
eternal slave. Having seemingly won, and seeing no further reason to
keep him alive, Zod tells Ursa to, once again, kill Luthor. Luthor goes
to Superman complaining of treachery. In a rash move, Superman appears
to take Luthor in his confidence and asks Luthor to help him maneuver
the Kryptonians into the molecule chamber to remove their powers. Yet,
in a predictable fashion, Luthor turns on Superman and tells Zod of the
plan. Zod insists that Superman go into the chamber. Luthor initiates
the chamber's action and a red glow fills the room; a seemingly penitent
Superman moves slowly before Zod. Superman kneels. Zod extends his hand
and Superman takes it and crushes it. The crack of the bones is heard
only above Zod's screams as Superman crushes Zod's hand. Superman
smiles, lifts Zod above his head and throws him across the Fortress
where he hits a wall and falls into a crevasse. Non tries to fly off,
and having lost his powers, can only grunt as he falls into a second
crevasse. Seizing the opportunity to now vent her frustrations, Lois
punches Ursa who falls into a third crevasse.
Luthor realized that Superman had rearranged the chamber and protecting
himself this time. Luthor is amazed that Superman has turned the tides
and tries to quickly cover himself. With Luthor chattering on, Superman
leaves Luthor standing in the Arctic and flies Lois back to Metropolis.
The two are quiet for most of the flight. On Lois's balcony, the two
lovers glance at each other, not knowing what is to happen next.
Superman turns, and flies quietly away.
The next morning, repairs are being made to the Planet offices, when
Clark takes off his ill-fitting hat and enters Lois' cubicle. No one
seems to have noticed that Clark was absent last night. Lois looks
horrible. She has been crying all night. Clark carefully wipes away her
tears, and lovingly, tenderly kisses Lois. The kiss miraculously erases
the memory of the last few days. Lois is then confused, but undaunted,
resuming as if nothing has happened. She asks Clark to get her a
hamburger. Clark whines. But he dutifully leaves to get the food,
looking over his shoulder only to see that the woman he loves has been
spared her pain. She then asks her secretary what is going on with the
In the Alaskan Diner, Rocky is still bullying the occupants once again.
Everyone is surprised to see Clark open the door. He points to Rocky and
tells him that he is sitting in his favorite seat. Rocky is ready to
fight over it and tries to strike first, but only the bones of his own
hand crack when he hits Clark in the stomach. Clark lifts him onto the
stool, spins him around and sends him down the counter into a pin-ball
machine. Clark apologizes to the unbelieving, open-mouthed owners and
gives him money for repairs.
With the American flag held firmly in both hands, Superman flies to the White House. Standing above the shattered roof, he looks down at the President and the Joint Chiefs. "I'm sorry I've been away so long," he says. "I won't let you down again."
Above the clouds, Superman flies over the earth keeping watch. In a graceful sweep, he flies into our line of sight. He has returned after going astray, and is now ever vigilant, always watching. He will always be there, and all is again right with the world.
Superman II originally ran 2 hours and 7 minutes in its original
theatrical form and was released on video numerous times in its
entirity. ABC-TV and CTV (Canadian) did use some of the original Donner footage (along with commercials) to expand the movie to 2 hr 30 min for television broadcast over two nights. There are some interesting differences between the two television versions. In the American version, the White House fight scene goes on for nearly 4 minutes, while that scene is no more than one minute in the CTV version. Also in the US version, Superman uses his heat vision to cook a souffle for his dinner with Lois in the Fortress while this was cut in the Canadian version. In both versions, Superman destroys the Fortress of Solitude (which somehow reappears in Superman IV) at the end of this film. However, this takes only 30 seconds in the US version, while the CTV versions uses the time it saved by cutting the White House fight scene to insert 5 minutes of important conversation between Superman and Lois as they profess their mutual love and loss to each.
Reeve's 6'4" body is sturdier than before, a result of continuing to
work out after achieving super-heroic proportions for the first movie.
And, like Reeve, the sequel is a more unified product with some people
saying it is a far better production. Robert Greenberger, Starlog #46,
Reeve still seems blissfully right as Superman (there's a disarming
tickle in his performance) and hopelessly smitten with Margot Kidder's
sassy Lois Lane. People Weekly, July 6, 1981.
All the performers are superior, with Christopher Reeve conveying more
natural & heartfelt emotions as both Superman & Clark Kent, and Margot
Kidder considerably more restrained, believable & affecting as Lois. Dale Winogura, Famous Monsters #177, September 1981.
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