Original Screenplay By:
Final Screenplay By:
Alexander and Ilya Salkind July, 1976
1 EXT. METROPOLIS STREET - NIGHT
CLOSE ON a crumpled piece of rubbish lying in the gutter. HOLD for a beat as it is flattened by the wheel of a pushcart. The CAMERA BEGINS A SLOW PULL BACK and we SEE a street in a city neighborhood still fighting its way out of the grips of the depression. Kids play stick ball, people stand about, out-of-work men recline on tenement stoops.
OVER this SUPERIMPOSE: METROPOLIS 1938
2 The CAMERA TRACKS UP PAST a boarded-up store window with a "For Rent" sign painted on it. PAST some trash cans being investigated by foraging dogs, PAST the stoop of a brownstone where some care has been taken to keep things neat and clean, PAST the parlor floor where we SEE a young couple bending over a crib, shaking a rattle and cooing at a new-born baby wrapped in a pink blanket. The CAMERA CONTINUES TRACKING UPWARDS PAST the roof of the brownstone.
The SOUND: CAR HORNS, RADIOS, POLICE SIRENS, recede below as the CAMERA CONTINUES its CLIMB. HIGHER AND HIGHER, PAST the skyscrapers in the distance: the Chrysler Building, the Fuller Building, and the great neon globe symbol atop the DAILY PLANET Building.
3 NEW ANGLE - HIGH LOOKING DOWN on the DAILY PLANET globe from up ABOVE. The only SOUND now is the WIND.
4 The CAMERA TILTS TOWARD the star-filled sky and the full moon, then takes off.
The CAMERA SPEEDS THROUGH the heavens PAST the moon, THROUGH the universe, TRAVELING ON, GATHERING SPEED, FURTHER and FURTHER THROUGH the limitless void, then it BURSTS THROUGH into another galaxy.
5 A minuscule red dot appears, growing larger, spreading evenly into a blazing red sun which FILLS THE SCREEN. The fiery red sun grows smaller as we FALL THROUGH space and SEE, beyond it, the planet Krypton.
6 EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF KRYPTON - DAY
As we APPROACH the white, prismatic crystalline mountains of the planet, suddenly there is an ominous RUMBLING NOISE and before our eyes, the crystals crack. Fissures appear.
We SEE a gleaming, quicksilver lake. Abruptly: more RUMBLING NOISE and large, jagged crystals rend the placid surface, surging up violently.
7 EXT. CITY OF KRYPTON - DAY
Krypton is a magical city, constructed entirely of pure white crystalline matter that encloses and protects everything from the blazing red sun. As we TRACK BACK, the futuristic glass buildings, glass skyways, tunnels and enclosed gardens, evidence of a far- advanced civilization, sudden small cracks appear in various structures. As we SEE this, we HEAR, VOICE OVER: the somber VOICES of different MEN, each saying, "No," in a firm VOICE. CAMERA CONTINUES PULLING BACK until we suddenly realize we have been seeing all this from a large picture window in:
8 INT. COUNCIL ROOM - DAY
A futuristically designed room that overlooks the city of Krypton. The room is austere, dominated by an enormous angled, black table. From somewhere inside the table itself, a series of very complicated equations appear. Seated around the table are the twelve members of the council of elders.
9 But the first glimpse of the room ENDS THE PULLBACK, as we SEE the chief FIRST ELDER who has been looking out of this picture window. As the last "No" is spoken, he turns TOWARD CAMERA, which has PULLED BACK PAST him at the window, and speaks:
No. I'm sorry, Jor-El, but the decision of
the Elders is unanimous.
ON JOR-EL, Handsome, intelligent man; great intensity about him.
(leaning forward, passionately)
But you can't ignore these facts!
(gesturing toward the
equations inside the black table)
It's suicide! Worse than that, it's genocide.
Jor-El, Be warned. This tone of
yours approaches insolence.
(a more reasonable tone)
My friends, I am not a rash, impulsive person.
I'm not given to wild, unsupported statements.
We must evacuate this planet immediately!
You are one of Krypton's greatest
scientists Jor-El -
But so is Vond-El
And it isn't that we question
your data. The facts are undeniable.
(gesturing towards the
figures inside the table)
It's your conclusions we find
I tell you this planet will
explode in thirty days.
And I tell you that Krypton is simply
shifting its orbit
You ask me to stand by while every man ,
woman, and child are destroyed.
We warn you Jor-El. This is insubordination.
The Mater is closed.
Do you agree?
ON Jor-El. There is a long beat of silence.
Do you defy the council?
I have sworn to uphold the laws of Krypton.
This discussion is terminated. The decision
of the council is final.
You will cease pursuing this matter. Any attempt
by you to continue, to create a climate of fear and
panic among the populace, will be deemed an act
And if I don't obey?
Jor-El, be reasonable.
And If I don't.
You will be banished to endless imprisonment
in the Phantom Zone - the eternal prison you
PAN TO the tabletop where a large video-type screen appears, illuminated. At first, what looks like an abstract grid pattern manifests itself, but by degrees, it sharpens into a clear image of: The Phantom Zone.
10 EXT. PHANTOM ZONE - SPACE
Imprisoned in a crystalline structure that swirls through the interstellar space void are the four huge horrifying faces of the Phantom Zone villains: the monstrous Non, the cruel General Zod, the masked visage of the beautiful raven-haired Ursa, the twisted, mocking grin of Jak-El (fuller descriptions follow later). Surrounded by massive tentacles, which both secure and monitor them, they writhe in anguish in their prison, fighting against the glass cage that pens them in eternal banishment. The impression we get is truly terrifying. Strange, MUFFLED VOICES: CRIES and HOWLS penetrate the stillness of the space void. Now the image begins to metamorphose once again into the video grid pattern as we-
11 INT. COUNCIL ROOM - DAY
The image disappears from the black tabletop. PAN UP TO Jor-El, glaring at the elders.
As an irredeemable criminal? You
compare me to them?
If you persist, you leave us no choice.
Will you abide by the Council's opinion?
I have heard your decision.
Will you abide by the Council's opinion?
Neither my wife nor I will attempt
to leave Krypton.
12 EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF CITY OF KRYPTON - DAY/NIGHT
WIDE SHOT - Jor-El's house stands bathed in a strange glow of Kryptonian night.
13 INT. JOR-EL'S LABORATORY - KRYPTON NIGHT
A large room with complicated equipment scattered everywhere. Jor-El is working on something that looks like a computer in the center of the room. LARA, Jor-El's wife enters and watches him as he places glowing crystals into the heart of the machine.
I have programmed the memory cells with
answers to the problems he will face
Lara does not seem impressed.
It's the only logical conclusion. If he remains
here, he'll be as dead as...
-- as we will be.
But why Earth, Jor-El. They're practically animals.
They are primitive, Lara, but they are not animals.
A million years behind us.
Jor-El, he's only a baby.
Their atmosphere will sustain him. He will look
like one of them.
He'll be weightless.
Yes, true. But on other worlds there would be other problems -
heat, cold, no life, no life support systems...No, Lara, believe me;
Earth is the least of evils. On Earth, his lighter gravity will render
him almost weightless - that can't be helped. But with his denser
molecular structure, he will also be strong.
(trying to see the good)
He will be fast, He will be virtually invulnerable.
He will be odd, different.
Well, physiologically, he... won't quite fit.
14 CLOSE SHOT - CONCRETE DOME - NIGHT
A sudden fissure cracks as the CAMERA TRAVELS THROUGH the window into the Council of Elders, still in session. They listen attentively to a uniformed OFFICER standing before them.
Energy input to Jor-El's personal quarters is now
Are you absolutely certain?
We were inspecting an energy shortage in his sector. Data
received indicates that the loss is due to a mis-use of energy.
Then you must investigate...
And if the investigation proves positive?
A massive jagged crack suddenly runs down the length of the huge crystal window. For a second the Elders turn, regarding it, then turn back again to business.
(sadly to officer)
Then we will have to banish Jor-El to the
15 INT. JOR-EL's LABORATORY - NIGHT
Jor-El is closing panels around the machines in the center of the room. It has taken a deltoid shape.
Lara, there isn't much time.
She turns away from him.
(patiently reasoning with her)
You still have some vestiges of primitive...
what is the word they used to say?
You've been doing some research in the archives.
I want to know what my child is going
Then you have on of those 'feelings.'
It was called: 'love.'
A sudden tremor produces an ominous CREAKING SOUND, growing LOUDER. Now a large crack appears in the wall. Instinctively, Lara runs to her husband'' arm for safety. Then, at the last second, she overcomes this "weakness" and steps back from him.
And you? Don't you feel something?
ON Jor-El - as he turns away, unable to admit the emotion he feels
16 EXT. CITY OF KRYPTON - KRYPTON DAY/NIGHT
WIDE SHOT - Three Military Men descend a long glass-enclosed walkway to an awaiting land vehicle hovering above the ground. As they take their seats, the vehicle moves quickly along the glass street approaching a tall structure with crowds of people busily rushing by. A tremor shakes the ground and a thin fissure appears on the side of a building, visible to all. No one pays any attention to this as the land vehicle continues on.
17 INT. NURSERY
Lara gently picks up a small baby from its cot. She carries it across the room, enters a glass elevator and descends.
18 EXT. CITY OF KRYPTON - NIGHT
The police vehicle races along.
19 INT. LABORATORY
The baby has been fastened in the module.
Lara reluctantly steps back as Jor-El secures and seals all openings. The baby vanishes from sight.
Pressing a series of control buttons, the module automatically slides into a larger deltoid spacecraft and is sealed in.
20 EXT. KRYPTON
The police car races along its track - as giant crystal formations, erupt, bend, crack.
21. INT. LABORATORY
A glass wall facing the capsule slides open as the capsule runs up a ramp into the launcher raised at 50 degrees. The ceiling above retracts exposing the entire room to the glow of Krypton night.
22 INT. POLICE CAR
The helmeted figures of the police as the vehicle races through the glass tunnel.
23 INT. LABORATORY
The glass wall closes. The whole room shakes in a violent tremor as Jor-El tries to get the engines fired.
24 EXT. KRYPTON
The police vehicle approaches Jor-El's house, but never reaches it. A huge tremor dislodges a mass of crystal, which crashes down onto the track and crushes the vehicle.
25 INT. LABORATORY
The tremor continues in the lab, tons of crystal begin to crash down into the room, as Jor- El frantically tries to fire the rocket.
With a last desperate effort, he lunges forward amid the tumbling debris and hits the button that IGNITES the ENGINE for take off.
26 INT. LAUNCH ROOM
The ROCKET glides off into the night as the whole house begins to collapse.
27 EXT. JOR-EL's HOUSE
The house collapses in ruins.
28 EXT. MODULE - SPACE
The space module races away from the disintegrating planet below toward the Zone of Silence.
29 EXT. ZONE OF SILENCE AND MODULE - SPACE
The four great villains, pressed against the window of their crystalline glass cage, watch the module hurtle past.
Take us with you...
30 INT. ZONE OF SILENCE CAPSULE - SPACE
Over the shoulder of the villains, the capsule heads off into the inter-galactic void.
31 EXT. ZONE OF SILENCE
The villains turn their attention to the planet Krypton, now in total ERUPTION.
The red sun eats its way into the core of the planet of Krypton, which suddenly EXPLODES and IMPLODES - leaving a vast black void and the villains forever in space.
32 EXT. MODULE - SPACE
The module drives through space to the accompaniment of a steady electronic BLEEP.
33 INT. MODULE
Several lights on the complex instrument panel flash simultaneously with the SOUND of the electronic BLEEP. A computer memory bank is repeating recorded data while machines register other space functions on graphs.
Early concepts of matter appear
in the ancient Greek philosophy. In
the fifth century, Democritus
defined a small unit as an atom,
34 EXT. MODULE - SPACE
The module voyages through space. A giant asteroid lost in the void is soaring toward the module at a tremendous speed. The module and the giant asteroid nearly collide. The module sways in the wake of the huge mass of matter spinning on and away into the void.
35 INT. MODULE
The control panels continue to flash and all gauges are stable as the COMPUTER REPEATS recorded tapes. The baby has grown in his metallic capsule with the survival tubes, instruments, and foam belts adapting to his increase in size as the years pass.
Index 19 Sonnet 101 - 'O Truant muse,
What shall be thy amends for thy neglect
of truth in beauty dy'd...?'
36 EXT. MODULE IN SPACE
Traveling through space, we SEE a tiny yellow dot that becomes larger as the module enters our universe. The yellow dot grows rapidly into a flaming yellow sun.
37 INT. MODULE
The control panel lights are flashing rapidly. The electronic BEEP quickens its squeal. The baby has grown.
Index 44. Language Syntax 5 Oriental
dialects. Ching na Kai vo...
END OF CREDITS
38 EXT. MODULE - EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE - DAY
The module enters Earth's atmosphere and we SEE the familiar astronaut's POV of the revolving globe of Earth, growing larger and larger until we can make out the recognizable shapes of land masses and oceans.
SHOTS: As the module gets closer. it seems as if it will surely land in the heart of the Soviet Union (raising the question in the audience's collective mind for the first time: what would have happened if Superman had been Russian?) but just at the last minute, the old Earth takes another spin and the rocket heads for the dead center of the United States.
39 EXT. KANSAS WHEAT FIELD - DAY
ESTABLISHING SHOT: Miles and miles of wheat waving under a cloudless sky: a feeling of broiling desolation.
ON A ROAD: A somewhat dilapidated farm pick-up truck comes chugging down the long, flat dirt road. A flatbed truck.
40 INT. CAB OF FLAT-BED TRUCK - DAY
Two people who look like they posed for Grant Wood's "American Gothic" seated in the cab of the truck. They are dressed in shiny, patched "Sunday Best" clothes, and obviously they have done their best to make the clothing presentable in spite of the odds. The man is in his late 40's, the woman in her mid 40's - their weathered faces bespeak a hard life of working the land. "Private" people who mind their business, Christian folk whose morals are as basic as the soil they till, they are JONATHAN and MARTHA KENT.
As the SCENE BEGINS, an ominous black shadow crosses the road, swiftly. At the same time:
SOUND: The WHOOSH of the SPACE MODULE coming to Earth.
Jonathan Kent reacts, startled, darting a moment to look in the direction of the NOISE, when:
SOUND: The BANG of a BLOWOUT.
41 Jonathan Kent slams on the brakes. The truck lurches violently to the right; the front tire has burst. The truck swerves, narrowly missing the embankment, and stops.
42 EXT. WHEAT FIELD, ROAD - DAY
Leaving the truck standing in the road, Jonathan steps out of the cab and looks at the punctured tire.
Blamed cheap rubber them Detroit
Wiseacres are puttin' out.
Bitching, he goes around to the rear and unstraps the spare tire and hauls the jack out.
NEW ANGLE - Martha gets out of the cab, stretches her legs and smoothes her wrinkled dress, gazing across the wheat fields as her husband, in b.g., places the jack under the car, then wedges a stone under the jack to hold it in place.
ZOOM IN TO TIGHT CLOSEUP of Martha - Her face freezes in astonishment and disbelief as she sees something in the wheat field.
ON JONATHAN - who turns and looks, amazed.
Great God almighty! What is it?
MEDIUM SHOT - the space module has landed in the fields, The engines are silenced.
43 NEW ANGLE - Leaving the truck, they race into the midst of the field. CLOSE IN ON them as they run. Jonathan rushes to the strange, eerie metal craft nesting in the charred wheat.
Be careful, Jonathan!
NEW ANGLE: Suddenly a wall of the module opens and a metallic capsule ejects with a little boy still fastened inside.
What the heck --?
CLOSER IN: He looks inside the module, then leans over and touches the capsule, burning his hand.
NEW ANGLE: The little BOY, aged 3, springs out of the electronically controlled belts, half-naked.
It's a ...baby.
What's your name, boy?
Don't just stand there gapin' Jonathan.
Can't you see he's cold?
Jonathan takes off his jacket, drapes it around the little boy. Now he looks again at the module.
(can't get over it}
TRACKING JUST AHEAD OF THEM - as she lifts the boy with much difficulty and walks back to the truck, regarding the child with wonder. Her husband walks ahead, shaking his head, looking back.
MEDIUM SHOT - as the reach the truck.
Well - gotta change that tire if were gonna
All of us.
As she snuggles the boy to her, Jonathan starts to jack up the front end. He removes the lugs and the punctured tire.
INSERT: The jack begins to shimmy as the truck shakes.
CLOSEUP JONATHAN: Struggling with the spare tire cranks under the truck, wondering why the tire won't slide in.
