Superman: The Movie - The "Donner" Cut

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9.8 (7)
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Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1979
Original Running Time:
144
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
144
Time Cut:
14
Time Added:
14
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The 1979 SUPERRMAN: THE MOVIE was plagued with issues during production leading to many changes which resulted in two films being released (Superman and Superman II) which significantly differed from what was originally intended; a single epic movie. As money ran out the producers changed the end of SUPERMAN to the film we now know. This now is as close to the original structure, no turning back time, no Lois gets squised, as you can get. The cliffhanger lead in to SUPERMAN II: The Donner cut or the forthcoming SUPERMAN II Extended .
Intention:
in 1978 when I bought the DC SUPERMAN SOUVENIER mag, I did not understand why there were stills in it that were not in the movie. And so began a 40 year search and desire to see what was intended.

The best account of this can be found in this LONG out of print paperback in which the author shadowed the production for a number of years leading to an astonishingly eye opening account of what went wrong...and lot went wrong. It is a miracle these films exist in the form they do frankly.
The Making of Superman the Movie: Amazon.co.uk: david-michael-petrou: 9780446825658: Books
Additional Notes:
This is meant to be what Superman The Movie WOULD have looked like had the producers not panicked and gone for the cliffhanger ending. The intention is that THIS is the film to watch BEFORE SUPERMAN II: THE DONNER CUT (S2DC). It has the least changes, additions and trims and stays true to the intent and feel of the Theatrical Cut but with the "Donner" intended structure per the book above. It is edited to be a perfect lead into the commercially available Superman II, the Donner Cut. Many select additions and corrections were made throughout. This is basically the closest you can get to what the original intention was.
Other Sources:
SUPERMAN CD SCORE
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
The base of this edit is the Theatrical Cut of Superman The Movie: Theatrical Cut (STM-TC), NOT the extended versions, though a few shots/scenes are included. The run time is IDENTICAL to the Theatrical version DESPITE a lot of new scenes and changes being included. I wanted to prove that they could have hit the run time they had WITH the material and cliffhanger. Where did the space come from to include these extras? see below. The idea is that is should feel the same as the TC but and flow seamlessly to S2DC, thus preserving Donners vision across BOTH films.
Cuts and Additions:
- New opening dedication so the Reeve and Unsworth are honored
- MUSIC opening removes the awful key change in the TC that occurs when the "S" flies in (source CD)
- Bespoke WRAITH credit with Stuart Baird
- Villains sentencing uses some S2DC
- A few TINY trims to Jor-El discussion with council to improve flow. Some shots re-purposed
- A new shot of Jor-El lowering Kal-El from the S2DC
- A few TINY trims to the Kryptonians in the earthquake
- Villains in zone shot added from Superman Extended TV version (TV)
- Additional shot of crater from TV
- Clarke chasing train completely re-edited to remove multiple continuity errors (including a shot where Lois is seen to speak, and we hear nothing) - See below for clip.
- Young Clarke approach to barn to get crystal uses some additional TV shots
- TINY trim in Daily Planet at end of Clarkes first day. Scene fely like it naturally ends when he sits.
- Cat rescue removed
- "Can you read my mind" trimmed by 1 minute. VERY hard to pull off. Scene went on for too long. Full audio and scoring rebuild needed. A shorter unused cue was use as the base
- A re-edit of the Extended approach to Luthor's lair is used with an unused cue meant for the scene. Everything is tightened up but it is new to the TC
- First missile flies towards zone as Superman flies back to earth
- We see Jimmy run from rocks from Extended version
- TINY trims to a few bad FX shots
- Lois is NOT crushed
- As Superman flies away from the prison, the phantom zone is destroyed.
- NEXT YEAR SUPERMAN II relocated
and many many more...
- Revised the end credits "coming next year Superman II" to Superman II THE DONNER CUT" in the correct font using the same technique as in Godfather Magnum Opus
Finally, Changes NOT made to this version include....
- NO material from Superman Returns
- NO Feeding the babies
- NO score enhancements
- NO modern DC intro
- NO modern WB logo
- NO revisionist credits in CGI
- NO net addition to the original theatrical run time, yet added 12 mins of material for no discernable loss.
demo fan mashup s c

Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1979
Original Running Time:
144
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
144
Time Cut:
14
Time Added:
14
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The 1979 SUPERRMAN: THE MOVIE was plagued with issues during production leading to many changes which resulted in two films being released (Superman and Superman II) which significantly differed from what was originally intended; a single epic movie. As money ran out the producers changed the end of SUPERMAN to the film we now know. This now is as close to the original structure, no turning back time, no Lois gets squised, as you can get. The cliffhanger lead in to SUPERMAN II: The Donner cut or the forthcoming SUPERMAN II Extended .
Intention:
in 1978 when I bought the DC SUPERMAN SOUVENIER mag, I did not understand why there were stills in it that were not in the movie. And so began a 40 year search and desire to see what was intended.

