Believe A Man Can Fly With These ‘Superman’ Quotes

Directed by Richard Donner, and starring notables like Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman alongside Christopher Reeve, 1978’s Superman paved the way for the popularity of superhero movies for decades to come. Though it veered away slightly from the comic origins of Superman as established by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, many of the changes would later be incorporated into the Superman mythos, like the “S” being the El family crest, the crystalline technology of Krypton, and the characters of Ursa and Non. It’s one of the few comic movies that fans can generally agree to love, and with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more memorable lines from the film.

“Easy, miss. I’ve got you.” — Superman
“You… you’ve got me? Who’s got you?” — Lois Lane

In his first rescue as Superman in Metropolis, he makes quite the impression. Rescuing a dangling Lois Lane from a crashed helicopter, Superman not only gives the crowd below something to talk about, but leaves Lois feeling a little faint.

“No matter that it takes an eternity, you will bow down before me! Both you, and then one day, your heirs!” — General Zod

Solidifying Zod as a villain not to be fooled with, these lines and this monologue really drive home how taken he is with his own evil intentions. Not only does he swear vengeance on Jor-El, but on his heirs, too. Maybe a bit of heavy-handed foreshadowing, but it still sets the tone nicely for just how intense Zod is.

“There’s one thing I do know, son, and that is you are here for a reason. I don’t know whose reason, or whatever the reason is. But I do know one thing. It’s not to score touchdowns.” — Jonathan Kent

This is a touching moment early in the film, showing all the love and care that Jonathan Kent has for his adopted son. It’s only made better/worse by the fact that he almost immediately has a heart attack afterwards.

“All those things I can do. All those powers. And I couldn’t even save him.” — Clark Kent

Even when you’re the strongest being on the planet, death can still catch you by surprise. This scene robs Superman of yet another parent, but helps fuel his desire to do good in the world. Though a departure from comic canon at the time, it would go on to be incorporated in different origins for the character and in other movies.

“Miss Teschmacher, how many girls do you know who have a Park Avenue address like this one?” — Lex Luthor

“A Park Avenue address? Two hundred feet below?” — Miss Teschmacher

The Luthor/Teschmacher dynamic was one that often resulted in a lot of laughs as the megalomaniacal Luthor laid out his often ridiculous ideas to the practical Teschmacher. In fairness, though, who wouldn’t want an underground lair?

“Remember us, son. Always remember us.” — Martha Kent

Though he’s an alien from a faraway planet, Clark Kent is very human because of the way the Kents raised him. As long as Clark keeps that in mind, Superman will always be a symbol of hope.

“I’m here to fight for truth, and justice, and the American way.” — Superman
“[laughs] You’re gonna end up fighting every elected official in this country!” — Lois Lane

This line probably got quite a few laughs back then. It’d probably hit a little too close to home nowadays.

“They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.” — Jor-El

There have always been a lot of similarities between Superman and Jesus Christ in the comics. If the Superman/Jesus parallels weren’t already obvious to people, this line from Jor-El would’ve certainly drove home the message.

“We all have our little faults. Mine’s in California.” — Lex Luthor

As with any good villain, Lex outlined his whole diabolical plan to Superman before defeating him and leaving him to die. As with all the best villains, he leaves Superman to die after telling him a terrible pun.

“That’s a bad outfit! Whoo!” — Pimp 

Proving that even pimps love Superman’s outfit.