INSERT: The jack continues to shimmy. Then suddenly, the stone beneath it slips away.
CLOSEUP MARTHA: She screams, wide-eyed, horrified.
ON JONATHAN: Under the truck, he darts a quick look at his wife, then - as his scream
suddenly stops in a gasp - behind him.
HIS POV: The baby boy holding up the truck, two wheels off the ground. As he looks in wonder toward his wife:
44 INT. TRUCK CAB - MED. TWO SHOT - DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD - DAY
The baby sits happily in Martha's lap. The couple ahead, lost in thought, serious.
The good lord works in mysterious
He sure as heck does that.
All these years, happy as we've
been, how I prayed and prayed
He'd see fit to give us a child.
And just when I finally accepted
my bitter lot...
No one must ever know.
Folks'll ask question.
We'll say he's a child to my cousin
in North Dakota, and just now
(cuddling the baby)
Guess I'd better hitch up the rig
and come back to get that...that
thing he was settin' in. What
do you make of that thing?
Martha? You listening?
I was thinkin' what to call him.
I was thinkin' I had an uncle who
was a fine man, you recall him?
The Church Sexton
Who? Clark? I never cared two
hoots for that fella.
Jonathan Jr. That's got a ring to it.
(gives him a look)
We don't want a child called
'Junior,' ain't that so, Clark?
Why sure it is.
He scowls a bit, then looks outside the window as he drives.
Yup, better get that thing 'fore
somebody finds it who shouldn't.
45 EXT. KENT FARMHOUSE - DAY
The farmhouse and barn -- classic American -- of the Kent's. As SCENE BEGINS, a sheriff car is parked in the driveway, the dust still rising from beneath its wheels. The SHERIFF, a hard, tough-looking man, is leaning on the door of his car. Standing across from him is Jonathan, and Martha stands just behind him. We have the feeling that this, because of the cut from the last scene, is taking place immediately afterwards, and,
further, that trouble is up. (It is, however, about five years later, as we shall shortly see.)
There she was, right out in the
wheat field, near to the road.
REVERSE TWO SHOT -- on the Kent's, looking very Grant Wood.
You're sure of that, Sheriff?
Sure as shootin', Mr. Kent
Well, I heard some heifers with
spunk and I heard of some with
ambition, but how that cow jumped
a fence and got half way to Danville
is one for the books.
And now we know that they are not speaking of the Krypton capsule.
We thank you kindly for bringin'
her back, Sheriff Grizzard.
They begin walking toward the red barn, nearby. TRACK.
Well, that's my job. ma'am. Part
of it, anyway. Say, where's that
darn kid of yours? Got his nose
stuck in a book again, I bet.
Well, now, Clark is a good pupil,
and I thank the Lord he is.
Got all A's this year. Teacher
said he's the best 5th grader in
Don't brag now, Jonathan.
They have reached the barn. They enter.
46 INT. BARN - DAY
WIDE SHOT of the barn -- piles of hay stand in the middle of the floor. Standing in the middle of them is a boy with a rake, a pleasant, unassuming lad wearing glasses; the young CLARK KENT. But instead of raking as he should be, he stands, almost mesmerized, and stares at the corner of the barn.
HIS POV: On one dark wall, amidst the rusty tools and plow parts, the pieces of the rocket and module that the baby to Earth have been taken apart and hung. They are deliberately camouflaged, dusty and cobwebbed, but still recognizable to us who saw them before.
ON CLARK again, as he hears VOICES and APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS coming. That snaps him back to present and he begins his raking chores.
NEW ANGLE -- as the adults approach.
Clark, say hello to the Sheriff.
He found our runway heifer.
CLARK stops his work, lays pitchfork down, shakes hands in manly fashion
Hi, Sheriff, Was she over to
the Harris North 40?
Sheriff Grizzard pulls a fountain pen from his shirt pocket, begins writing on a form attached to a clipboard he carries.
Why, that's right, son. How'd
you know that?
There's a bull there she's kinda sweet on.
(with a wink to Jonathan)
He is smart, ain't he Mebbe too smart
for his size.
(writes some more)
Danged paperwork. Got to note down
every piece of livestock rounded up
in the country.
Finished, he lays his pen down on a nearby tool shelf, absently. Then tears off the sheet of paper, folds it, puts it in his pocket.
INSERT: On the shelf as the fountain pen rolls off, falling behind it, between the shelf and the wall.
NEW ANGLE -- The Kents start out of the barn.
Back to work now, son.
Yessir. Nice to see you again, Sheriff.
HOLD on CLARK as the others leave the barn. Now, satisfied that they are gone, he begins pitching forkfuls of hay at super-speed: a dazzling display with hay flying faster than the eye can see.
CLOSEUP CLARK as he suddenly spots something. ZOOM IN TO his eyes. SPECIAL EFFECTS: His eyes widen and glow in a weird, special way. This is the visual clue to the fact that he is using X-Ray Vision.
CLARKS' POV: A demonstration of X-Ray Vision for the audience. He is looking at the shelf where the pen rolled off. Suddenly, before our eyes, the tool shelf sort of dissolves (EFFECTS) and we SEE the wall behind it. ZOOM IN FURTHER: The fountain pen on the floor against the wall.
NEW ANGLE -- CLARK runs to the wall, pushes the heavy tool shelf aside with barely a touch, grabs up the fountain pen and races outside.
47 EXT. FARMHOUSE - DAY
Too late. The Sheriff's car is already gone. When CLARK appears, his parents turn to him.
Sheriff Grizzard, wait! You
Before MARTHA can speak, young CLARK whizzes off down the road at super-speed, moving like greased lightening.
ON THE KENTS -- She looks distressed, but he is beaming.
That's my boy!
(he casts his eyes
She looks down the road.
POV: A cloud of dust raised by CLARK, all the way down to the horizon.
48 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
IN QUICK CUTS, the landscape constantly shifting, CLARK runs like Andy Clyde in "Million Dollar Legs":
A) He dashes across a corn field, incredibly fast.
B) He approaches a meadow with a long stretch of railroad tracks.
49 EXT. RAILROAD TRAIN
TRACKING: Racing alongside, CLARK, who runs alongside the tracks.
SOUND: APPROACHING RAILROAD TRAIN
LONG SHOT: Steam engine in the distance catches up, pulling a long passenger train. It pulls alongside the running boy,
CLOSER ON THE TRAIN: We can MAKE OUT a family in one of the compartments. A little girl is looking out of the window, her nose pressed to the glass.
50 INT. TRAIN COMPARTMENT - DAY
The parents of the little girl are the same couple we saw in the opening Pan Shot of the movie, cooing over their baby. They are six years older now, as is the little girl. She is LOIS LANE.
(turning to her
Did you say something, Lois?
I saw a boy running as fast as
the train! Faster even!
Lois Lane, you do have a gift for
invention, I'll say that for you.
Read your book, dear.
Resigned to not being believed, she goes back to a "Bobbsy Twins" book.
51 EXT. SMALLVILLE STREET - DAY
A typical small-town street. CLARK KENT, holding the fountain pen, leans against the door to the Sheriff's office as the Sheriff's car pulls up and stops.
(getting out of car,
astonished to see
Clark Kent??? How... what...
(holding the pen out)
You forgot your pen, Sheriff.
The SHERIFF'S eyes open wide in amazement.
52 INT. KENT FRONT PARLOR - NIGHT
FULL SHOT, WIDE: It looks like a Norman Rockwell cover of the typical American farm family, circa 1943. Pa Kent sits in an overstuffed chair reading his paper. It is later in the same day. Clark sits at the dining table engrossed in gluing together a model plane. In b.g., Ma Kent comes in from the kitchen in her apron, wiping her hands on a towel, a troubled look on her face.
(this is difficult
for her to say)
did with the Sheriff today...
those...stunts...you don't do
those things at school, do
No, Mom. You know I wouldn't
break my promise.
I know you're a good boy, Clark.
No mother could ask for better.
It's just that...
CLOSEUP CLARK -- He looks away from her: unhappily:
I know. I'm different.
TWO SHOT - She comes to him; her heart goes out to him.
Oh, dear. That isn't what I --
What your mother means, Clark, is
that she don't want folks to think
I bless the day you came to us,
son. You know that. But some
people wouldn't understand.
(pats her hand
Don't worry, Mom. I know.
Anyway, we Kent's don't like
showoffs, ain't that so? A
body's got to be humble even if
he knows that he's better'n his
ON PA KENT, raising his paper again.
That's right, son. Mind your
mother. She knows what's best.
ON CLARK -- feeling a bit self-conscious, he gets up and walks out of the room. FOLLOW him out.
Going to get a drink of water.
53 INT. CORRIDOR OF KENT FARM - NIGHT
FOLLOWING Clark as he walks from the parlor, walking toward the kitchen. In the parlor, we HEAR Jonathan Kent chuckling. Suddenly, the laugh abruptly stops, followed by an audible gasp. A moment later, a crash, as if someone has fallen to the floor.
Jonathan! What's wrong! What
is it! Jonathan!
Clark races back toward the parlor.
54 EXT. COUNTRY CEMETERY - DAY
FULL SHOT -- Young Clark stands by a freshly filled grave, holding the hand of his weeping mother. Both are dressed in mourning.
CLOSER -- The tombstone reads "Jonathan Kent 1887-1943 R.I.P."
All those things I can do, all
those powers...and I still
couldn't save him.
Tears fill his eyes, His mother pats his shoulder comfortingly.
55 EXT. KENT FARM - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT: The barn. It stands, silhouetted against the night sky. CAMERA SLOWLY TRACKS TOWARD the barn , then THROUGH the door.
56 INT. BARN - NIGHT
It is pitch dark inside. CAMERA CONTINUES TRACKING FORWARD when suddenly a small green light flashes somewhere in b.g. on the far wall. CAMERA MOVES IN CLOSER TO REVEAL that it is the glowing crystals Jor-El put in the module.
57 INT. CLARK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- On the bed, Clark Kent, now in his 20's is asleep. Suddenly his eyes open. he sits up, looks around.
58 EXT. FARM - NIGHT
ON the back door as it opens and Clark, fully dressed, emerges from the house, easing the back door open, and crosses to the barn.
59 INT. BARN - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT - Clark enters the barn, crosses tot he source of the green light
CLOSER IN -- In the corner where the rocket is dismantled, a door is opened. revealing a chamber filled with the crystals Jor-El placed in the ship. Emanating from it is a pulsating green light, which radiates the entire area. CLARK comes close, eyes widened, pulled by the force. His features illuminated by the eerie light, he reaches for the crystals.
60 INT. KENT HOUSE - DAY
The following morning. MARTHA KENT. wearing her apron, stands at the foot of the stairs, calling up.
There is no answer. She starts up the stairs. We note how much she has aged.
61 INT. HALLWAY, UPPER LANDING - DAY
She crosses to the door to Clark's bedroom.
No answer. She opens the door, peers in.
HER POV: The room is empty.
ON MARTHA -- who enters. FOLLOW.
62 INT. CLARK'S ROOM - DAY
She crosses to the window and looks out. CAMERA POSITIONED JUST BEHIND HER, OVER HER SHOULDER, ANGLE DOWN. ZOOM SLOWLY PAST HER To the solitary figure of Clark. He stands alone, out in the field, staring off toward the north.
63 INT. KENT KITCHEN - DAY
MED. SHOT: MARTHA KENT is sitting at the kitchen table, facing TOWARDS CAMERA, looking at photographs in the family album. Her eyes raise from the photographs; we know she senses he has entered, but she does not turn around.
(eyes front, voice
There is a palpable tension in the room: both people know what is happening and it is terribly hard for them. Both are trying desperately to keep in non-emotional and flat, for fear of breaking down.
I have to leave.
She still does not turn and face him; trying to keep control of herself.
I knew there'd be this day. I
guess I knew it from the minute
you came to us.
He comes around to her side and touches her hair, thereby making her look up at him. her eyes fill with tears.
I talked to Ben Hubbard this
morning. He'll be more than
glad to bring in the crops on
He's a good man, Ben is. Your
father always said so.
A long pause. It is difficult to say anything.
(she pats his hand)
I know son, I know...
64 EXT. KENT FARM - DAY
MED. SHOT at the gate to the road. CLARK in windbreaker and slacks, has a rucksack at his side. MRS. KENT holds out a brown bag, the same kind she used to give him his school lunch in. The wind is blowing.
I made you...
(fighting back tears)
(she hands them to
him, then takes
something from her
And this...this is your father's
INSERT: Jonathan Kent's old-fashioned pocket watch. She Places it in CLARK'S hand.
CLOSER TWO SHOT
You remember this?
CLARK, deeply moved, can only nod.
He always wanted you to have it.
Silently, CLARK closes his hand around it. Then. stiffly, he turns away, opens the rucksack
and puts the watch and the lunch bag inside.
INSERT: ON THE INTERIOR OF THE RUCKSACK: It glows with green light; inside are all the components and glowing stones and chips and discs seen earlier. He closes the bag. As we SEE this:
Do you know where you're headed?
North. It's north
TWO SHOT: Unable to restrain it anymore, they reach ouch to each other and move into a tight hug.
Keep warm now.
They pull back from the embrace.
And remember us. Always
65 EXT. ALASKA HIGHWAY - DAY
MED. WIDE SHOT -- CLARK KENT, clad in his light windbreaker, his rucksack behind him, stands on the side of the road, thumb out, hitch-hiking. The wind blows around him mightily, ruffling his hair, but he doesn't seem to mind the cold. His face shows calm determination.
From the distance, a truck appears, pulls up, stops. The DRIVER throws the door open.
Get in, quick! My God, a body
could freeze to death just
leavin' the door open.
As CLARK climbs in the cab of the truck:
Where you headed?
The truck drives off.
66 EXT. ALASKA - DAY
FULL SHOT -- a narrow, snow covered road which runs alongside a vast Arctic lake. In the middle of the lake, great icebergs float.
The truck comes to a stop, lets CLARK out. The DRIVER looks at him quizzically a moment, then drives on.
NEW ANGLE -- CLARK stands at the edge of the ice-filled lake, looking due north.
67 EXT. ALASKA - DAY
FULL SHOT -- A narrow, snow -covered road ends in the Arctic North. In b.g. , Eskimo igloos can be SEEN. CLARK stands on the roadside, thumb out. DOLLY IN TIGHT TO him.
68 INT. ESKIMO IGLOO - DAY
An Eskimo man stands at the opening of his igloo. CAMERA POSITIONED BEHIND him so that we SEE over his shoulder. There, far away, is CLARK as we left him at the roadside, wearing only his thin jacket.
The Eskimo bursts out laughing and ducks back in. PAN OVER TO a fur rug where his wife is seated, preparing food. Chattering in Eskimo talk, he points outside, laughing. The woman rises and rushes to the opening of the igloo, peering out.
HER POV; Nothing to be seen. CLARK is gone. VERY WIDE SHOT.
ON HER: She turns and mutters, annoyed, to her husband.
69 EXT. SOMEWHERE NEAR THE NORTH POLE - DAY
WIDE SHOT -- A flat, desolate plain; off to one side is an enormous outcropping of rock jutting out of the barren snow-covered land.
At the moment, there is a terrible blizzard going on. the CAMERA PANS ACROSS the frozen waste to REVEAL CLARK KENT standing there, wearing only his lightweight jacket, the rucksack on the ground behind him.
WIDE SHOT - As the wind continues to grip across the barren plain, CLARK looks around, then selects as area. He marks its perimeter with heat vision, burning deep lines into the snow and ice.
70 THE SAME AREA - LATER
WIDE SHOT -- Once the boundaries are drawn, CLARK concentrates on the area within the perimeter, and we SEE the entire mass of snow begin to melt away as huge flames shoot around the gigantic excavation.
71 THE SAME AREA - STILL LATER
WIDE SHOT -- Now an enormous crater has been carved out of the rock and ice. CLARK stands on the edge, focuses into the crater. We SEE a crystalline foundation solidify and expand with ultra-violet radiation glowing around the excavation site -- a wall is formed. Another burst of energy intensifies and constructs a second solid side joined at right angles.
72 EXT. SAME AREA - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- CLARK is now on the opposite side of the excavation. We SEE a bright cone of light, then gasses rising and solidifying into multi-colored molecules that expand into a third impregnable wall. Through a blaze of sparkling light, the third wall increases in size and spreads out to cover the fourth remaining side, soon transformed into white crystalline matter.
73 EXT. SAME AREA - DAY
WIDE SHOT -- The Fortress of Solitude is now complete. It rises up in the northern landscape, but its materials are harmonious. The walls of the Fortress are white opaque crystalline.