The best account of this can be found in this LONG out of print paperback in which the author shadowed the production for a number of years leading to an astonishingly eye opening account of what went wrong...and lot went wrong. It is a miracle these films exist in the form they do frankly.
The Making of Superman the Movie: Amazon.co.uk: david-michael-petrou: 9780446825658: Books
Additional Notes:
This is meant to be what Superman The Movie WOULD have looked like had the producers not panicked and gone for the cliffhanger ending. The intention is that THIS is the film to watch BEFORE SUPERMAN II: THE DONNER CUT (S2DC). It has the least changes, additions and trims and stays true to the intent and feel of the Theatrical Cut but with the "Donner" intended structure per the book above. It is edited to be a perfect lead into the commercially available Superman II, the Donner Cut. Many select additions and corrections were made throughout. This is basically the closest you can get to what the original intention was.
Other Sources:
SUPERMAN CD SCORE
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
The base of this edit is the Theatrical Cut of Superman The Movie: Theatrical Cut (STM-TC), NOT the extended versions, though a few shots/scenes are included. The run time is IDENTICAL to the Theatrical version DESPITE a lot of new scenes and changes being included. I wanted to prove that they could have hit the run time they had WITH the material and cliffhanger. Where did the space come from to include these extras? see below. The idea is that is should feel the same as the TC but and flow seamlessly to S2DC, thus preserving Donners vision across BOTH films.
Cuts and Additions:
- New opening dedication so the Reeve and Unsworth are honored
- MUSIC opening removes the awful key change in the TC that occurs when the "S" flies in (source CD)
- Bespoke WRAITH credit with Stuart Baird
- Villains sentencing uses some S2DC
- A few TINY trims to Jor-El discussion with council to improve flow. Some shots re-purposed
- A new shot of Jor-El lowering Kal-El from the S2DC
- A few TINY trims to the Kryptonians in the earthquake
- Villains in zone shot added from Superman Extended TV version (TV)
- Additional shot of crater from TV
- Clarke chasing train completely re-edited to remove multiple continuity errors (including a shot where Lois is seen to speak, and we hear nothing) - See below for clip.
- Young Clarke approach to barn to get crystal uses some additional TV shots
- TINY trim in Daily Planet at end of Clarkes first day. Scene fely like it naturally ends when he sits.
- Cat rescue removed
- "Can you read my mind" trimmed by 1 minute. VERY hard to pull off. Scene went on for too long. Full audio and scoring rebuild needed. A shorter unused cue was use as the base
- A re-edit of the Extended approach to Luthor's lair is used with an unused cue meant for the scene. Everything is tightened up but it is new to the TC
- First missile flies towards zone as Superman flies back to earth
- We see Jimmy run from rocks from Extended version
- TINY trims to a few bad FX shots
- Lois is NOT crushed
- As Superman flies away from the prison, the phantom zone is destroyed.
- NEXT YEAR SUPERMAN II relocated
and many many more...
- Revised the end credits "coming next year Superman II" to Superman II THE DONNER CUT" in the correct font using the same technique as in Godfather Magnum Opus
Finally, Changes NOT made to this version include....
- NO material from Superman Returns
- NO Feeding the babies
- NO score enhancements
- NO modern DC intro
- NO modern WB logo
- NO revisionist credits in CGI
- NO net addition to the original theatrical run time, yet added 12 mins of material for no discernable loss.
Cover art by Wraith (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

demo fan mashup s c

User reviews

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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(7)
Audio Editing
 
9.9(7)
Visual Editing
 
9.7(7)
Narrative
 
9.9(7)
Enjoyment
 
9.9(7)
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(Updated: November 13, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I've already watched the 'epic' cut by Wraith, which combines Superman I and II as it was the original intention by Richard Donner. This cut is essentially the first part of that edit, as it follows the original Donner's narrative on the events of Superman I. So, it is the ideal companion to the Donner's edit of Superman II (or similar fanedits). Gone are the duplicate time travel sequence and the fate of General Zod & Co. is shown as a link to the events in Donner's Superman II.

