Cast and Crew: Sidney J. Furie (Director), Yorham Globus and Mennahem Golan (Producers); Alexander Courage (Score); Jackie Cooper, Mark McClure, Sam Wannamaker, John Cryer, Mariel Hemingway, Margot Kidder, William Hootkins, Jim Broadbent
What It’s About: Spurred to action by a kid’s letter asking him to save us from ourselves, Superman (Christopher Reeve) throws all the nuclear weapons in the world into the sun. Everything is going wonderfully until Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) uses some of Superman’s DNA to make his own, nuclear powered Superman clone. Will Superman be able to defeat Luthor once again?
Why Watch it Today?: Nuclear arms reductions were announced today in 1987, and Superman IV, released in July of 1987, sought to cash in on the zeitgeist-the feeling that finally something was being done to, if not end, at least reduce the nuclear terror that the world was living under since the arms race began. Of course, that doesn’t mean it was a good movie, just one that would be instantly dated. Were that the worst of its crimes! Superman IV is the hilariously pathetic end to the Superman franchise, a cheap cash grab put out by Cannon Films, experts at putting out sequels to failing franchises that maximized profits by minimizing budgets and serving the audience a flaming hunk of cheese.