74 INT. FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE - DAY
Note: Inside it is multi-leveled, but there are no staircases, as Superman flies form level to level. The interior is spacious, though the decor is Spartan, minimal. There is a large circular control room, futuristically designed. It is highlighted by computers, transmitters, receivers, rows of buttons, moving graphs, in gleaming metals and plastics unknown on Earth.
The central area, where the memory crystals are stored and activated and where Superman communicates with his dead father, is overlooked by "floating" balconies which lead to hidden bedrooms, corridors, etc. In another part of the area is a self contained, windowed chamber which will be the Molecule Restructuring Machine.
In the There is a kitchen-dining area, the decor is so futuristic as to be barely recognizable (there is no stove, for example). The dining set contains no chairs, but is built in platforms that seem to float. There are no closets in the structure because one has only to touch the wall and it opens a storage space. On the higher levels there is an area that opens out onto a balcony - the only window in the Fortress.
Everything is transparent, crystalline, reminding us of Krypton (because Jor-El designed it and perhaps reminds Superman of his ancestral home).
75 INT. MEMORY CRYSTAL AREA - DAY
It is barren except for a large bench with a strange box in the front of it. To the left are two walls with a glowing row of shelves of crystals on each. CLARK takes the first crystal from the first shelf and places it in an appropriate "play-back" mechanism in the box in front of the bench. As soon as he does:
The light in the Fortress begins to change very dramatically. There is something magical and awe-inspiring about these effects, which will continue to happen each time this process is repeated. The process of "materializing" JOR-EL.
For it is he, JOR-EL, looking as he did when last seen on Krypton, who suddenly seems to materialize out of thin air; he appears simultaneously in different area of the room, and in different sizes and dimensions as well.
My son, you do not remember me.
I am Jor-El. I m your father. By
this time, you will have reached
your eighteenth year in Earth time
and I will have been dead for many,
many years in Krypton time measure.
Although there are certain things you
already know of human ways and
wisdoms, there are many questions
that have puzzled and confused you
as you search for the answers to your
life. Although I am speaking from the
past, I have tried to anticipate them.
ON CLARK - unsure.
Can I ask direct questions,
Who am I?
CAMERA begins, in effect, a SLOW 360 DEGREE PAN FROM young CLARK, MOVING AROUND the interior of the Fortress as we SEE many of the features described above.
The figure of JOR-EL appears and fades in different dimensions, different areas as each DISSOLVE OUT indicates the passage of time. At no point until the culmination of the 360 PAN do we see CLARK KENT again.
Your name is Kal-El. You are
the only survivor of the planet
Krypton. Although you have
been raised as a human, you are
not one of them. Your road has
been a difficult one; it will continue
to be. You have great powers but
you are confused as to how to use
them. All this I know. Here in this
fortress, a place of solitude, I will
train you for the tasks that lie ahead.
Now let us work together to complete
your education. Over the years I have
instructed you in all the languages, arts,
and sciences of Earth as well as the far
more advanced knowledge of Krypton.
Now, my son, we turn to a more
difficult subject - virtue. How does a
good man live? This is not yet -- not
even on Krypton -- a precise science.
So I can only tell you what others have
thought and what -- what I myself believe --
His voice DISSOLVES OUT.
PAN CONTINUES AS LIGHT CHANGES, as if it is now darker or lighter outside the opaque fortress, as JOR-EL now materializes in another area. continuing his lessons:
Though you are a superior to others,
do not set yourself above them.
Lead by inspiring. Weigh carefully
-- as even ordinary men should --
the rewards life offers. never use
your powers for personal gain, Kal-El.
77 CIRCLING CONTINUES
Again with light changes, coming back around now to its original point, as again JOR-EL materializes in another part of the chamber:
Your education is complete, Kal-El.
(A touch of pride in
You have asked good questions.
And I think together we have
always found the answers. So
now...now it is time to return
to the world you will live in.
Will I be accepted as I am?
As he asks this question, CAMERA COMPLETES 360 DEGREES (and a lot of years) and COMES TO REST ON...SUPERMAN.
And there he is. In the flesh, and in the traditional costume: Blue outfit, red trunks and cape, yellow monogram. The big S. A handsome, strong man in his 30's, who wears the weight of his mission lightly, but takes everything with the proper seriousness. His intelligence shines through all the macho aspects of his personality. And at all times, even in the middle of action and violence, he retains a kind of twinkle in his eye that lets us know that he sees everything from a slightly off-center position; that, while acknowledging his bizarre life-style he can also see that it has its humorous side when looked at from the proper perspective. He is warm, likable, and generous. But when he becomes Clark Kent, the disguise takes on almost schizoid dimensions: a great personality change, exaggerating all this "everyday, normal" qualities that are so inherently foreign to his true personality, And yet, as we will see, there is a part of him that yearns and longs to be Clark Kent, free form the overwhelming responsibilities that come, unmasked, from being who he is: SUPERMAN.
Do not reveal your gifts - they
will only bring jealousy and
pain. Live as one of them, but
keep in your heart the pride of
your heritage. When new
questions arise come back here
and I will try to help.
He smiles. Jor-El clicks off the recording gadget in his hand and his image starts to fade away. Then, he suddenly remembers something else and clicks the gadget back on. His image returns to full strength.
(for the first time
a bit unsure of
...Lara, that is your mother,
mentioned a word to me the other
day. It is something irrational to us
here. But for you, where you are,
it has a strength and a meaning, so...so
from a galaxy far beyond your ken,
from our...ourselves, we send you
HOLD IN POSITION as he switches off the recorder and his image slowly fades away.
78 EXT. METROPOLIS STREET - DAY
Two feet stepping down the pavement. PAN UP to SEE CLARK KENT walking the streets of Metropolis, attaché case in hand. He now looks like his classic comic-book persona: the conservative suit, the horn-rimmed glasses, the white shirt and neat tie, the attaché case, etc. A brisk breeze blows and we NOTE that most people are dressed for cooler weather. Metropolis looks remarkably like New York. It is almost Christmas: displays and light flashing in store windows, sidewalks crowded with shoppers.
FULL SHOT -- As CLARK reaches the street corner, looking around and admiring the skyline, fascinated by the big city, he starts across the street, toward the building marked DAILY PLANET, oblivious to the red light turning green and the oncoming traffic. A taxi comes hurtling on.
79 NEW ANGLE
The cab smashes into CLARK. The DRIVER, horrified, jumps out and looks to see what expects will be a victim. But CLARK KENT just walks away.
NEW ANGLE - A second CAB DRIVER, who plowed into the rear of the first cab, jumps out, rushing forward angrily.
You moron! Whaddaya stop short
for in the middle of --
The first driver, staring at his cab's front end, looks up in dumb-founded amazement at the second driver. Both look in wonder now at the front end of the cab that hit CLARK.
INSERT - The front end of the cab has CLARK'S impression cut deeply into the hood, through to the engine block to the windshield.
NEW ANGLE - CLARK waves a cheery farewell to the two non-plussed cabbies, mouthing a friendly little "sorry!" to them, and - having crossed the street by now -- almost backs right into the lobby doors of THE DAILY PLANET where he was headed. As he enters, PAN UP the skyscraper to its tower (this is not the same newspaper building we saw in the opening shot, but new, more modern quarters) where we SEE the great symbol that tops it: the globe and the enormous electric sign, "THE DAILY PLANET -- Metropolis' Greatest Newspaper."
80 INT. CITY ROOM - DAILY PLANET - DAY
WIDE SHOT: The city room of a large city newspaper. This is where it all happens: rows and rows of desks, thirty or forty REPORTERS, EDITORS, COPY BOYS and OTHER EMPLOYEES scurrying back and forth, typing, running with copy and galleys. HOLD long enough TO ESTABLISH the atmosphere.
Then BEGIN DOLLY BACK to a corner of the city room where a few star reporter desks look a bit larger and widely spaced than the others. Behind them is a frosted glass door, on which is painted: "Perry White, Managing Editor."
On one of the desks: Seated at the typewriter, working away with intense concentration punctuated by occasional smiles, approving nods and triumphant "Hah's!" is a young woman who seams, even at first glance, to really "have her act together."
Physically, she's a knockout: long brunette hair, smart clothes on a smart figure, a kind of ease with herself and her looks that adds up to sexy. Mentally, she's just as good: bright, talented, ambitious. A girl with a wry sense of humor that she can turn on herself as well as on any adversary, and withal a woman who never forgets that she is a woman, this grown-up version of that little girl we last saw with her nose pressed against the glass of a train window as it sped through Smallville -- this is LOIS LANE.
(calling out to anybody
How do you spell "massacre?"
A REPORTER at a nearby desk looks up from his work:
A few feet away, a fresh-faced young cub reporter stands aiming a dart at a dartboard target
nailed up on a nearby wall. A teen-age eager beaver, this is JIMMY OLSEN
No, it's R, E.
He throws his dart; bullseye. Under the dartboard is a glass bowl filled with quarters and a sign: PAY THE KITTY, LOSERS."
ON LOIS -- typing rapidly.
Jimmy, pleased, comes over to LOIS, tries to see what's in the typewriter. MOVE IN on them.
What're you writing, Lois?
(never slowing down
the speed at which
she e types)
an Ode to Spring. are there one
or two "T's" in bloodletting?
(as she types the finish,
reading her closing aloud
with great relish)
'And the people on the street,
the little man who runs the
corner newsstand, the old lady
sunning herself on the stoop
the kids playing stick ball --
none of them will ever forget
the night of senseless bloodletting
that turned a friendly block part into
yanks the page out
of the typewriter)
Ha! Eat your heart out, Dorothy
She gathers up her story, stands up from her desk and starts toward PERRY WHITE'S office. JIMMY OLSEN tags along at her heels. TRACK WITH her as she walks across the city room.
(lost in admiration)
(wryly, as is her
Gets you where you live, huh?
How come you get all the
good stories, Lois?
It's because I'm an intrepid
girl reporter, Jimmy.
Besides, the chief of
detectives has the hots for me.
They pass the dartboard area. Automatically, LOIS stops, takes her dart, aims and throws. A poor shot, missing the center area. She starts to continue on to PERRY'S office.
(a gentle reminder)
He points. WHAT HE POINTS AT: The pot. The kitty.
With a look, LOIS digs a quarter from her purse, goes and drops it in the pot.
Need I ask who's favored to
collect at the end of this week.
On the salary he pays me, I
can't make my rent without it.
She continues to the door to PERRY WHITE'S office. She knocks and then enters without waiting to be invited.
81 INT. PERRY WHITE'S OFFICE - DAY
Big but not fancy - the office of a working editor. Copy pinned up on the bulletin board and piled up on the desk, along with photos, wire service tear sheets and a few plaques and awards and signed photos of politicians framed on the walls. Behind the desk, in his customary outfit (rolled-up shirt sleeves, tie loosened, top button opened), and his customary expression (harried), is the no-nonsense, hard-working, 50'ish editor of the paper. Somewhere beneath all that bark and gruffness is a nice guy who loves his grand- children, but his employees don't get to see much of that side of him. LOIS, however, can kid him all she wants and he gives it to her right back; all this friendly animosity, however, is just their way of liking and respecting each other. The man is PERRY WHITE.
LOIS lays the story on his desk,
Here's the story on that East 19th
Street murder spree. Page one with
a banner headline seems about right
It does, huh?
(gesturing to somebody
Clark Kent, I'd like you to meet
She turns, surprised. She didn't realize, as she barged right in the office, that there was somebody else in the room. And neither did we, until now.
NEW ANGLE -- Seated in a chair against the wall by the entrance is CLARK KENT. He rises on the introduction. His manner is polite and friendly, but we can SEE immediately that he is taken by LOIS.
I'd like to.
(his sarcastic humor)
She gives me advice on how to
run my paper.
As he says this, he turns slightly to a little shelf beside his desk on which stands a one- burner hot-plate with water boiling on it. Next to the hot-plate is a fresh, un-opened jar of instant coffee, which PERRY now picks up and tries -- to open.
And he ignores me.
The door opens and JIMMY enters, smiling as he hears this usual plaint from LOIS. He lays a sheaf of copy on the desk and turns to go, but PERRY passes him the unopenable coffee jar. As JIMMY begins struggling with it:
I'll bet you have some good ideas.
(a smile to CLARK, then
turns to PERRY)
Hey, you're getting a better class of
people in your office these days, Boss.
I thought so, too, till you came in.
CLARK smiles, recognizing this banter is typical of their relationship. He automatically takes the coffee jar that, red-faced from his struggle and failure, passes as LOIS rises, saying:
Well, nice to meet you.
CLARK is now smiling at LOIS, not even looking at the jar. We are sure he is about to "give himself away," to open it with a mere twist of the wrist. But no -- his smile turns to a frown, an expression of great effort as he "tries" to unscrew the top and "tries" again, in vain. LOIS is apparently paying no attention, busy pitching to PERRY:
Okay, boss? I'm off to a hot tub
and then a cold martini with the
Deputy Mayor in one of
METROPOLIS' more recherché
Without even looking at him or it, she grabs the coffee jar from CLARK, not missing a beat as she says:
Not that I won't forget to pump him
about those kick-back rumors --
And she gives the jar a sharp rap on the edge of the desk and then unscrews it effortlessly. With a little smile, she passes it back to CLARK.
Lois, take Kent there and introduce
He's coming to work for the
paper. I'm putting him on the
CLOSEUP - LOIS -- she turns and looks at CLARK in a new way. She hadn't realized he was a reporter.
Not only is this guy good, not only
does he show the proper respect for
his editor-in -chief --
(he is baiting her a bit)
-- not only does he have a snappy,
punchy prose style, but I swear to
to you that he is the fastest typist
I've seen after forty years in the
FAVORING LOIS -- She tenses just a bit, feeling the pressure of competition.
They turn to leave. ANGLE WITH PERRY behind them.
Kent. Before you go, don't
forget to sign your W-2 form.
Oh, listen, Mr. White. Could you
arrange for half my salary to be sent
on a weekly basis to this address?
He scribbles something on a piece of scrap paper on PERRY'S desk.
FAVORING LOIS -- watching this.
(a bit shocked)
(archly, outing him on)
I know. He sends a check every week
to his dear gray-haired old mother.
Actually, she's silver-haired.
(stunned; he actually
does send his mother
Not really, no.
As they exit:
Are there any more at home like
Not really, no.
82 EXT. STREET NEAR THE DAILY PLANET - NIGHT
CLARK and LOIS are walking down the street, later that night. TRACK WITH them, as they pass a liquor store.
Well, how are you enjoying your
first day on the job?
I think I lost a week's salary at
the dart board.
Some people aren't the athletic
But otherwise it's swell.
'Swell.' When was the last time I heard
anybody say - where are you from ,
I doubt you ever heard of it. A little
town called Smallville.
By now they pass the liquor store and we can SEE in b.g. some commotion inside, though they don't notice it.
Well, you're going to find
Metropolis is a pretty tough
town compared to --
At the moment, behind them, TWO HOODS, guns drawn, come barreling out of the liquor store, just behind them, chased by the old OWNER.
Stop them! They robbed me!
NEW ANGLE -- WIDE -- As the HOODS run toward an idling getaway car parked a few yards ahead of CLARK and LOIS, a police car, SIREN SCREAMING, comes tearing down the street behind the liquor store.
ON THE GETAWAY CAR -- The THIRD HOOD, the driver, flings the door open, screaming:
Get in! Get in!
NEW ANGLE - WIDE -- Two COPS leap from the police car, take firing positions across the fenders, One FIRES a warning SHOT into the air.
Hold it right there!
REVERSE -- The HOODS grab the startle LOIS and CLARK, holding them as shields between them and the COPS.
Get your hands off me!
Don't try anything funny, pal.
CLOSEUP - CLARK -- Tense. Will he do something?
ON LOIS and her captor.
Tell your boyfriend to just be cool.
He can't even open a coffee jar.
They edge toward the getaway car when suddenly, another police car tears up the street coming towards them, turns sharply to block the street car. Two more COPS jump out.
Now they're trapped.
Just to the right, before the getaway car, is an alley. Still dragging their hostages, they pull them into the alley.
The THIRD HOOD FIRES at the COPS from inside his car. bullet are exchanged. as the crook leaps from the car, he is gunned down in a HAIL OF BULLETS.
83 EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT
Another patrol car comes down the end of the alley, sealing it off.
he HOODS panic, FIRES off some SHOTS. The COPS return the FIRE. LOIS and CLARK race for a wall to get out of the line of fire, but it is so chaotic, with bullets coming from behind and ahead, that it ain't easy.
