Marlon Brando was paid a million bucks for a few minutes of screen time as Superman's father, Jor-el. The special effects were groundbreaking for the time. "You'll believe a man can fly," the tagline promised.
It was the first big superhero movie and, in many way, made possible all the many current superhero films, good and bad, in our theaters.
The effects now look a little cheesy, as happens. But the film otherwise holds up very well. The charming, knowing performance of Christopher Reeve is indelible.
Here's a look back at some imagery from that time: