There's a brand new movie retelling Superman's origins, coming to theaters this weekend. But we'll always have a warm place in our hearts for Superman: The Movie... even though bits of it are hella bizarre. Here are the 12 weirdest moments from Superman's first ever movie.
1) Brando's valium acting
It's kind of great that they were able to get Brando to be in this movie at all, but yeesh. He seems kind of out of it, especially in the scenes with Lara and baby Kal. He's doing sort of a Shatnerian thing of taking a long... pause... between words. But he just seems too mellow for a guy who's sending his only son off to a barbaric planet.
2) The Enforcer guy
I think this guy is only on the extended Blu-ray cut. The Kryptonian council send him to stop Jor-El. He looks pretty badass, and there's a lot of talk about how he'll totally sort Jor-El out. And then WE NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. He's like the Boba Fett of the Superman movies.
3) Kal-El listens to books on tape
While Kal is flying to Earth, he gets lots of instruction in his space capsule, including stuff like "You're flying through six different galaxies, and each one of them has its own laws of space and time." Which, I don't know what that means.
And even though he's learning about the knowledge of 28 different galaxies — and Jor-El later says he will have been dead for thousands of years by the time Kal-El reaches Earth — most of the lessons are about China and Albert Einstein:
Maybe they just wanted to have a baby flying through cosmic stuff, because they still remembered how cool the final reel of 2001 was.
Later, when Kal-El is almost grown up, he gets a second course, lasting a dozen years this time.
They fly through different galaxies (in his mind, I guess) and it takes them a whole year just to understand the human heart:
4) Clark goads Pa Kent into having a heart attack
First Clark bugs Pa Kent about not knowing his place in the world, and Pa Kent tries to invent a reason out of thin air why Clark might be here on Earth, then just gives up:
"I dunno. A reason, okay?"
And then Clark forces Pa, who we've been told has a huge heart condition, to go jogging.
This leads immediately to Pa's fatal heart attack.
5) The first reaction to Superman's public appearance
For some reason, a pimp is hanging out at the Daily Planet offices, with a couple of ladies in hotpants, and he gets the very first comment on Superman's costume.
6) Random authority figure gives Superman some approval
Almost the last shot of the movie is this prison warden intoning, "This country is safe again, Superman. Thanks to you!"
7) Superman causes child abuse
The girl whose kitty Superman rescues gets audibly smacked by her mom for "telling lies" about flying men. What's really sad is that Superman can probably still hear what's going on down there, thanks to his super-hearing, but he just doesn't care that much.
8) Miss Teschmacher's Best Moment
She has some great outfits in the movie, but this is the best one. Note the big cigarette holder, and sparkly cape. Also, she sasses Lex with total aplomb.
Plus he uses his fake clumsiness to execute this little maneuver:
10) The "Flying Around the World" Solution.
Leaving aside that Superman breaks some arbitrary rule about violating history — there's just the fact that after this, he can use his "flying backwards in time" power to fix any disaster before it happens.
Also, after Superman saves Lois, he leaves her standing on the same road she died on the first time around — and she stands around near her car for a very long time, because he didn't bother to warn her that this stretch of road is about to burst open any minute. (He didn't go back in time far enough to dispose of the missile, just far enough to get Lois out of her car.)
11) The Clouds Yelling at Superman
When he's about to fly around the world and make time go backwards, he hears Jor-El's voice warning him that this is a bad idea. The way he glances around as if he thinks the actual clouds are yelling at him is kind of amazing.
12) Lois' Poem
As Lois flies around with Superman, she recites a poem in her head. It goes:
Can you read my mind?
Do you know what it is that you do to me?
I don't know who you are.
Just a friend from another star.
Here I am, like a kid out of school.
Holding hands with a god. I'm a fool.
Will you look at me? Quivering.
Like a little girl, shivering.
You can see right through me
Can you read my mind?
Can you picture the things I'm thinking of?
Wondering why you are
All the wonderful things you are.
You can fly!
You belong in the sky!
You and I
Could belong to each other.
If you need a friend
I'm the one to fly to
If you need to be loved
Here I am!
Read my mind.