ON A COP - hit, falls across the fender.
ON THE FIRST HOOD -- FIRES off THREE SHOTS.
ON THE COPS AT THE END OF THE ALLEY -- SHOOTING.
THE SECOND HOOD - hit, falls to the ground.
ON LOIS -- she stumbles and falls.
ON CLARK -- behind her, by the wall, as bullets hit him. They bounce right off his chest, but nobody sees it.
ON LOIS AND THE FIRST HOOD - As she gets up, the HOOD grabs her, holds his gun to her head.
Shoot me and the chick gets it first.
QUICK CLOSEUP - CLARK Poised, frozen. Will he...?
NEW ANGLE -- The COPS behind them close in the alley, FIRING.
ON ONE OF THEM -- He carefully takes aim, one hand gripping his other wrist to steady it.
POV - HIS GUNSHOT -- The hood holding LOIS is the target. Suddenly just as:
SOUND: The COP FIRES --
The HOOD ducks and LOIS pops up n range.
CLARK KENT dashes forward, his hand raised in front of LOIS.
INSERT: The bullet hits CLARK right in the palm of his hand. He closes his fist around it.
NEW ANGLE -- The hood throws his gun down (out of bullets) and makes a run for it. One of the COPS chases after him and brings him down in a flying tackle. The SECOND HOOD lies shot in the middle of the alley.
CLOSER -- CLARK and LOIS as the POLICE run towards them.
My God! I could have been
killed! Why didn't you --
The COP who fired the POV shot rushes over.
Are you folks okay? Geez, fella
I thought I hit you.
No. I'm okay.
I didn't know who were the good
guys and who were the bad guys
for a minute there.
And with that she turns and stomps off down the street in a huff. CLARK, with a farewell smile to the POLICE, runs to catch up with her.
84 EXT. ANOTHER STREET - NIGHT
A dark, narrow, deserted street in Metropolis, a few minutes later. TRACKING with them as they walk.
See? Didn't I tell you this was a
Not in Metropolis it isn't. This
is the home of the sneak attack,
the stab in the back, the --
Precisely at that moment, a figure leaps from the shadows of a doorway and grabs LOIS' purse and yanks it from her.
What the -- !
The Man starts to run.
Stop him, Clark!
He may have a gun!
Oh, for God's sake!
The hell with it; she has no time to stand and argue with CLARK. With spunky determination, she takes off after the purse-snatcher. PAN to WATCH her - The robber has an excellent head start on her; no way she can catch him.
CLOSEUP - CLARK -- Watching, tense.
ON LOIS -- who finally gives up, slumped, exhausted.
Twice in one night. I'd better
go in training.
CLARK runs over to her.
It isn't worth getting a heart
attack over, Lois.
(catching her breath)
You're great with the advice, Clark.
Maybe you'd better take over the
Supposing that man had hurt you?
Is it worth risking your life over ten
dollars, two credit cards, and a
lipstick? I mean, it's not as if --
CLOSEUP - LOIS -- She looks at him with a very strange expression.
How did you know that?
CLOSEUP CLARK - CLARK -- A faint flicker of nervousness. He realizes he almost blew his cover.
You described the exact contents
of my purse.
I just took a shot at it.
He steps out into the street to hail a distant cab (and to put an end to the discussion)
85 EXT. STREET - METROPOLIS - NIGHT
The runaway thief, slowed down, comes down a street and stops by a garbage can. He opens the purse, takes out the money, then dumps the rest. Now he turns into a very elegant hotel that looks like the Plaza. We get a better LOOK at him:
A burly guy in his late 30's, not very bright, but eager to please his superiors. This is OTIS.
86 INT. LOBBY PLAZA HOTEL - NIGHT
OTIS suspiciously watches the movement n the lobby of the hotel. At the right moment, he goes into the Men's Room.
87 INT. MEN'S ROOM - PLAZA HOTEL - NIGHT
With no one present, OTIS opens the door to a toilet, marked "Out of Order," and enters.
88 INT. TOILET - PLAZA HOTEL - NIGHT
Seated on the toilet bowl, OTIS pulls the flush. We SEE the toilet compartment descend like an elevator.
89 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S SUBTERRANEAN HIDEOUT (HALL) - NIGHT
The entire lair has cost Lex Luthor a great deal of money and time to put this together; his headquarters located hundreds of feet below the street, below the subways, down at sewer level. The place is fantastic: baroque and bizarre, it matches the mind of its creator. The important rooms are Luthor's office, over-decorated in pure kitsch, with an enormous desk, scabbards and tapestries on the walls; a large window outside of which various trompe l'oail "drops" serve as a "view," depending on the whim of Luthor or his cronies (beach scenes, mountain views, skyscraper vistas, etc.), a low table of the kind usually used
for a chess board, but supporting a Monopoly game instead, which are part of the closed- circuit television system keyed to the various strange entrances to the underground lair, i.e., under each monitor is its "entrance" address: 59th Street, Park Avenue, Plaza Hotel, Central Park, 67th Street, etc. Other rooms include the TV bank room, located on a gantry over a running sewer canal (to be described in fuller terms later); a library, which descends into a jungle of pipes and cables (fuller description follows later); and the hallway.
At the moment we are in the hall, which leads into the office at one end, and various smaller rooms at the other. Its most distinguishing feature is a mammoth wall covered by a large curtain -- what it conceals will be revealed later.
As SCENE BEGINS, we are in the hall where suddenly a door opens and OTIS, seated on his toilet elevator, appears. We understand that this is where the lift landed, As OTIS steps out quietly, another MAN comes down the corridor wheeling a large table, its bumpy, irregular surface covered with a canvas, heading for the office. This is ALBERT. He is one of three other (besides Otis) members of the group.
The most striking of the three is a man in his late 30's. He is totally bald. His taste in clothing runs to black. This is a brilliant man, but one whose mind and character have been so warped that all his energy and intelligence is applied to evil and/or anti-social schemes. He is a scientific genius who uses all his expertise to further his insatiable appetite for land and real estate. As a personality, he could give ten psychiatrists five years work: a genuine case of rampant pathological aberration that manifests itself in a changeability that is
so marked as to go beyond the term "mercurial." He is one minute charming, sweet, paternal with his underlings; the next minute he can (and often does) become savage, cutting sadistic, caustic. he keeps everyone around him in a perpetual state of nerves because they never know whether they will be kissed or kicked from one minute to the next. there is in him as well, a genuine sense of humor, though invariably warped, and a great streak of self-pity, that causes him to wallow in anguish from time to time. His own nervous habits are equally peculiar, i.e., he eats Kleenex nervously, chewing on it to calm himself. The man is an energy center, a neurotic dictator, and, in his own way, a compelling personality. There ought to be a sense of delight in him as well. This is the greatest criminal on Earth -- LEX LUTHOR.
The second person is a strikingly attractive woman, about 30. Her looks and manner bespeak class and a former elegance, but time with Lex Luthor has taken its toll; she has a slightly wasted look about her, a sense of having slipped and gone over one very important hill not too long ago. She is bright and flip and handles Lex's changing manner a bit more easily than the others, though its has made her permanently jumpy.
She functions as his girlfriend, side-kick, and personal secretary, and her sense of security in her position as well as the security in knowing that Lex, in his weird way, really has affection for her, allows her to sass him and smart-mouth him once in a while, Nobody else would ever dare. God help her, as she often thinks to herself, but for some reason (a masochistic one for sure) she loves Lex Luthor. This is EVE TESCHMACHER.
The third man is a rather frail, insubstantial man in his mid-40's. Timid, nervous enough to jump at his own shadow, he is clearly an intelligent specialist who at one time made some horrendous slip in life that forced him, more out of weakness than out of choice, to join the criminal element. Thoroughly under the boss' domination, he is Lex Luthor's personal architect, as well as his chief aide in engineering and planning . Perhaps there is a faint trace of a German accent. his is ALBERT.
It is ALBERT who now wheels his table into the office, as OTIS follows discreetly some steps behind.
90 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT
As ALBERT enters, he looks questioningly O.S. left.
Lay it on me.
I hope you like it.
So far, Albert, it's nothing to write home
about, y'know? Y'know?
(NOTE: Luthor's constant "y'know" is a nervous twitch, though a verbal one. What drives him crazy is when people actually reply to it.)
ON LUTHOR - Now we SEE him for the first time, seated behind his massive desk.
I know, but --
Stop saying you know when I say 'y'know.'
I know you know.
(with barely a glance
to OTIS hovering back)
Yes, I know you're here, Otis. What do you
want, a brass band?
ON OTIS -- at a loss for words; as always awkward and unsure of himself in front of his boss.
No speeches, Otis. Just watch
what Albert has prepared.
What are you waiting for?
ALBERT whisks the cloth away to reveal an incredibly detailed table-top moquette representation of a section of the Southwestern United States, particularly the California desert area. I has desert, canyons, glass "rivers and lakes," mountain ranges and one very specific structure, a tatty little drive-in taco stand, just counter operation with one teeny table in front. On top of its roof, the letters proclaim PANCHO'S TACO PALACE.
OTIS and EVE make proper sounds of appreciation as ALBERT looks proud. Then all look
expectantly to LUTHOR.
We are pleased.
He reaches forward, pulls a Kleenex from the desk dispenser and begins to chew it. He rises from his desk and walks over to the model. PAN with him, STAY WIDE. Now he inspects it more closely.
You'll be designing monuments
soon, Albert! Hotels! Palaces!
(sternly; on of his
switches in tone)
I take the man out of Argentina -
and it was no picnic finding him
y'know? And what does he think
about? Bunkers. Still living in the
past, when I am about to realize
the greatest real estate scheme in
the history of the world!
You and your real estate.
Me and my real estate? How many other
girls, Miss Teschmacher, are lucky enough
to have a Park Avenue address like this?
It isn't a Park Avenue address.
So it's six hundred feet below
Park Avenue, It's still a Park
NEW ANGLE as EVE gets up. perches on the edge of his desk.
Why does it all mean so much to
you? All the time, 'land, land,
My father always said to me, 'Son,
don't invest your money in
anything but land. Land! Stocks
rise and fall, banks fall, people
are no damn good, but they'll
always need land and for that
they'll pay through the nose.
'Remember that ,' my father
Your father was a sick weirdo.
I know that. Bu tin this case
he was right. Arnold 'Buster'
Luthor, the most inept check
forger of his time --
A pity he didn't live to see his
son strike out for the big city.
A pity he didn't live to see how,
from humble beginnings, I
created an empire.
Compared to what came before? A
year of living in the sewers?
A part of that will always be
So I've noticed.
(to the heavens
Criers and complainers! That's
what I get! Moaners and
groaners! Me, Lex Luthor, who
figured out how to live in luxury
without ever paying one cent in
taxes. Lex Luthor, who built this
fantastic kingdom under the sea,
so to speak, hidden and undetected
by the fools who eke out their
miserable lives on the streets above.
Streets, Sunlight. When was the
last time I saw sunlight.
You'll be seeing stars in a
minute, Miss Teschmacher. y'know?
Even that would be an improvement.
LUTHOR strides around his table-top map like Napoleon.
An improvement! What will you
say when -
(point to map)
-- when you share in the glory
of the greatest land grab since
they bought Manhattan Island for
Do you know what my IQ tested at
in the third grade?
( to EVE)
Yes. Makes you look like a dummy,
(a quick George
Life is never boring with me.
He turns a full radiant smile on them.
TWO SHOT -- EVE and ALBERT, poker-faced
Satisfied, LUTHOR spins on his heal and begins to walk toward OTIS, who instinctively backs up. PAN AND MOVE IN.
Now then, Otis. Did you get
what I asked for?
Yessir. Just what you wanted.
FAVORING OTIS - who steps forward to the table-top display and mysteriously removes a small box from his jacket pocket. The others crowd around, waiting. Now OTIS opens the box and removes a toy pine tree from a model train set and proudly places it on the model terrain.
(snatching it up)
Not there! A pine tree in Death
Valley? Idiot! This is for the
North Woods section!
Did I do good, Mr. Luthor?
But what took you so long?
He stalks him, advancing till he has OTIS backed up against the edge of the desk. his eyes narrow.
What's the matter, Otis?
Matter? With me? Nothing's
Otis, were you up to your old
LUTHOR reaches forward on his desk, pulls a Kleenex out of the dispenser and begins to chew it.
I broke the man out of prison --
I'll always be grateful, Mr.
I gave him steady employment --
I'll never forget you for that,
I gave him this new face.
(who is pretty ugly)
LUTHOR gets up from his desk and sort of writhes over to the squirming OTIS.
And now he lies to me. He has
been stealing ladies' purses again.
(zeroing in ruthless)
Haven't you? Haven't you, you
miserable petty crook?
I guess I...uh...regressed.
MED. CLOSEUP - LUTHOR - He gives OTIS a look that could freeze water. Then turns and walks back to his desk with elaborate weariness, gesturing like a man who has to bear a terrible burden in order to get his work done.
Feed the pets, Otis.
ON OTIS - cringing at the prospect. Gasps from EVE and ALBERT.
WIDE SHOT - NEW ANGLE -- They start across the enormous room toward the curtained wall on the far side. OTIS can barely walk, so fearful is he. LUTHOR prods him ahead of him with a sharp jabs in the spine.
DOLLY IN AND TRACK with them.
Speaking of feeding things,
what about dinner?
What about dinner? I have to
worry about the crime of the
century, that's all. Y'know?
Am I supposed to worry about
what's in the refrigerator, too?
What's in it?
There's some slice American
cheese...and...a half a bottle
of club soda, I think.
Wonderful. Otis will go above
and steal some Big Macs.
First the pets, Otis.
91 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S HALL - NIGHT
As the approach the wall, we SEE that it is covered by a massive curtain. A complicated ladder arrangement stands adjacent to it. An electronic opening system with a button is mounted on the wall above it. As they get near it:
Ahhhh, my favorite part of the day.
Who else could have thought of
Shut up, apple-polisher.
LUTHOR mounts a ladder arrangement that stands adjacent to the massive curtain. An electronic opening system with a button is mounted on the wall above it.
ANGLE UP, VERY WIDE, FAVORING LEX, who is very full of himself:
Y'see. it's just a matter of applying superior
intellect to known fact, Example. Fact: for
years, children have been flushing baby alligators
down the drain when their mothers got sick of
them. As well as pet turtles with patriotic and civic
mottoes painted on their backs. Supposition: these
creatures live and grow and thrive and prosper in
the sewers of the city. Application: build a conduit
channel them into a private underground tank. Result?
He presses the button. The curtain rises, revealing an enormous glass-walled tank, open on the top, that is exactly what LEX LUTHOR described: filled with the most grotesque collection of monsters you have ever seen. Giant albino alligators, all of them horribly white from living in the dark sewers: enormous turtles with American flags and mottoes on their backs; giant swimming rats, snakes, eels and God-knows-what-else. They thrash around in the most revolting brackish, filthy water imaginable. LEX LUTHOR'S response to the sight of his "pets" is ecstatic. H begins to croon to them in a baby-talk falsetto voice the way certain, otherwise normal people do when speaking privately to their dogs of cats, As we WATCH this grotesque aquarium:
There's my pwecious sweet wittle babies,
yes. The sweetie babies, yes. Who's my
baby little sweet heart? Yes. Yes look at
Favoring the most ugly albino alligator of all.
Isn't he growing into a big fella, yes, yes,
Daddy's big fella. My little Simba, yes.
(suddenly, harsher to OTIS)
Feed them, Otis.
ON OTIS - who turns pale at the thought.
Looking like a man ascending the gallows, Otis ascends the ladder to the very top, where we SEE that a feeding platform extends over the top of the open tank. He crawls out on that, in total terror. The alligators and rats begin leaping from the water, snapping at him. A large box of God-knows -what with a shovel in it is there: the food.
Otis pulls on rubber gloves and then begins shoveling the garbage into the tank. As the voracious beasts leap and snap at the food, we HEAR O.S.:
Yes, my little babies are sooo hungry, aren't
they? Yes Daddy's going to make your
tummies feel sooo good, yes...
92 INT. CITY ROOM - DAILY PLANET - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- a lot of frenetic activity although the clock on the wall indicates that it is eight o'clock at night. The CAMERA DOLLIES through all the chaos toward the door to Perry White's office as it opens and PERRY WHITE comes out, a sheaf of galleys in his hand.
Olsen, take this Loch Ness update
down to composing and tell them to
use it as fill unless something comes
in on that jewel robbery.
He crosses to one of the reporter's desks, picks up the phone. JIMMY OLSEN takes the galleys from him and disappears O.S.
