The DVD of Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II has been released. I loved it. I was never a big fan of the original version, which was completed and partly reshot by Dick Lester. I thought it had way too much slapstick humour (a Lester trademark) and played rather too fast and loose with the Superman legend. Superman the Movie, on the other hand, was a masterpiece, so it’s great to finally get to see something approaching what Donner would have done had he been allowed to finish the film.

It’s not perfect. It runs a little on the short side; around 90 minutes, if you ignore the repeated sequences on Krypton, and maybe lacks a little of the epic quality of the first film. As Donner never shot everything he wanted to, I suspect the new version lacks at least one major set piece. He was reluctant to use Lester’s material, and I can understand why, but that does leave a hole or two. It is marvelous, though, to see Marlon Brando again as Jor-El, in never-before-seen material. He was worth every penny of his vast fee.

Silver Age fans should rejoice in the Donner cut as Lois behaves just as she did in her solo series. In order to prove Clark Kent is Superman, she throws herself out of the window of the high rise Daily Planet newsroom. Thwarted there, she later shoots Clark point blank with a revolver! That’s our Lois, oh yes!! Fabulous.