Superman IV: The Quest For Cash
- NTSC DVD-9
- Cut in deleted footage of Superman's visit to little Jeremy's school (overlaying re-used footage of Superman leaving New Yo.. err, Metropolis, to replace unfinished effects shot).
- Inserted deleted footage of Luthor cooking up his genetic goop.
- Deleted the whole bit of Lois coming to Clark's apartment and their subsequent flight and amnesia kiss. I really hate this scene. It reminds us of the "can you read my mind" flight in SMTMP and Lester's amnesia kiss in SM2, both of which are much better movies than SM4. The last thing this movie needs to do is remind us of two better Superman movies. And besides, the years had not been too kind to Margot Kidder (not that they were any better to Chris Reeve a few years later), so I felt it better just to delete this whole bit.
- Re-purposed footage of Clark Kent watching Soviet Premiere on TV, juggling the footage a bit, to help explain Clark's decision to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
- Cut the first US missile launch and moved the Russian missile launch and Superman's disposal of the weapons to later in the film. I felt that two US missile launches (the later one carrying Luthor's genetic goop) were a bit redundant, so I've deleted the first launch and saved the Russian missile launch and Superman hurtling the bunch of missiles into the sun for later).
- After the launch of the missile carrying Luthor's genetic goop, cut the last shot of Superman hurtling the lone missile into the sun and insert a flipped cut of the last shot of Superman guiding the first US missile into space, followed by the Russian missile launch and Superman's disposal of the bunch of missiles.
- After the missiles explode in the sun, cut in the birth of Nuclear Man and subsequent footage.
- Deleted shot of Nuclear Man levitating and spinning Lenny. This shot really sucks.
- Deleted destruction and repair of the Great Wall of China. Really?
- After Lois's visit to the sick Clark, cut in the deleted footage of Luthor selling arms to the Russians (love the shoe pounding on the table bit) and the US.
- Cut in additional deleted footage of Clark's advance sickness and exit from kitchen to rooftop (trimming a bit in the middle).
- After Nuclear Man sees Lacy's picture, cut in scene of Lacy and Warfield at the Daily Planet, followed by Nuclear Man's abduction of Lacy.
- Cut in deleted footage of Lacy and Luthor confronting Nuclear Man in Luthor's lair and subsequent footage.
- After Superman's somewhat callous use of Lacy as "bait" in the cut-in footage, Superman returns Lacy to Metropolis, followed by NM. We then cut to the Battle of Metropolis.
- Deleted NM levitating pedestrians during the Battle of Metropolis and Superman de-levitating them back to the sidewalk. Another shot that is just too silly.
- After Superman digs himself out of the hole on the Moon (yes, I kept the fight on the Moon and Superman digging himself out of the hole on the Moon--I know there's no air on the Moon and he's breathing heavy, but there is an infinitesimal atmosphere on the Moon, and if anyone can breath it, Superman can), deleted all visual cues that NM had taken Lacy into space. I really hate Lacy in space. I deleted a couple of redundant shots of Superman moving the Moon into a solar eclipse in order to lose the footage of NM carrying Lacy away from the Earth and pasted over re-used footage of Superman returning Lacy to Metropolis and then flying back from Metropolis to retrieve the depowered NM. The only shot left of Lacy against a star field is during the solar eclipse, when it would be dark and you could see the stars anyway.
- After Perry White tells Warfield that he has bought the Daily Planet out from under him, I cut in the deleted footage of Lacy and Clark saying goodbye in the Taxi. This is a really sweet scene that should have been left in the release version of the film, IMO.
- During Superman's final orbital flyby after returning Luthor to the prison work crew, I cut in deleted footage of the cosmonauts waiving at Superman because why not. It makes a good bookend matching the start of the film.
I am an apologist for this movie. Don't ask why, I don't think I could give you a reasonable answer. It's just one of those films I have all day for...possibly because I've tinkered with editing it so many times myself on-and-off. This is the latest stab by an editor in trying to make Superman IV less patchy and more presentable, and a few hard audio cuts aside, it serves it's purpose.
Choice highlights include some insight into how Lex cooks up the soup required to create Nuclear Man, the creative decisions with Supes dealing with the U.S and Russian missiles, and the insertion of several deleted scenes that add urgency, motivation, and even a lot of actually funny humor, to scenes in the official version that make the film a bit more tolerable.
Superman IV will never soar quite as high as any of us would like it to, it does'nt have quite the parts for that, but despite having no wings, this edit takes off from the ground rather than senselessly jumps off a building.
So, this is the first Superman IV edit I've plucked up the courage to watch. Well, not counting Adigitalman's Superman Redeemed that is. I was intrigued by Billy's cutlist, as it more or less would be the way in which I would approach an edit on this maligned disaster of a movie and on the whole I was thoroughly entertained.
I remember seeing Superman IV on its initial release, the same year as Universal unleashed the mighty Jaws The Revenge.... wow, what a year for movies huh? At the time I was pretty crushed in how cheap the movie looked in comparison to the previous movies, but that hasn't stopped me watching it numerous times since. I still get a kick out of seeing Christopher Reeve in the title role, not to mention seeing Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure and Margot Kidder back one more time. However, there's no denying how much of a missed opportunity this is. Reeve's nuclear weapon's crisis storyline actually has a lot going for it. You can tell it's heartfelt, even though the way in which the message is executed is pretty heavy handed and seems a perfect moral tale to end the series with. It's just a shame that half the budget was cut and that the effects are for the most part, well, very cheap looking indeed.
As Billy states, there's no real saving this movie in terms of making this stand beside Superman I or II, but what he has done here with this workprint style edit, is present a much more coherent version which is certainly better than the theatrical print. Whilst some of the deleted footage is inserted a little clumsily, including one hard audio cut which brings a little too much attention to itself, on the whole it works skillfully in adding more meat onto the bones of what was a very convoluted last third act of the film. I particularly enjoyed Lex's scene in Moscow, and also the deleted footage which certainly adds more weight to what happens between Lacy and Nuclear Man. That was always a real problem with the original version and Billy's work here certainly improves this.
The work around restructuring the scene when Superman actually gets rid of the nuclear weapons and then the birth of Nuclear Man are much improved too. Big kudos to the work during that sequence.
I also adored the missing scene where Lacy says goodbye to Clark in the taxi at the end. A really lovely scene that definitely deserved to stay in the film.
Oh, and thank you sooooo much for deleted the Clark and Lois flying scene. It's probably the worst scene of the movie for the exact reasons you explain in your cutlist.
Overall then this is vast improvement on the theatrical cut. The fact that the inserted deleted scenes are that much lower in quality, even including some unfinished special effects, means this is truly a workprint style fan edit, but don't let that stop you viewing it. Recommended to all Superman fans.