Harry? That's it. Put 'er to bed.
He hangs up, turns to the room full of reporters.
All around him reporters jump to their feet and run for the door. The CAMERA TRACKS IN FRONT of PERRY as he crosses to LOIS' desk.
Lois, the kickback story...
(the smart alec)
Nine to five it's a Pulitzer Prize,
I was going to say that there's only
one 'p' in subpoena. What the hell
did you major in at Radcliffe? Middle
(he turns to CLARK
who sits nearby)
Nice job on the teamster's update,
PERRY WHITE turns and walks away.
ON CLARK - as he looks around to make sure that no one is watching, then, using super- breath. he clears off his desk.
PAN IN MED. SHOT as he walks over to LOIS who is sitting back enjoying a cigarette, her feet up on her desk.
What now, my love?
Big night coming up?
Oh, not really. I guess I'll just
watch a little TV and --
-- unless...would you be
interested in dinner?
Thanks, Clark, but I'm booked
for the night.
It's not what you think. Darn it.
I'm going out on a story. The
Secretary of Defense is landing
at the airport tonight and this
kid's going to be there to make
sure he answers a few questions
he'd rather duck.
(half in admiration)
Don't you ever give up?
FAVORING LOIS - who sighs, ruminating a bit.
For what? Oh, I've see the way
the other half lives. My sister, for
instance. it looks terrific, but is
that what I really want? Three kids,
two cats, and fifteen needlepoint
pillows? I'd go bananas after one
week. Hell, I need this crazy
existence of mine.
(she lights one cigarette
from the butt of the last)
Like I need the plague, right?
That's what your thinking.
No. I'm just thinking that you
smoke too much, if you don't
mind my saying so.
There's no real proof that
(shakes his head)
Lois, you should see what the
inside of your lungs look like.
NEW ANGLE -- She rises, grabs her reporter's notebook, start toward the elevators.
I appreciate the advice, okay?
But I've got a story to do.
He catches up to her.
Can I take you to the airport?
Not unless you can fly.
They have reached the elevators.
The elevators door opens. She enters.
(with a farewell
Up, up and away.
The elevator doors shut. HOLD ON CLARK. A moment later, the other elevator stops and opens its doors. A man is in it. As CLARK enters:
The doors shut.
93 EXT. ROOF OF THE DAILY PLANET - NIGHT
A helicopter sits on a landing pad, its blades turning, its motor on. From the rooftop fire door exit, LOIS emerges, bends down and runs in that position under the blades and into the chopper. The pilot helps her in. As she straps her safety belt on, the pilot start the craft, which begins to rise.
Suddenly a great gust of wind spins the helicopter around. It slams into the tower with one pontoon hanging over the edge of the building - this is the passenger (Lois) side.
CLOSER - The jolt slams the pilot forward against the windshield, knocking him unconscious.
94 TRACKING WITH CLARK
As he walks down the street, coming from the office. As he reaches the cross street -- WIDEN -- he sees a small crowd across the street that has gathered on the corner, looking up and pointing, excited. he looks up to see what they're looking at.
95 ANGLE UP - POV
The chopper in trouble on the roof.
96 EXT. ROOF OF THE DAILY PLANET BUILDING - NIGHT
CLOSE on the chopper -- The pilot is out cold, Lois frantic, sees her predicament and looks down at her side.
97 HER POV
A sheer drop to the street.
98 ON THE CHOPPER
As she unbuckles her safety belt and tries to crawl over the pilot to the door on his side that will lead her to the rooftop and safety. The helicopter rocks back and forth violently
WIDE SHOT -- The blade of the propeller jams against the exit door on the roof, blocking it.
99 EXT. STREET - NIGHT
CLOSEUP - CLARK KENT -- horrified at what he sees.
Then, with a look of determination on his face, he turns and pushes his way through the mob of people.
HIS POV -- On a corner, by an alley, is a phone booth, of the type that is glassed from about the shoulders up and solid panels below. It seems to be unoccupied.
ON CLARK - He races to it. In one motion he pulls open the door and pushes in. As he does so:
As he steps back, startled, PAN DOWN HIS POV - a very LITTLE OLD LADY. already on the phone. regarding him furiously.
LITTLE OLD LADY
Find your own phone booth, sonny!
ON CLARK - muttering to himself, he runs toward the alley.
100 EXT. ROOF OF DAILY PLANET - NIGHT
ON the chopper -- Lois starts to crawl over the pilot when, suddenly, the balance of the chopper shifts. It tilts the other way with a great lurch, throwing her door open and sending her flying out into space. As she goes, she screams and grabs the undone safety belt - the only line she has.
101 EXT. STREET - NIGHT
CLARK races into an alley.
PANNING WITH him at SUPER-SPEED: Now, before our eyes, CLARK KENT metamorphoses into SUPERMAN. The CLARK KENT outfit and manner seem literally to vanish as the classic image of the heroic SUPERMAN in full costume materializes. As he races into an alley where this happens, a Super-Fly style BLACK PIMP in incredibly wild and garish pimp clothes comes out of a doorway just in time to see SUPERMAN in full regalia.
Hey, Jim ! That outfit is bad-
(no time for small talk)
And with burst of energy, he rises from the ground and flies up into the sky. CAMERA ZOOMS WITH him as he soars to the heights.
ON THE PIMP - watching him fly off.
(calling to the departing
Where you get them cloths, baby?
Who's your tailor?
102 EXT. STREET - NIGHT
ON THE CROWD -- watching Lois dangling from the helicopter when:
103 THEIR POV - SUPERMAN
Appears flying toward the disabled helicopter.
It's a bird!
THIRD VOICE (woman)
No, it's some kind of plane!
Damned if I know, lady.
104 CLOSER ON THE HELICOPTER
LOIS Dangling from the open cockpit hanging on by her safety belt. Slowly, carefully, she tries to pull herself into the cabin. Suddenly, she tries to pull herself into the cabin. Suddenly the helicopter slips and tilts even more precariously over the edge.
LOIS freezes. Nevertheless the helicopter begins to slip forward, sliding closer and closer to the edge.
TIGHT ON LOIS - a, from EDGE OF FRAME, we SEE SUPERMAN'S mighty arm reach out and grab her around the waist. She is positioned so that her back is partly to SUPERMAN.
Easy now, miss, I've got you???
(in a panic)
You've got me? Who's got you???
Do as I say. Let go!
Oh, God! I'm going to die!
( a warm chuckle)
Not while I'm around you're not.
She lets go. He grabs her tight.
WIDER ANGLE -- Holding LOIS with one arm, SUPERMAN grabs the bottom of the helicopter with the other hand and lifts it clear of the building.
O.S. SOUND: A GASP from the street below.
PAN UPWARDS as SUPERMAN slowly lifts the helicopter and carries it to a flat, open area of the roof. Firs he sets LOIS down and then the helicopter on to the roof.
ON LOIS -- watching him, in a state of shock.
Let's just say I'm a friend.
(motioning to the helicopter)
And watch yourself from now on with
those things, Okay?
I mean if the good lord wanted people
to fly he would have given them wings.
Then, from behind the jammed exit door, a furious POUNDING.
PERRY WHITE'S VOICE
Open this damn thing!
ON SUPERMAN - As he hears Perry, he takes his cue to split. He leaps from the edge of the building, does a loop in the air, and flies away.
105 EXT. SKY OVER DAILY PLANET BUILDING - NIGHT
SUPERMAN starts to drift down from the roof to the alley, fully expecting to go back to being Clark Kent in a moment.
ON HIM as he floats down, Suddenly he frowns and looks sharply across the street.
106 HIS POV
ZOOM INTO an EXTREME TELEPHOTO SHOT a s BURGLAR emerges from a window in a large apartment house and steps out on a ledge. He drops a fistful of glittering jewels into a bag tied at his waist, then positions suctions cups already attached to his hands and knees. He begins slowly, laboriously, to ascend the side of the building, breathing hard and looking up with concentration.
CLOSEUP - BURGLAR -- Suddenly astounded. his face registers shock.
BURGLAR'S POV - SUPERMAN strolling down toward him. defying logic and gravity, coming from the top floor. He nods at the BURGLAR like one stroller acknowledging another pleasantly.
SIDE VIEW -- The BURGLAR, greatly unnerved, begins to crawl faster, frantically trying to get away. As a result, his suction cups don't stick firmly and he slips and falls from the building.
WIDE SHOT -- as SUPERMAN dives and catches him. In one orchestrated movement, he swoops down and deposits the BURGLAR before PATROLMAN MOONEY who has been quietly walking his beat.
(thrusting the dazed
I think you two might have
something to talk about.
TWO SHOT -- The BURGLAR and PATROLMAN MOONEY look at each other in disbelief at what just happened.
107 EXT. SKY ABOVE METROPOLIS - NIGHT
SUPERMAN in mid-air again. Suddenly, exhilarated, literally high, he executes a complicated loop, feeling a kind of release, a physical joy in flying. As he comes out of his loop:
SOUND: the CROWD below is CHEERING.
SUPERMAN looks down, surprised in this private moment.
108 ON THE GROUND
The CROWD that has formed is looking up at him, waving, pointing.
109 ON SUPERMAN
Seeing them. smiling and thrilled for a moment. Then suddenly he turns shy (the Kent training) and flies off abruptly.
110 EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT
He lands in an alley. DOLLY IN CLOSER. He stands still a moment, leaning against the wall, his face reflecting all the emotions from exuberant joy to terrible embarrassment, is eyes closing for a moment as he tries to master the changes he is going through tonight, the trip he is so literally o. HOLD ON him like this, when:
SOUND: a CLUNKING, as something being set down on a steel floor.
His eyes open. His head turns.
HIS POV - On the street off the alley, a GANG OF THUGS has pulled a truck up to the loading platform of a warehouse. Its tailgate is down. They are carrying television sets and other purloined appliances, out of the place and into the back of their truck, all in silence.
111 EXT. WAREHOUSE LOADING PLATFORM -- NIGHT
As they load up the stuff, one of the CROOKS on the platform picks up a lightweight carton labeled "Hair Dryer" and tosses it to his accomplice inside the truck, but a hand catches it mid-way before it gets there. PULL BACK TO REVEAL SUPERMAN holding the box.
Doing a little spring cleaning, boys?
Who the -- ?
From behind him, another crook creeps up, a crowbar raised.
What kinda outfit is that, ya fruit?
The guy behind brings the crowbar crashing down on Superman's skull. An amazing result: as if he hit it against solid steel. It vibrates so terrifically in his hands that it nearly kills him. As he stands shaking from it:
Bad vibrations, man.
He turns, fists clenched, and starts toward the others, who cower against the wall.
112 EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT
SUPERMAN reaches the end of an alley. As he saunters by, three kids, who do not even notice him behind them, are busily engaged in spray-painting graffiti on a blank wall.
ON THE KIDS -- As one of them raises his spray can with a great flourish and points it, we SEE suddenly on the wall (SPECIAL EFFECTS, BURNED IN WITH HEAT VISION) glowing for a moment, this legend: DO NOT WRITE ON WALLS.
The kids look at each other with terrified consternation even as the legend cools and abruptly fades, leaving a pristine wall. They drop their spray cans and run.
113 INT. POLICE STATION HOUSE - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- PATROLMAN MOONEY and the BURGLAR stand before the DESK SERGEANT. Another cynical OFFICER leans on the desk, amused.
Sure, Mooney. A big fella came
flying down out of the sky.
(still in shock)
He saved my life.! He had a red cape.
(this gets better and
Red cape. Sure.
The other cop dissolves in guffaws and starts to leave.
O'Malley, how can ya leave now?
And miss all this?
Oh, I got to go home.
(a mocking nod to
Raquel Welch is waintin, y'know.
It's okay, pal. We know, don't we?
114 EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF PLANET BUILDING - NIGHT
The CROWD has grown. Their heads are craned up. looking right. n the edge of the CROWD. a TV mobile unit is filming the action also waiting.
MAN IN CROWD
There he is!
FOLLOW his pointing finger up and right as Ooooohs and Ahhhhs rise from the CROWD.
115 ANGLE UP TO SEE SUPERMAN flying between buildings, soaring above their heads.
116 ON THE CAMERAMAN, filming frantically.
Hey! Down here!
117 HIS POV: SUPERMAN suddenly swoops down, smiling, and gives a little salute to the TV camera, then flies up and away. There is a little bit of an ego trip going on here.
Drifting down, he suddenly cocks his head. ZOOM ONTO his ear, to denote super-hearing.
SOUND: (what he hears) A faint, far-off but frantic "MEOW! MEOW!"
118 EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT
AERIAL VIEW: LOOKING DOWN, we SEE a cat in the top branches of a tree. At the base. a LITTLE GIRL looks up, but not -- for once -- at SUPERMAN. She is looking at the cat.
SOUND: Another MEOW of distress.
Frisky,! Oh, Frisky, please come down!
Instantly, SUPERMAN soars INTO FRAME, into the tree. He scoops up Frisky, and gently holding him to his chest, glides down and lays him in the arms of the LITTLE GIRL.
(hugging her cat)
Oh, Frisky, you naughty thing --
Then, almost as an afterthought:
She runs up the steps and inside
SUPERMAN shakes his head and then flies off.
119 EXT. METROPOLIS STREET - NIGHT
In an affluent area (perhaps around the Plaza Fountain) another CROWD, looking mostly well-heeled, many of them are people who have just left the theater or a restaurant, congregate, gazing at the sky as eagerly as the other crowds. A very coifed WOMAN in a mink wrap, holding a large handbag rather loosely, gives the signal.
(pointing a be-ringed
Look! Look there!
Heads turn to look. But we HOLD TIGHT on her FROM BEHIND as a hand comes INTO FRAME and unclasps her bag, reaches in, pulls out a fat money purse, closes the bag again. PULL BACK TO SEE the pickpocket. It is OTIS, doing his thing. FOLLOW him as he moves happily through the CROWD, all of whom are looking up. Great pickings. he picks the pocket of a MAN, pulls out a wallet. He moves on to a nearby WEALTHY COUPLE when the WOMAN suddenly moves away.
Well, there he goes. Show's over.
Her ESCORT lays a hand on her arm, stopping her.
Oh, he'll be back. Let's stick
OTIS nods happily and moves on to his next victim.
120 EXT. SKY - NIGHT
PICKING UP SUPERMAN as he flies on a bit further, doing one little loop over the empty street just for the hell of it. As he right himself, he is very near the East River, which can be SEEN.
121 HIS POV, LOOKING DOWN AND WIDE: The East River looks like a postcard picture - - still, dark, vast. lights glittering cross the water. Peaceful. Then, abruptly, a big customized Cadillac, with phone antennas and other distinguished marks, comes screeching at a great speed right out onto one of the piers. This is all at a great distance from SUPERMAN. The Caddy stops on a dime at the edge of the pier.
122 EXT. PIER - EAST RIVER - NIGHT
ON the Cadillac - The front doors fly open and out pop two MAFIOSO types, big gorillas. They pull out a third hood. He is terrified, and he should be: his arms are tied and his feet are encased in a cement block. They drag him to the end of the pier.
Listen to him. All he can do is squeal.
Tell it to the fish, squealer!
They push him off the dock.
So long, Chicken of the Sea!
ON THE VICTIM in the water, struggling desperately to cling to one post of the dock. He loses his grip on it, flails around.
123 EXT. SKY ABOVE THE RIVER - NIGHT
SUPERMAN hears the cry for help. Instantly he turns and flies toward it. FOLLOW him down.
124 EXT. PIER AREA - NIGHT
As he arrives, the Cadillac is speeding away. He regards it with a suspicious look (and will remember it) but he has no time to stop now. he lands at the end of the dock and looks down.
HIS POV: Still water.
CLOSEUP SUPERMAN (SPECIAL EFFECTS). He activates the x-ray vision; eyes dilate.
125 POV: An x-ray vision of the watery depths. Except that this is the East River so what we SEE is a lot of garbage and the victim sinking in it.
126 FULL SHOT -- SUPERMAN dives into the river. HOLD a beat. Nothing. Then, in a mighty rush, up comes SUPERMAN, bearing the soggy HOOD, not to mention an old boot, a blown out inner tube and other charming items. PAN as he lands on the dock and sets the man down. The guy, with his cement base, bobbles back and forth like one of those children's toys that can be punched but never fall down. Anyway, he's alive, if in shock.
SOUND: A LOUD EXCHANGE of GUNFIRE, which, in the still night air, carries far down the river.
SUPERMAN looks up sharply.
HIS POV: Down river, something is happening.
