Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman

Synopsis: In 1938, two aspiring comic strip talents, Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster, published a character that would create a new genre of fantasy, Superman, the first superhero. This film explores the creation of the character and his subsequent evolution over the decades through various media. With various interviews of noted creative luminaries, the film shows how the character has adapted to the times and bounced back from times when he felt irrelevant to always regain his prominence as one of the great heroes of popular culture.
Director(s): Kevin Burns
Production: Warner Home Video
115 min


-Up in the sky.

-It's a bird.

-It's a plane.

It's, it's--

Superman, Superman, Superman,

Superman, Superman!

You wanted to see me?

He was the world's

first comic-book superhero.

The fearless man

in blue tights with a red cape...

...and an S stretched

boldly across his chest.

My dad would give a dime to buy

every new issue of Superman.

Superman made

a big impact on me. . .

. . .and I guess on most of the people

who read them.

For more than 60 years,

Superman has been everything.

From a comic book to a cartoon,

to a movie star.

Easy, miss, I've got you.

Everybody when they talk about

Superman as part of their childhood. . .

. . .glows about why it's

such a great character.

Look, Superman.

I first saw Superman on television,

in George Reeves' TV series.

I just loved it.

I guess it was the idea of flying.

George Reeves would run up

and bounce out the window.

I would try to mimic that.

I mean who didn't?

Some have seen Superman

as a mythic symbol of hope...

...strength and moral certainty...

... while others would simply call him

a pop-culture phenomenon.

-It's not like I asked to be famous.

-Yeah, well, it's the price you pay.

Throughout his history, heirs found

himself in touch with the times...

...and occasionally out of fashion.

Forget it, Superman,

you just do your thing.

Right on.

Lois is in danger.

I'm going to split.

But Superman continues to endure...

...as generation after generation

have come to know him.

I watched the Justice League

cartoon on television.

That was really my exposure

to Superman.

Thank you for flying

Superman Airlines.

And with its new generation,

Superman continues to challenge...

...our collective notion

of what it means to be a hero.

There is always a time for heroes.

It's the spirit of Superman.

Someone that people can aspire to be.

The guy down the street

wanted to be a sports jock.

I wanted to save Metropolis.

It's about having a hero

who swoops down and saves you. . .

. . .who looks pretty good too.

He enables you to do everything humanly

possible that we all wanted to do.

It's the greatest fantasy in the world.

According to the comic books,

Superman began life as baby Kal-El.

Born on the distant planet of Krypton.

But Superman

was actually conceived...

...in the imaginations

of two teenage boys...

...from Cleveland, Ohio.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster...

...both the sons of Jewish immigrants.

When they met at

Glenville High School in 1931...

... the two teenagers were shy loners

with a shared interest...

...in adventure, science-fiction

pulp magazines...

...and comic strips.

Jerry wrote articles

for his school newspaper.

Joe was an artist who enjoyed

illustrating Jerry's work.

A powerful partnership was forged.

They were about 16 years ode.

They just connected

and came up with this idea.

Jerry would write stories,

Joe would draw them. . .

. . .and they would try to make it

as comic-strip guys.

comic artists at that time were

celebrities and miIIionaires.

But Jerry and Joe's dreams

of fame and fortune collided...

. . . with the economic despair and political

uncertainty of the Great Depression.

A time when Americans


... whether their way of life

could even survive.

In 1932 Jerry and Joe

created a mail-order periodical...

... they called Science Fiction.

It was just a little mimeographed

periodical about 8 or 10 pages.

And inside it was the story caIIed

''Reign of the Superman. ''

Appearing in January of 1933 the

''Reign of the Superman'' told the story...

...of a bald madman

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