Editing is, as always, top notch. I also appreciated that this version of the cut maintains the original sequence fo the Kripton's destruction, instead of using the too-CGI scene from Superman Returns used in the Epic cut. I think this fits better with the visuals of the movie.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
J
Top 500 Reviewer 10 reviews
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(Updated: June 09, 2023)
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I viewed Superman: The Movie - Donner Cut and it was absolutely fantastic. This is the definitive version of the film to be viewed with Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, making a fantastic 2-part adventure as it may have been conceived had Richard Donner stayed attached to the project through to its release. Amazing work, Wraith!
As a side note, this was my first experience on the site, and Wraith was very kind and welcoming so not only a great edit but a great guy!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
K
1 reviews
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(Updated: March 23, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Amazing edit, with no noticeable cuts or jumps. Ever since I saw the superior Donner cut of Superman 2, I've wanted a version of Superman 1 that fixes the inconsistencies between the two. This version does that, nearly to perfection. The only change I'd make is, since Lois doesn't die, there's little reason for her and Jimmy to travel West for the story, which really doesn't add to the narrative anyhow. We know what Luther is doing, as he's monologued to Superman. Her being in danger adds nothing as well. Plus, her realizing that Clark could be Superman at the end of the movie creates an inconsistency, as she has the same epiphany at the beginning of Superman 2. I don't fault the editor, as the intention is to get as close as possible to the film as originally intended by Donner.

Overall, a fantastic edit, with the only change I'd make for sure is cutting Lois realizing that Clark could be Superman, and the one I'd possibly make is removing Lois and Jimmy from traveling West. But neither of these inclusions takes away from the great experience of the edit.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
L
1 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Another great achievement, have long wondered what Donner's original vision would have looked like. I think I still prefer the original theatrical cut however, if for no reason other than the fact that it left a great impression on me when I first saw it at a young age and remains one of my favourite films, in my view still the peak of superhero cinema.

Some of the cuts and changes work particularly well (especially the trimmed down "Can you read my mind?"), but I do find myself missing bits like the cat rescue (showing how Superman doesn't consider some tasks beneath him) and turning back time: the absence of the latter is of course essential to this edit, but (in comparison to the original) it does feel to me a touch anti-climactic. There are a few noticeable "errors" inherent to the source that do distract me briefly (albeit I am fairly familiar with the source and was watching with a fine-tooth comb), maybe these could be addressed in an update?

Overall though, it seems that a piece of "what could have been" history hitherto missing has been found, thanks Wraith for "finding" it!

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Yes
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Digital
P
Top 50 Reviewer 84 reviews
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(Updated: October 03, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
The superman films were a big part of my childhood, watched many a time, less so as I got older but still present.

one of the last times I watched Superman was when I bought the epic 188 minute tv version, imported. it's didn't quite hit the same way as the special edition extended cut did. But I appreciate it's importance in terms of restoration and in wide screen *when we would have likely watched Pan and Scan version on tv back in the day) Anyway I digress.

Wraith has done a fantastic Job with this edit from a narrative standpoint. Krypton has always been one of my least favourite parts of the film and though some time is spent on it, it seems like only necessary time was spent here. maybe I'm misremembering but the destruction sequence seemed about 3 times longer when I was younger.

Onto young Clark, I always liked Jeff East - though its's hard to judge his performance when Reeves rerecorded his lines. I still am not fond of the train sequence as it doesn't look like he 's physically running faster than the train but that's not a visual fault I'd expect a fanedit to fix. We don't spend too much time with teen Clark overall, and I think that's the thing it's an hour before we see Reeve in the costume. The first hour just pretty much flies by. One thing I love about the first scene with the establishing shot of the Daily planet is the Fruit vendor outside, it just helps set up that that part of the Donner cut in II.
Things play out mostly as remembered for a while until the heroic deeds montage.- it was later where I was thinking about the cat in the tree and had to come back to the cutlist to check if it had been cut or if I was misremembering it as a sequence in Superman II. I didn't mind the scene for the reason that it shows Superman will take time out of being super to help someone with a problem no matter how small, but given how vicious the cat seems and the fact the girl gets smacked for "telling lies" I guess the bad reasons outweigh the good.
I loved that the date scene was shorter, again only a minute but what a difference that minute made. I'd love a revised version without any of Lois' inner monologue lol.
I couldn't remember the entirety of Lex's scheme, I remembered the car crash and the bridge, but not the squabbling in the ambulance in between.
Also I couldn't remember if Superman's makeshift dam was part of the theatrical cut or the special edition. The one thing I remember specifically being from the SE was the bullets ,fire and ice traps outside of Lex's base. On the one hand you wonder why he'd even bother trying, but on the flipside of that is maybe he wouldn't want Superman to be suspicious if he just arrived without any form of hindrance.

It's rare to find edits for Superman: The movie, I think the last one I watched years ago was the Up Up and Away edition which similarly truncated the time reversal and had Lois car simply stall- that's all I remember about that particular edit. I think the pacing here was great throughout. There was one part I forget where that had a little writing in the lower right corner, I thought it was a hiccup with the editing software but Wraith has confirmed this was intentional to confirm the source of the footage. I've amended the review to reflect this.

That small error aside, this was a great revisit to a beloved childhood franchise and made for a fantastic Sunday afternoon experience.
Thank you Wraith

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Format Watched?
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