127 EXT. 79TH ST. BOAT BASIN - NIGHT
A police chase is coming to an end on the wharf. TWO MEN, pursued by a handful of police, are running by a handful of police, are running down the wooden planks, FIRING as they go. They jump aboard a fueled and ready cabin cruiser. The police FIRE at the boat as it quickly pulls away from the dock and cuts out into the river.
128 EXT. PIER - NIGHT
TWO SHOT: SUPERMAN quickly abandons the saved squealer and soars up over the river in the direction of the GUNFIRE. HOLD on the victim. still bobbling back and forth.
129 EXT. CABIN CRUISER - NIGHT
The cabin cruiser maintains a rapid speed as it heads downstream.
130 INT. CABIN CRUISER - NIGHT
The THREE GANGSTERS are shaking hands and laughing at their escape from the police. stare ahead, their jaws dropping.
THEIR POV: SUPERMAN stands, arms crossed, on the prow of the ship.
131 EXT. METROPOLIS STREET - PLAZA FOUNTAIN - NIGHT
The well-heeled CROWD as before: some familiar faces have left and many new ones have arrived. But the CROWD is, if anything, larger than before. And, though they murmur to each other, they are all keeping eyes up, waiting for Superman to appear. All except OTIS.
ON OTIS: Sneakily emerging from the rear of the CROWD. His pockets are bulging with loot, his wrist incronguously sports a larger diamond bracelet, and his other hand is weighted with a Saks shopping bag. Whistling innocently, he skitters ferret-like, away from the CROWD. As he does, we HEAR the suddenly "Oooooh" in delight.
132 ON SUPERMAN -- flying over the crowd.
133 ON OTIS -- sizing the moment of distraction, he darts swiftly away from the area and down the nearest side street. FOLLOW.
134 EXT. AN ALLEY - NIGHT
OTIS ducks into an alley. Suddenly he stops, dropping the shopping bag.
HIS POV: the other end on the alley. SUPERMAN stands there, legs planted firmly on the ground, one finger pointing in the "Uncle Sam Wants You" pose, directly at OTIS.
He begins to walk TOWARD CAMERA. (OTIS)
135 EXT. SLUM TENEMENT - NIGHT
FULL SHOT - On the steps of a tenement stand about eight wary, very tough-looking HOODS. Four are white -- bent nose "Godfather" types, with suspicious bulges in their pockets. Four are black, mean dudes with afros and combs stuck in their hair. They are regarding each other warily, but mainly keeping a lookout on the street, protecting what is going on inside the building.
PAN UP the building TO the top (fourth) floor, and ZOOM INTO window, which is half- open.
136 INT. TENEMENT ROOM - NIGHT
FULL SHOT - This room has been converted into a narcotics "factory." A large table in the center of the room is piled high with a great mountain of white powder. Heroin, and worth millions in street value. Scales and plastic baggies are on a nearby table, as FOUR CROOKS, two black and two white, get ready to start bagging the stuff.
IN b.g. through the half-open window the night sky can be SEEN.
One CROOK steps to the table, touches his finger to the heroin, then lick it - the classic bit.
Pure. A hundred percent pure.
By the time we cut this stuff, it
oughta be worth 20 million easy.
Suddenly, like a pinpoint gale wind, a tremendous gust of wind blows through the window and hits the heroin. As the white powder flies all around the room, it begins to look like a blizzard, he four CROOKS are yelling and screaming hysterically.
137 EXT. SKY - NIGHT
SUPERMAN has stopped in mid-air, eyes narrowed, and is blowing super-breath, hard, through that tenement window.
138 INT. TENEMENT ROOM - NIGHT
The dope flying like a white tornado; the crooks yelling.
139 EXT. SLUM TENEMENT - NIGHT
The BODYGUARDS race up the stairs, guns drawn, shoving to get past each other, pulling knives, chains, you name it.
140 INT. TENEMENT ROOM - NIGHT
As the guards burst through the door, they are confronted with the sight of the four CROOKS covered with heroin, looking like they had been dipped in flour.
141 EXT. SKY OVER THE SKYSCRAPERS AD APARTMENT BUILDINGS - NIGHT
SUPERMAN flies through the cement canyons of Metropolis and looks down.
142 POV: The black customized Cadillac he last saw on the docks, instantly recognizable.
It is heading up to a street corner, then makes a right turn.
143 WIDE SHOT - HE begins to fly after it, then stops and turns ninety degrees.
144 NEW ANGLE - The Caddy has made a left now and is coming down a parallel street.
Rather than bothering to chase it all the way around this "U," he flies right between two closely set apartment buildings - zipping through the air shaft - so that he catches up with the car as it comes down.
145 EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Dropping just behind the car, which is traveling at normal speed, he grabs the back bumper and lifts the back up about six inches off the ground. the rear tires spin; the front tires dig in; the Cadillac goes nowhere.
146 INT. CADILLAC - NIGHT
The two MAFIOSOS who dumped the squealer off the docks are dumbfounded.
What is it? Whaddya doin'!
I don't know! IT ain't movin'! It
Well step on it! Give 'er the gas!
INSERT: The driver puts his foot full on the gas pedal. all the way down.
147 EXT. STREET - NIGHT
SUPERMAN now drops the back end back on the street. The car, with full throttle down, instantly charges ahead at 100 mph, completely out of control, and smashes into a lamppost.
148 EXT. POLICE PRECINCT STATIONHOUSE - NIGHT
The DESK SERGEANT we saw earlier comes out of the stationhouse with another cop; they are looking down, watching their steps as they walk down the street.
(shaking his head)
What a night!
You can say that again. The nuts were
coming out of the woodwork. If I get one
more call about an Unidentified Flying
Object - with red boot - well, I'll be -
Looking up now, he stops and stares at the street in amazement. So does POLICEMAN TWO.
Well, I'll be -
THEIR POV: The cabin cruiser in he street, balanced on its keel, with the THREE GANGSTERS wrapped
and tied with heavy anchor chains.
149 EXT. THE TOP OF THE CABIN CHRYSLER BUILDING - NIGHT
SUPERMAN stands on the ledge, leaning against the spire, surveying the lights of the city below him. There is a smile of enormous satisfaction on his face. On the horizon, the sun begins to rise.
FADE TO BLACK
150 EXT. ARCTIC CIRCLE - DAY
WIDE SHOT -- of the Fortress of Solitude.
151 INT. FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE - DAY
WIDE; SUPERMAN and JOR-EL, who has materialized. JOR-EL looks concerned, listening to SUPERMAN, who looks conflicted.
I don't know what to say.
Look, I -- I just -
not looking at him)
I guess I got carried away
My son, I foresaw this. I knew -
No! You couldn't imagine -
How good it felt!
How good it felt -
He falls silent again, ashamed.
....to feel yourself. Very well.
You are revealed to the world.
But still you must keep your
secret identity. First of all,
you will need it as an escape
valve. You cannot be special
twenty-eight hours a day -
Or twenty-four as it is in
Earth time. Furthermore, if you
will reveal yourself, your enemies
will have a way of getting at you
where you are vulnerable: by
hurting the people you care for.
Ah, this Earth...this world you
live in, Kal-El...
Resist its temptations, its
rewards, especially its
There are none of them any
And it is forbidden for you to
interfere with human history.
All you can do, Kal-El, even
now that you have...found
yourself...is help them to evolve.
Set an example. Show them they
must strive towards the light. And...
FADE TO BLACK.
152 INT. CLARK'S APARTMENT - METROPOLIS - NIGHT
OPEN TIGHT on a TV screen (TV EFFECTS). As the NEWSCASTER on the Evening NEWS is talking. Throughout the following, the TV screen ALTERNATES SHOTS of the Newscaster with SHOTS of SUPERMAN in action: footage taken by TV crews during Superman's recent day and night of crime-busting, beginning with the rescuing of Lois and so on.
Good evening. What kind of day was it? A
day that saw what many believe to be the most
extraordinary phenomenon of our time. Our
news film confirms eye-witness reports of a caped
figure, resembling a man, who appeared flying in
the sky over Metropolis. Yes, I said flying. I addition,
sources close to the Chief of Police report that this
creature, or man, or whatever it is, is able to leap tall
buildings in a single bound, to run faster than a speeding
bullet, is more powerful than a locomot...well, its just
incredible, that's all.
At this point, BEGIN SLOW DOLLY BACK TO REVEAL that we are in CLARK KENT'S modest apartment living room. The decor is bland and unmemorable: a few clown prints or hunting scenes on the wall, functional furniture and so on. Seated in a lounge chair in front of the TV set, with his feet propped up on a vinyl hassock, is SUPERMAN. As we first SEE him, he is grinning at al the fuss - rather pleased with his new celebrity status. The effects of the ego trip we saw earlier are still there. But as the news report continues, he becomes gradually more and more thoughtful and serious.
White House comments are guarded at
present. The President is said to be
studying the matter, while sources close
to the Senate Majority Leader are said
to be investigating possible CIA links. As
further accounts of this incident have
poured in, speculation has arisen in some
quarters that the whole thing may be some
sort of fantastic hoax. Randolph Goss of the
Richardson Foundation said, 'We ought to
remember what Orson Welles did to the
country with his "Men Form Mars" the
thing before we go running around buying
this one whole hog.'
By now SUPERMAN looks really distressed. he gets up -- CAMERA FOLLOWING - and walks across the room to a mirror on the wall. He looks hard at himself, expressionless, as the TV continues O.S. MOVE IN TO A VERY TIGHT CLOSEUP of SUPERMAN in mirror.
The Mayor of Chicago commented that
it all seemed t be a publicity stunt designed
to draw attention to Metropolis - a city that
has been having its share of financial problems
of late. Photo experts are presently examining
film you are now seeing. Their question is
everybody's: true or false? Miracle or fraud?
At which point, CUT FROM CLOSEUP of the brooding SUPERMAN.
153 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S SUBTERRANEAN HIDEOUT - OFFICE - NIGHT
On the TV screen as we SEE the end of the same newscast.
Man or myth? he answer is up to you.
REVERSE - On a battered OTIS, who sits glumly watching, EVE is putting his arm in a sling
WIDEN THE SHOT TO REVEAL LEX LUTHOR seated at is desk, watching the TV with a dark, worried, preoccupied expression. He is chewing Kleenex with great intensity. ALBERT stands nearby.
I needed this, Y'know? I
really needed this. just when
I'm nearing the fruition of my
project, Big Bird flies into town.
Go ahead! Kill me by inches! Put
me on the agony rack!
You think he's for real?
He's from another world.
REACTIONS: EVE and ALBERT, surprised.
Is that real enough for you?
It is for me.
Y'know? I'm sure of it. Y'know?
And there's a strong streak of goody-
goody in him that is going to blow
this deal for me if I don't do something
into a snit)
CLOSEUP - LUTHOR
Why?? If you were the strongest,
most fantastic creature in the world,
who would you pit yourself against?
Me! Y'know? for the challenge of it!
154 INT. LOIS LANE'S APARTMENT - DAY
CLOSEUP - CLARK KENT
PULL BACK TO REVEAL: A lovely apartment in a high-rise building with a balcony- terrace off the living room. Lots of books, modern art posters on the walls, etc. A desk with a typewriter. CLARK is seated on the sofa, LOIS next to him, about two feet of space between them.
I'm telling you, I was there.
You were probably so scared you
didn't look to see what the trick
It wasn't a trick!
Oh sure. A man flies in the sky like a pigeon
and it wasn't a trick.
Clark Kent, if you had only seen
it the way I did, you -
It was done with wires. They
must have rigged him like they
do with Peter Pan.
There weren't any wires. I looked.
Mirrors, then. It's done with
He grabbed me! He held me! He
set me down gently! How could
that be done with mirrors?
Look, there was probably a
trampoline on the roof somewhere
and this joker just took a big bounce.
Why would he do that? How
would he know I was going to
I don't know, Lois, but I do know
a fraud when I hear one. This thing
goes against all natural laws.
You're just jealous.
Jealous? Of what?
CLOSEUP CLARK -- as he hears the name for the first time.
What'd you call him?
(pleased with it)
Pretty good name for him, isn't it?
BACK TO TWO SHOT
Is that what they're calling him?
They will once I hang it on him
in tomorrow's edition.
(mulling it over)
(she gives him an
It isn't that I still don't like you, Clark.
It's just that...well, once you've had
something like that happen to you, it kind
of changes a girl.
I'm going to make some coffee.
You want some?
PAN with LOIS as she walks across to the door that opens to the kitchen.
I know, I know, I sound like a
starstruck kid and I've only said
three words to the man.
She enters the kitchen; the door swings shut behind her.
HOLD in living room, PANNING back to CLARK.
'Help' and 'Thank you.' That's
not much of a basis for a meaningful
relationship, is it? Anyway, for all
I know, he's got a wife and kids on
some other planet. The whole thing
sounds unrealistic, I know that.
So I called this guy that's married to a
girl I went to college with. He's a shrink.
I mean, I'll try anything once. So I made
As she is talking, CLARK walks out to the terrace.
155 EXT. TERRACE - DAY
Suddenly he cocks his head sharply: his super-hearing has picked up something. ZOOM to a rooftop across the street, which is covered with TV aerials. The super-hearing picks the announcement coming over the airwaves. As this broadcast continues to be HEARD ON SOUND TRACK, INTERCUT THE FOLLOWING SHOTS:
156 1. CLARK listening, disturbed. Looking down the block.
157 2. ZOOM three blocks to window of an apartment building, a family group runs from all parts of the apartment to see this bulletin on their television set (Mom in her apron running from the kitchen, Son in undershirt with shaving cream on his face running in from the bathroom, etc., etc.)
158 3. Another ZOOM from Clark's POV: The street below, where a bunch of cab drivers have abandoned their cabs and are clustered around one of their number who sits on his fender, holding a portable radio.
159 4. Another ZOOM
A challenge to this...
...flying person. At Twelfth and Main there is a furniture
warehouse. Somewhere inside is a pellet filled with a
propane lithium compound. In exactly fifteen
minutes it will automatically drop into a beaker
of acid. Approximately twenty-two seconds
later a poison gas will annihilate everyone within a
forty block radius. I would remind Mr. Do-Gooder
that within this area is one on the city's
largest hospitals...we have fifteen minutes to find
out if you are what you claim to be or if we have
been the victims of mass hysteria.
160 ON CLARK - a look of determination on his face, he starts to metamorphose into SUPERMAN.
(still talking from
...and then he said, 'maybe the man's
a father figure.' So I said, 'look, my
Pop's a swell guy, but he doesn't go
flying around town in a red cape..."
Clark's blue serge suit, tie and shirt disappear, leaving him in his Superman costume. The Transformation is not quite complete however, because he still has on his glasses, when:
ON THE DOOR TO THE KITCHEN -- as it swings open and LOIS comes out. She spots SUPERMAN, freezes. There is a beat of silence.
ON SUPERMAN -- Nervous. How to explain.
CLOSE ON LOIS
(she suppresses a
You dear, sweet man. That
silly costume must have cost
you a fortune.
Suddenly we realize that Superman's disguise is, in fact, perfect: that Lois cannot believe Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same.
WIDE SHOT -- as LOIS crosses to him.
I'm sorry for laughing, Clark.
I'm very touched you went to all
this trouble to impress me, but...
(she starts to
I'm sorry. It's just that you look so...
LOIS turns away because she can't control her laughter.
I'm sorry, Clark. But I mean
it's just not you. I'm very
She explodes with laughter and dashes into the kitchen in order to spare him.
ON SUPERMAN -- He glances in a mirror, shrugs.
Maybe it needs a tuck in the
He jumps on the balcony railing and flies off. HOLD for a beat, then LOIS, having regained her composure, comes back out of the kitchen.
She looks around, but Clark is nowhere is sight.
Oh, now I've gone and hurt his
161 EXT., WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- The entire area has been cordoned off, dozens of fire trucks and police cars are drawn up. The warehouse itself is floodlit. The CAMERA DOLLIES IN to the main entrance where a number of MEN from the bomb squad stand, strapping on their protective gear, we HEAR:
O.S. SOUND: a WHOOSHING NOISE.
A moment later SUPERMAN lands directly in front of the warehouse and waves the police back. He turns to the door. looks at it a moment.
162 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S SUBTERRANEAN MONITOR BOARD
OTIS, ALBERT and EVE stand by a bank of TV monitors set up on a walkway in the bowels of the Metropolis sewers. Below them, the brackish canal. LUTHOR is coming down the walkway toward them, when OTIS sees SUPERMAN on one of the monitors, standing by the warehouse door.
LUTHOR scurries over to look.
