The Man of Steel crusades for nuclear disarmament and meets Lex Luthor's latest creation, Nuclear Man.
Release Year: 1987
Rating: 3.5/10 (18,867 voted)
Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder
Superman does a lot in his newest adventure. Archvillain Lex Luthor, determined to make the world safe for nuclear arms merchants, creates a new being to challenge the Man of Steel: the radiation-charged Nuclear Man. The two super-powered foes clash in an explosive screen extranvaganza that sees Superman save the Statue of Liberty, repulse a volcanic eruption of Mount Etna, rebuild the demolished Great Wall of China and perform many more spetactular feats.
Writers: Christopher Reeve, Lawrence Konner
Jean Pierre Dubois
Nuclear Power. In the best hands, it is dangerous. In the hands of Lex Luthor, it is pure evil. This is Superman's greatest battle. And it is for all of us.
WB Home Entertainment – DVD site |
Release Date: 24 July 1987
Filming Locations: Aldwych Underground Station, Aldwych, Holborn, London, England, UK
Box Office Details
Did You Know?
Wes Craven was set to direct, but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve.
When Superman pushes the moon out of orbit to stop Nuclear Man, he pushes either black lava rock or black granite. The Moon is gray, unless he was pushing a crater, in which case the ground and hills around it would still be gray.
You can sing later comrade Sinatra.
Back at home they told me to sing in space.
How can this have happened? The first two Superman films are classics.
Even the third one has its good points. But this this fourth and final
entry into the series was horrible. There are so many things wrong with
this picture. For starters, the effects. At least now we know that
Superman has another weakness besides Kryptonite and lead: a lack of budget.
Thanks to the efforts of Golan-Globus, who were too concerned at the time
with funneling money to another mega-cheese bomb, "Masters of the Universe",
my beloved Superman can't fly anymore. He's got to be suspended by wires
now (most painfully visible when he first lands on the moon) as well as
require a moving yellow bubble around him as he travels through space. Gone
also is the ability to keep his body aerodynamically straight during flight;
Supe just lets his legs hang down at an angle behind him as he soars. The
low budget seeps through this movie like a sieve, from a single set used to
represent different locations like Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and
an Italian village, to the total elimination of chunks of script and plot
towards the end. We don't get to see Supe's gradual decline from the
effects of radiation sickness nor his recovery via the last Krypton crystal.
And why exactly is Nuclear Man after Lacy Warfield at the end? We may
never know, unless the powers that be decide to release the 'missing' 45
minutes of footage in one final attempt to justify this
And then there's the cast. I understand Christopher Reeve was all of 35
when this was made, but do you think he could have done some crunches in
preparation for this film? It's awfully disturbing to see a belly below the
red "S". Margot Kidder looks tired and weary throughout, as though she
can't even believe she's Lois Lane again. Gene Hackman's only defense for
his being stuck in the middle of this is to give a marginally redeeming
over-the-top performance. Mariel Hemingway as much as I regard her as a
very underappreciated actress, I just can't help but ask what she is doing
in a Superman movie and in a love interest with Clark Kent, at that. As
for Mark "what's an actor" Pillow, I again have to refer to the coinciding
"Masters" and can only picture G-G struggling to decide between their
prospects who to cast as He-Man and Nuclear Man. I guess we should be
grateful they didn't decide on Dolph Lundgren to play Superman's nemesis.
No, wait that would have actually made this film better! And Jon Cryer. ..why? Ducky doesn't belong in a preview for a movie shown immediately
before a Superman film. His very presence here is the final nail in the
coffin for this dog. "I'm breakdancing!"
But the thing that really upsets me about "Superman IV: The Death of a
Franchise" is what they did to the character of Clark Kent. In the other
films, he was an awkward yet charmingly simple man. Here he's an absolute
dork. Part of the reason the original "Superman" worked so well is because
you believed that a guy like Clark Kent could be a superhero. But not this
time. He is portrayed as a schmuck who doesn't know how to deal with the
advances of an attractive and influential woman. The whole double-date
sequence is utterly ridiculous. And it hurt me to see our hero floundering
in an 80s-ravaged gymnasium. The height of this travesty is reached when
Clark Kent poses in unison with a flashing neon sign in the workout room.
Poor Chris. It's a shame he didn't go out with a bang as the boy in blue.