The graphics that open this second part of the Superman DVD documentaries are obviously from the same team that produced the DVD menus, so at first you are not quite sure if you are watching the featurette or have somehow reverted back to the start page of the DVD. But narrator Marc McLure is still walking around the Warner Brothers lot and everybody is reintroduced for the benefit of people who chose to watch this one before 'Taking Flight': The Development of 'Superman'.
If the first documentary turned into a tribute to the strength of Christopher Reeve halfway through, this one celebrates Dick Donner and the fact that he was directing two monumental pictures simultaneously and then got fired when the first part became a hit. Apparently the only way for Donner to keep everybody laughing and himself sane was by laying dolly tracks in the morning to give him time to think. Since they only had the presence of Brando and Hackman for a strictly scheduled amount of time, all their scenes for parts one and two had to be shot at the same time. This makes you wonder if they will ever release the Donner version of Superman II with all the Brando scenes reinstated.
Everybody involved recalls the work of the late cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth, who made Margot feel more beautiful than ever before or since. When discussing the costumes, that Kidder has fun recalling the ongoing debate about Superman's equipment (cod peace that is). Also mentioned is Donners turbulent but fruitful relationship in the editing suite with Stuart Baird and John Williams is praised for his uplifting score (well, he was nigh unbeatable between the years 1975 to 1982).
Having run out of money, and with only half of part two in the can, WB was rushing to get the picture out by Christmas '78. They released a teaser trailer made up out of clouds shot from the nose of a plane (obviously inspired by the Jaws trailers). This turns out to be the origin of those almost illegible swooping credits that make the opening of all 4 Superman pictures seem even longer than they really were (but still not as headache inducing as Star Trek First Contact's title sequence). Richard Lester, who took over the directors chair on part two, is never mentioned. While our cape's still a flutter, lets move on to the third documentary on this DVD, 'The Magic behind the cape'.
8 out of 10
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