163 EXT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
SUPERMAN opens the door -- a heavy metal one. Suddenly there is a TREMENDOUS EXPLOSION (a lot of flames and smoke) directly in front of SUPERMAN'S chest. HOLD for a beat as the SCREEN IS FILLED with smoke.
ON THE BOMB SQUAD - Behind SUPERMAN, the blast has knocked them on their ass. They run for cover behind police cars.
ON THE DOOR - As the smoke clears, we SEE that the explosion didn't even slow SUPERMAN down. He tears apart what's left of the massive door as though it were tinfoil and steps inside.
164 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S SUBTERRANEAN MONITOR BOARD - NIGHT
LUTHOR is now seated at a console of buttons in front of the monitors, scowling. Two of the monitors show the exploded door simultaneously from both sides of the warehouse doorway.
Nuts. He made it.
Tough guy, huh?
As LUTHOR snarls, EVE checks one item off her clipboard.
165 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
ON SUPERMAN -- as he flings the door aside, steps into the first chamber and looks around.
HIS POV: A room decorated to look exactly like a tacky living room: a sofa with gold threads in the fabric, a free form coffee table, reproductions of woodland scenes on the wall.
166 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S SUBTERRANEAN MONITOR BOARD
ON LUTHOR, EVE, and ALBERT watching the monitors intently.
Bet he makes it.
And with that he presses a small red button on the control board.
167 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- as a door slams shut behind SUPERMAN, blocking off his exit.
CLOSER IN -- as a panel in the wall slides open and a machine gun barrel protrudes. The CAMERA WHIP PANS AROUND the room as a number of other panels slide open and the same thing happens.
All of them begin FIRING at once -- a DEAFENING BARRAGE of BULLETS.
ON SUPERMAN -- as the bullets strike him and bounce off. He strides through the HAIL of FLYING METAL to the door at the other end of the room.
168 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S MONITOR BOARD - NIGHT
I didn't say a word.
LUTHOR presses another button.
169 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
SUPERMAN enters a second room, decorated in rattan lawn and patio furniture. Suddenly thousands of gas jets are turned on. Flames come shooting out of each of them. In an instant, the room becomes a furnace: the furniture ignites instantly and there are flames everywhere. SUPERMAN simply walks right through the wall of fire, unscathed, and starts toward the door of the third room.
170 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S TV MONITOR BOARD - NIGHT
LUTHOR sits with his head in his hands. The others watch the monitors, astonished.
(raises eyes, puts a
finger on a button)
This will get him.
Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.,
171 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- SUPERMAN enters the third room. After about three steps he disappears from view, in the middle of an incredible blizzard.
172 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S MONITOR BOARD - NIGHT
ON LEX -- watching the television monitor, which is nothing but snow.
What's the temperature now?
(checking a gauge)
Fifty degrees below and still
When it gets to seventy-five
below, stabilize it.
173 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT -- as the blizzard stops and the air slowly clears. Standing in the middle of the room is a large amorphous mound of ice and snow. The CAMERA DOLLIES IN TO A CLOSEUP and a thin crack appears running down the center of the shape. A moment later, it breaks open to reveal SUPERMAN, unharmed, as he steps out of the shell of ice.
174 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S MONITOR BOARD - NIGHT
LUTHOR pops a KLEENEX in his mouth -- maybe two -- and chews in rage.
175 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT as SUPERMAN comes through the door into a fourth room.
HIS POV: across a large, open area is a metal vial, hanging over it, suspended by a thin cord is the capsule filled with the poison gas and, surrounding the whole affair is a wire mesh fence. A clock on the wall indicates that there are less then eight seconds left.
176 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S MONITOR BOARD - NIGHT
ON LUTHOR -- He leans forward, eagerly watching the monitor screen. His hand is on one of the dials. He twists it slowly toward the danger level.
177 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
ON SUPERMAN -- He crosses to the fence, studies it for a moment.
SOUND EFFECT: A FAINT HUMMING.
CLOSER ON SUPERMAN'S HANDS -- as he reaches toward the wire fence, grips it. SPECIAL EFFECTS: sparks, bolts of lightening come shooting out of the fence which is charged with electricity. Nevertheless, he rips the fence apart.
ON THE CORD HOLDING THE CAPSULE -- Suddenly it gives way.
ON SUPERMAN -- with super-speed he reaches out, grabs the capsule just before it drops into the vial of acid. SUPERMAN pops it into his mouth and swallows it. He looks around, a worried expression on his face; then spots the vial of acid and drinks it down as a chaser. He looks around and burps discreetly.
178 INT. PERRY WHITE'S OFFICE - DAY
FULL SHOT: PERRY is at his desk, the front of LOIS' coverage of Superman's big poison gas warehouse adventure out in front of him. Ranged around the other end of the desk are about nine REPORTERS, among them LOIS and CLARK.
Now look. We're sitting on top
of the story of the century. So
we got lucky. But in the newspaper
business. luck is a one-shot. We're
on top today, but we've got to work
to stay there. I want the name
Superman and the Daily Planet to
go together like bacon and eggs.
I don't think he'll lend himself
to any cheap promotions.
Who's talking about cheap? I'm
talking about an exclusive
CLOSEUP LOIS -- very interested. PAN to other REPORTERS, listening.
If one of you can get that -- I
mean, I want the real Superman.
Who is he? Where's he from?
What's his favorite ball team?
He is. Usually.
(his parting shot)
Whoever comes up with that will
make Woodward and Bernstein look
like Abbot and Costello.
The REPORTERS file out, and we FOLLOW, STAYING TIGHT on CLARK and LOIS.
Oh, what a chance! If I could
just -- get to him.
(a smile as he gestures
to other REPORTERS)
You're not the only one.
Yes, but I'm the only one who
knows him. I -- I really like
the guy. And he likes me.
(a bit unsure)
I think. I mean, I could talk to
him, you know? And he could
talk to me.
CLOSEUP CLARK KENT
179 EXT. METROPOLIS SKY - NIGHT
We are ON the sky, a full bright moon, a few clouds drifting slowly towards it, but still some distance away. Suddenly, amazingly, the clouds speed up, zipping towards the moon.
PULL BACK a bit to SEE SUPERMAN in the sky blowing the clouds. He stops (and he clouds stop) when they are covering the moon.
180 EXT. LOIS LANE'S TERRACE - NIGHT
As LOIS steps from her living room onto the dark terrace, watering can in hand. WIDE SHOT of the terrace as she begins to water a flower box.
(to herself as she
sprinkles the flowers)
With my luck, now it'll rain.
Not a chance. It's too nice a night.
Startled, she spins around. There, hidden in the shadows, his features almost obscured by the darkness, but his form illuminated enough to present itself, is SUPERMAN.
Right on the first guess.
Wha'...what are you doing here?
I came to talk to you.
The answer is yes. Now what's the
There's been a lot of confusion
in the media about who I am and
what I'm up to and all that.
I'd like to set the record straight.
With your help.
(thrilled, but trying
to be cool)
This is incredible. I was just
sitting here trying to figure out
how to contact you. I mean, you
don't have an answering service,
(with a grin)
Unlisted number, Shall we proceed?
I'll just need my notebook. And some
TRACK with LOIS as she goes to a hanging terrace lamp with a dangling cord. She pulls the cord and the light begins to come on -- a weak flicker -- and instantly goes out.
NEW ANGLE - FAVORING SUPERMAN who is doing what children should never do: his finger is in the outside electric socket, a few sparks flying out. LOIS, looking at the lamp in dismay, doesn't notice.
I think you'll be able to remember it.
I doubt you'll misquote me.
If I do, you can punish me. Fly me
to Bermuda and just lave me there for
(she sits down
on a lounger)
This is fantastic! I wish Clark were
Who's Clark? One of your
Not exactly. He's kind of a
rewrite man. Actually, he's a
bit dull, if you know what I mean.
CLOSEUP SUPERMAN -- a bit offended.
I'm sure he's nice, though.
ON LOIS -- craning to see him. She takes a cigarette from her pocket.
Oh, I've got to get some matches.
I'd appreciate it if you didn't
Well, where do we start?
Ask, You're the girl reporter.
(a quick grin)
Okay. Let's start with these
strange powers of yours.
You think they're strange?
I didn't mean that in any
(granting the point)
I guess they are a little odd.
Well, I mean it's not everybody
that can deliver an air mail letter
without putting a stamp on it.
I wouldn't do that. It's against
The reason I can fly is because
my molecular structure is so
constituted that I have a lighter
density under Earth's gravitational
It must feel great.
It's not bad.
How old are you?
How much do you weigh?
What about this X-Ray vision
What about it?
Can you really see through
Is it true you're impervious
Yes. Although I can get a
headache just like anyone.
Do bullets really bounce off
Only when somebody shoots them
With absolutely no change in tone, looking down and asking this as if it were just another one of the questions:
What color underwear am I wearing?
If that flustered her, she doesn't let on except for perhaps a quick, wild fluttering of the eyes.
Can you actually fly faster than
the speed of sound?
Do you like pink?
(deep breath; still
doesn't look up)
Where do you hail from?
Well, I was born on a planet your
scientists don't know too much about.
It's in the Xeno Galaxy. Or it was. It
was called Krypton. That's K-R-Y-P...
181 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S SUBTERRANEAN OFFICE - DAY
OPEN ON INSERT of front page of the "Daily Planet" bannering: "THE REAL SUPERMAN: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY LOIS LANE."
PULL BACK to a wildly excited LEX LUTHOR, at his desk, reading the interview.
Krypton? The place where Superman
FAVORING LUTHOR: He gets up from his desk and begins walking out of the room. His very manner, not to mention his beckoning gesture, causes his three cronies to follow him.
(quietly, in a
Some people can read 'War and Peace'
and come away thinking it was a simple
adventure story. Other people can read
the ingredients on a chewing gum
wrapper and come away with the
secret of the universe.
(pops a Kleenex in
his mouth; chewing)
I read the article.
Exactly, Miss Teschmacher.
By now they are out of the room and onto:
182 EXT. LUTHOR'S LIBRARY
WIDE SHOT: A massive set of iron staircase and platforms leading into further depths. All around, crammed into every nook and cranny, are books and publications, many dusty with age, all categorized by subject matter, alphabetical order and Dewey Decimal System, many of them purloined from the Metropolis Public Library.
LEX starts down the clanging iron stairs, talking as he goes.
The others straggle behind on varying levels, less anxious to follow him down because sooner or later they will then have to make the long climb back up.
He left Krypton when he was a
baby just before the planet
She smiles triumphantly as if to say "so there!"
See? I see. It's you who don't
see. Doesn't see. I cannot
believe it! How you people
fail to grasp the long-range
significance of this! Y'know?
I'm going to bed.
Stay and listen!
Besides, it's twelve in the
afternoon. This is no time
to go to bed.
CLOSEUP - EVE
(very "up" about
Deductive reasoning, my friends!
That's the name of the game.
What does it say here?
He brandishes the newspaper interview.
That the planet blew up on
May 23, 1937. That the
rocket ship with the revolting
little freak in it took three
years to reach Earth. Ergo?
He's thirty-five years old.
You're a great architect, Albert.
Otherwise, you're a Mongoloid
It's reasonable to assume that
fragments of the planet were
shot out into space by the
force of the explosion, and --
He pulls a slide-rule from his pocket and does some quick calculation.
-- Given the location of the
galaxy he mentions, and --
-- the proximity to our solar
-- some of that debris must have
landed on Earth.
By now LUTHOR has reached one of the bottom levels; the others catching up somewhat.
TRACK as he heads for the book shelves labeled "PERIODICALS A-N."
He walks to a particularly dusty shelf stacked high with old copies on "National Geographic Magazine," darts his hand out suddenly and yanks one particular copy out, quickly flips it open to a certain page. A wide grin on his face.
He flips it around to show them.
TIGHT INSERT ON THE PAGE: It shows an Ethiopian farmer holding a wedge-shaped green rock, about a foot long and five inches high. The farmer grins at the camera. The caption beneath reads: "Meteorite Which Landed Near Addis Ababa since 1940."
REVERSE on the group as LUTHOR puts the magazine back on the shelf and strokes the spines of magazines nostalgically.
Ahh. 'National Geographic." In
my day, this made 'Playboy" look
like Mother Goose.
I don't mean to denigrate your
misspent youth, Lex, but what
does that rock have to do with --
Tune me in , lady. An explosion
such as the one Superman
describes would have altered
the molecular structure of the
I know I'm going to get rapped
in the mouth for saying this, but
No, you're going to get kissed,
He gives her a quick peck on the cheek.
To us it's just a meteorite.
He begins the long trek up the staircase.
The others follow at intervals and with considerably less energy, so that the following is played with LUTHOR talking back over his shoulder or calling down to them as he climbs:
But, to someone from the planet
Krypton, this substance would
be lethal because of its high
level of radioactivity.
Kryptonite! Ah, Kryptonite!
That's the stuff!
You mean bullets and fire and
all that can't hurt him, but this
kind of rock --
Will kill him! And I'm going
to have a piece of the rock!
Miss Teschmacher, pack your --
Yes, I know/
(to herself; a
I wonder what they're wearing
in Addis Ababa.
183 EXT. STREET IN ADDIS ABABA - MORNING
WIDE SHOT -- a dusty, nearly deserted street in a small town in East Africa. THREE GARDENER- SERVANTS are slowly sweeping around the front of a miserable-looking one-story building. A sign over the entrance reads "ADDIS ABABA MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY." Riding INTO FRAME on a bicycle is a MAN in a cheaply- cut conservative western-style suit - the perfect petty bureaucrat. A ratty looking briefcase and a transistor RADIO PLAYING weird AFRICAN MUSIC are in the basket of his bike; all this with great ceremony, as if the king had just come back from the hunt. The MAN extracts a big ring of keys from his pocket and unlocks the Museum door, steps inside.
184 INT. BUILDING - DAY
ON THE ATTENDANT -- as he kicks a rock against the door to hold it open. That done, the CAMERA PANS with him as he crosses the Museum; which consists of one room with four or five glass cases filled with rocks, a stuffed alligator and a few swords and spears mounted on the wall. He sits down at a desk, props his feet on the top and promptly falls sound asleep. HOLD for a beat as we HEAR:
O.S. SOUND: a CAR APPROACHING.
The CAMERA PANS across to a window -- and we SEE a Land Rover pull to a stop in front of the Museum. The door opens and LEX LUTHOR, followed by EVE, ALBERT, and OTIS, gets out. LUTHOR wears a pith helmet.
185 EXT. STREET - DAY
ON LUTHOR -- looking around, filled with enthusiasm.
Ah! The wonders of travel! The
glories of past civilizations!
ON EVE -- not thrilled to be here at all.
There speaks a man who lives in a
CROSS-CUTTING between them.
Breathe that air, Miss Teschmacher.
(with a look)
I will as soon as I get the sand out
of my nose.
TRACK with them as they start toward the Museum.
Well, gents? What did I tell you?
It's a piece of cake.
It's a Twinkie, boss.
186 INT. MUSEUM - DAY
ON THE DOOR -- as they enter, look around. LEX LUTHOR spots the glass cases and crosses to them quickly, quietly.
HIS POV: TRACKING down the row of cases filled with various rocks and minerals from the area. Suddenly the CAMERA COMES TO AN ABRUPT HALT on one of the cases. One of the rocks inside is missing. ZOOM IN TO A CLOSEUP on the space where the missing rock had been. We can READ the small card below the empty space: "Meteorite That Landed in Addis Ababa in June 1940."
CLOSE ON LUTHOR -- glowering.
They're killing me by inches!
(to the sky)
Go ahead! Make me suffer! Milk
(trying to be helpful)
Maybe it's being polished or
something. Maybe they're
Cleaning a rock, Otis?
Jot it down. As soon as we're
back, he feeds the pets.
Oh, Mr. Luthor...
ON LUTHOR -- He nods toward the sleeping attendant.
All right, we'll ask him.
PAN with him as he approaches the guard, taps him on the shoulder.
The MAN continues snoring.
(to the others)
Obviously a drunk. Why am I
surrounded by the dregs of human --
Suddenly he catches sight of something O.S. and his attitude changes abruptly. The CAMERA TRACKS with them as he crosses back toward the entrance to the Museum.
(singing softly to himself)
It's a most unusual day! I can throw
all my troubles away! La de da da...
CONTINUE TRACKING with him as the rest of the group catch up. It is clear from their attitude that they find LUTHOR'S euphoria even more unsettling than his anger.
You're happy, aren't you?
(he ignores her, continues singing)
La de da da...
You're not going to tell us why
you're happy, are you?
By now LUTHOR has reached the entrance. he bends down, picks up the rock that the guard has used to hold the door open. Now that we SEE it more closely, we NOTE that it has the same odd wedge shape and green color as the rock in the photograph in National Geographic.
CLOSER ON LUTHOR -- as he holds the rock out for all of them to see.
The door jam, Miss Teschmacher. This
Ethiopian shmendrick here, in his simple,
unconscious way, needed something to wedge
the door open, the better to inhale the flies
that form such an important part of his diet.
So he grabs something from the table...
We just take it?
What do you suggest, my dear?
The least we can do is leave him another
ON LUTHOR -- giving her a filthy look.
How about your nose, Miss Teschmacher?
And he turns and stalks out the door.
187 EXT. VESUVIUS - NIGHT
LONG SHOT -- A volcano in the first stages of eruption, and very spectacular it is. Flames shoot up against the night sky, illuminating the landscape. Sparks rise like fireworks, and in the flickering light, we SEE SHEPHERDS and PEASANTS still fleeing down the adjoining hills. A RUMBLING SOUND emanates from the volcano and suddenly what appears to be black, bubbling lava starts to flow down the south side of the volcano.
188 SUPERMAN flies INTO FRAME, soaring down from the sky, circling the mighty volcano, looking for anyone who needs rescuing. His circles bring him closer and closer to the rim. As he approaches, there is a sudden burst of incredible EFFECTS: higher flames, rocks shooting out, billowing smoke, a mighty ROAR from the depths, as if the volcano were giving its all.
CLOSE IN as SUPERMAN zooms straight down and lands on the rim of the crater. Poised on the precipice, he draws a deep breath and leans forward and down as if to blow out the volcano like a birthday candle. ZOOM IN TO CLOSEUP of SUPERMAN: suddenly he stops , staring down, transfixed by what he sees:
189 HIS POV: Way down in the bottom of the crater FOUR HUMAN FIGURES can be SEEN scurrying around a bunch of machines; the volcano is not in eruption at all.
190 ON SUPERMAN - He takes off in a beautiful dive and zooms down into the crater.
191 INT. VOLCANO - NIGHT
FULL SHOT -- In the base of the crater a number of strange activities are being orchestrated from a control panel. EVE, OTIS, and ALBERT are doing the work; LUTHOR is conducting, dressed in riding pants and beret, like an old-style Hollywood director.
A steel scaffolding supports smoke pots, fire machines, fireworks, and launches. Pumps drive simulated lava up hosepipes. Catapults hurl rocks and debris in the conflagration above. Oscillators and LOUDSPEAKERS put the finishing touches to the effect that Vesuvius is actually erupting.
Ah! The guest of honor at last!
And about time, too!
We're running out of smoke.
(Outraged as he looks
What is this??!
Makes Cecil B. DeMille look like
the Senior Class play, right?
ALTERNATE MED. CLOSEUPS
Note; 2 pages are missing from this script - skip to later in scene after Luthor delivers the Kryptonite.
I can't hear myself think!
Superman, what can I tell ya?
You met your match your match, y'know
It's only fitting that when the time came
to cash in your chips, Lex Luthor was
(coughs from the still
rising smoke, to
Tears! There are tears in my eyes!
Cut that smoke or there'll be
tears in yours!
ON ALBERT -- very troubled.
But Mr. Luthor, sir, I already --
And stop interrupting. his is the
Your finest hour! You rose to
the challenge, baby! And you
lost. That's the best part!
Suddenly, a violent TREMBLING in the volcano. Rocks starting to bounce around.
Hey! I said enough with the
sound effects, Otis!
ON OTIS: confused. He isn't doing anything.
He's new to the technical
department. All this, y'know,
is just a preview of coming
attractions. In a way it's a
pity you won't be around to see
my next production --
(his hand traces it
like a giant movie
-- 'The Crime of the Century!' Well,
it'd be above your head anyway. So
y'see, Superman, there's nothing shameful
about losing to me. It was a battle of titans.
The best against me --
A fit of coughing seizes as a cloud of smoke drifts across his face -- through it, in a rage:
Smoke?? Again with the --
As a cloud passes, a strange, suspicious look comes into his eyes.
EFFECTS: The RUMBLING is indeed INCREASING, and now lava slowly begins to bubble up in the pit. LUTHOR looks at it and nods, his suspicions confirmed.
And LEX LUTHOR turns and runs like a comet (PAN OVER) out of the crater to a tunnel entrance in the side of the volcano (the way he got in). The tunnel is cut through the rock and leads to the outside.
As fast as he split, so do ALBERT and OTIS, both gibbering in panic, both right behind their boss.
WIDE SHOT -- SUPERMAN lies there, barely moving. EVE, grabbing her purse, leaps up from the console as she sees the rats desert the sinking ship. The lava bubbles higher; the flames rise up. But running over rocks in high heels is not easy. EVE trips and goes sprawling.
ON EVE -- SCRAMBLING to her feet, rubbing a bruised knee under a torn stocking.
Hey, wait for me!
SOUND: an incredible ROAR from the bowels of the volcano. Rocks -- big shoulders -- begin tumbling everywhere and a great cloud of dust rises out of the tunnel she is heading for. She stops.
NEW ANGLE -- the dust settles. The tunnel has been totally blocked by a landslide.
ON EVE -- She stands immobilized, staring at her no-exit in despair. it is the last straw, the end of a lifetime of disasters.
(staring down tunnel)
Okay. I'm going to die.
(a long, sad sigh)
This is the way Eve Teschmacher
ends. With a bang. okay. As
long as my life doesn't pass
before my eyes. I don't think I
could take that.
TRACK with her as, totally bleak, resigned. she turns and comes back into the crater, plops down moodily on a rock. before her is the bubbling pit, which she contemplated dully, and just beyond that, the recumbent form of SUPERMAN, the Kryptonite still on his chest.
ON HER -- She stares at him.
ON SUPERMAN -- Prone.
ON HER, TIGHTER -- Looking at him.
ON SUPERMAN -- Near death.
CLOSEUP EVE -- Suddenly her eyes open wide and she leaps to her feet.
What am I crazy??? I don't
WIDEN SHOT as she makes her way around the rim of the bubbling pit and stands over SUPERMAN. Now she is teeth-chatteringly scared, desperate to make contact with him.
I don't want to die. I know, he left you here. He
left me here too. But he doesn't need you. He got
along without you very well. Me he needs. He
doesn't know it, but he wouldn't last a day without
me. Look -- nod two if no, one if yes. Let's make a deal.
I'll get you out of here if you get me out of here. What
do you say?
She leans down, her hand on the Kryptonite.
ON SUPERMAN'S FACE: A hesitation, his eyes closed. We think, maybe he is dead. Then, feebly, he nods...once.
TWO SHOT - EVE lifts up the Kryptonite and tosses it into the pit of lava.
INSERT: The rock sinks into the depths of the bubbling, gurgling pit of lava.
ON THEM -- SUPERMAN moans. He stirs, more strongly than before. He's still in fairly lousy shape. He tries to rise. EVE gently pushed him down again.
Hold it. Trust me. I mean do
you have a choice?
She begins to massage his shoulders strongly - a skill she has obviously learned for Lex (or in a massage parlor). SUPERMAN reacts accordingly, flexing his muscles, making tentative fists, etc. This is not a "thing" between them at all - none of those overtones - but something they each are doing, parallel, for their own purposes.
Rocks begin to spit out of the pit; not the Kryptonite, though.
He nods again, once, and then...SUPERMAN sits, then springs to his feet in a sudden burst of energy, leaving her still kneeling.
ON HIM - FULL SHOT: SUPERMAN is himself again.
ON EVE - Kneeling beside him. Watching.
TRACK with him to the blocked tunnel, as EVE follows.
EFFECTS - To EVE'S surprise, SUPERMAN springs into a leaping dive, headfirst into the rubble. For a moment, she thinks he, too, abandoned her.
192 FOLLOW SUPERMAN as he corkscrews a passage through like a rot-rooter, all this in a matter of seconds.
193 CUT TO HIM emerging back inside the volcano again; behind him we now SEE light at the end of the tunnel. He pushes a few more rocks aside from the opening. Then, having gallantly "opened the door" for EVE, he waits for her to pass through it.
ON THE PASSAGE -- As he rushes by him, says:
(turning back a moment
in her headlong flight)
( trying to explain quickly)
I just...I can't get it on for good
Smiling, radiant, thinking of Lex Luthor.
HOLD ON SUPERMAN -- He lets out a "phew." It's been a hard day. Pan as he strides toward the crater again, about to begin work of "putting out" the volcano.
194 EXT. DAILY PLANET CITY ROOM - DAY
WIDE: Lunch hour and things are slow in the city room...Some activity, but many empty desks, including those of CLARK and LOIS in f.g. PAN RIGHT to JIMMY, who puts down his sandwich, walks over to the dart board, and lazily but accurately aims a couple of darts at the target. As he does so, CLARK enters in f.g. PAN LEFT with him as, preoccupied, he strides straight to his desk, picks up the thick Metropolis telephone book that always sits in his top drawer, and rifles through it quickly. DOLLY IN TO MEDIUM CLOSEUP.
(Fingering the column)
G. Luthor...J. Luthor...
(he's got it)
(slams the book shut)
Frustrated, he unconsciously begins to tear the book n half.
WIDEN as a startled CLARK sees JIMMY coming over; quickly and almost guiltily he puts down the phone book. To avoid JIMMY seeing it, CLARK goes to meet him. They stand by the dart board, chatting.
You'd better get a new alarm
clock. The chief has been
hollering for you.
(a bit testy; still
I've been on the job.
(trying to be in the
A hot story, huh?
It was hot, yes.
You and Lois, you get all the
(he tosses a near
There she is, out in the wild
West and everything.
(paying attention now)
Lois isn't here?
She's in California. That's
wild enough, I guess.
What's she doing in California?
It's for that piece she's doing on
women and competition. She's off
to the Women's Western Golf Classic.
He passes CLARK the dart.
NEW ANGLE -- CLARK takes careful aim, sighting, and completely misses the board. STAY with him as he strolls away, his mind again on the Luthor problem, preoccupied, worried, and then, having gotten about ten feet, he suddenly remembers the quarter for the darts kitty. Almost without thinking, he pulls the coin from his pocket, flips it into the pot. Ten feet and a perfect shot, even as he strolls on.
ON JIMMY -- staring at the pot, at the board, then back at the pot. he shakes his head; he can't figure it out at all.
195 EXT. SKY OVER METROPOLIS - DAY
ON SUPERMAN -- on a reconnaissance flight over Metropolis. But what is he looking for, studying the anonymous pedestrians of the city down there. Suddenly his attention is arrested' his eyes narrow.
196 HIS POV DOWN: Down there, from the back, a shining bald head, a dark suit, a bit of swagger. Can it be?
197 MOVING SHOT, WIDE: SUPERMAN swoops down on his prey, seizes his shoulder.
198 The man whirls around and it is...TELLY SAVALAS. With lollipop and big grin:
Hey! Superman! Who loves ya, baby?
SUPERMAN smiles, trying to pretend he dropped down to say hi, and then flies up. As he ANGLES TOWARD CAMERA we SEE the disappointed expression on his face.
199 EXT. SMALL TOWN BACK ROAD - DAY
WIDE SHOT -- A peaceful dusty road, a few farms and houses dotting the landscape. The corn is as high as an elephant's eye and the only SOUND is the CHIRP of CRICKETS. This bucolic setting, complete with a farm couple leaning on a fence, is marred only by the presence of FOUR MILITARY POLICEMEN, fully armed and standing at attention on the sides of the road. Suddenly, from over the horizon like the motorcycle gang in "The Wild Ones." comes a military convoy bearing the XK101 rocket. A bulldozer-truck is at the head, the tarpaulin-covered rocket on the huge flatbead truck is behind, and two other trucks behind that. A jeep with a GENERAL rides just behind the bulldozer. As the convoy rolls on --
200 EXT. FREEWAY - DAY
A big car is driving fast. It is Luthor's.
201 INT. LUTHOR'S CAR - DAY
OTIS is driving. ALBERT beside him. LUTHOR and EVE are in the back seat, she oddly dressed: in black pullover and black pants, she looks rather like a cat burglar.
I still don't get it.
(expansively and a
Ah, dear simple Otis. Albert
explain it to him.
(welcoming this rare
opportunity to hold
It's very simple, Otis.
Very simple, the XK101 rocket. It's
nothing, forty years ago we in the
Fatherland were working on this.
Five more years, we would've had
it. But then --
(a sigh of regret)
-- that silly war...Why, my cousin
Werner had already --
-- thought about a rocket that
carries a nuclear warhead in its
nosecone and can strike with an
impact of --
Three hydrogen bombs, that's what
Yes, so, well, Werner would've
gotten to that too but --
(as LEX leans forward
and gives him a paralyzing
-- but the XK101 flies only eight
feet above the ground...well below
the radar limit! So what? We could
have done that soon. We had ways to
make people ta-- ways to avoid the
radar. And this XK101 -- they
think it's so smart that they keep it
in 'missile silos' underground. Hah!
We kept many things underground.
(just as darkly)
One of them should've been you.
(hurriedly, as if reciting)
Yes, Mr. Luthor. The XK101 can
travel anywhere in the world undetected.
It also has a sensory device built into it
so that it can detect any obstacle in its
path and avoid it. It just goes around it
or over it.
(the big finish)
The XK101 never quits! It will not
stop until it reaches its pre-targeted
Got it? Otis?
Good enough for you. Now then --
(he smiles expansively)
-- tell me something I like to hear.
As many times as I hear it...
Tell me again.
PAN LEFT TO CLOSEUP of EVE looking very nervous and edgy.
WIDEN: TWO SHOT -- LUTHOR and EVE seated in the back seat of the moving car. A country road.
(a big smile)
About Vesuvius. About Superman
writhing in the bowels of the volcano.
(loving the memory)
Ahh, the look on his face when he saw
that Kryptonite. When will I see another,
I don't like to talk about it, Lex.
I still can't figure out why it took
so long for you to catch up with us
after we all ran out. Y'know?
You ever try to run in high heels?
(she looks at him)
You probably did.
Is that an innuendo, Miss Teschmacher?
Because if it is, you are about to experience
the heady thrill of being hurled from a
FULLER SHOT: which REVEALS that LUTHOR and EVE have been in the back seat, and OTIS (driving) and ALBERT are in the front,
202 EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
The car drives on.
203 EXT. ANOTHER COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
LONG SHOT: The full military convoy bearing the XK101 rolls inexorably down the road.
204 EXT. TOP LEVEL, CLOVERLEAF HIGHWAY - DAY
SHOT does not reveal location at first. Only that we are somewhere in the great outdoors. TIGHT on LUTHOR and EVE, ALBERT behind them. MEDIUM ANGLE with a lot of open sky above them. ALBERT is raised, ready to come down and give the signal. EVE is in a state of gibbering terror.
(to EVE, sternly)
205 EXT. A ONE-LANE COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
FULL SHOT: Blocking the road is an old pickup truck full of chickens in crates. The cab of the truck, however, is suspiciously unoccupied. PAN to some bushes at roadside. Suddenly the bushes rustle -- also suspiciously.
206 NEW ANGLE -- WIDE. All is silence. Suddenly, from over the hill comes the military convoy bearing the XK 101. As the convoy approaches the chicken pickup truck, it HONKS its HORN insistently but never stops rolling. It rams right into the pickup truck, crunching it, shoving it off the road and into a ditch. The obstacle cleared, the convoy just keeps rolling along. As this happens, a FARMER runs out of the bushes, hurriedly zipping up his jeans. He takes one outraged look at his truck, half in a ditch, and his chickens,
squawking all over the road.
(shaking his fist at
Last time I vote Republican!
207 EXT. TOP LEVEL CLOVERLEAF HIGHWAY - DAY
WIDE SHOT - Now we SEE that LEX, EVE, and ALBERT are on the top level of a big cloverleaf highway. LUTHOR is obviously -- and inflexibly -- answering something EVE has just asked.
They stop for nothing.
But if I put my leg out like
Claudette Clobert in --
SOUND: in distance, we HEAR the CONVOY APPROACHING
Here they come
(checks his watch)
Right on time.
MOVE IN TIGHTER -- Automatically EVE checks her watch, holding up her wrist. We SEE that is an elaborate luminous watch.
208 NEW ANGLE -- To our surprise, instead of the convoy coming down the highway where LUTHOR and EVE await, we SWOOP PAN DOWN.
As LUTHOR swings around, GO to the next lower level of the cloverleaf highway. Here comes the convoy.
ANGLE UP to LUTHOR, EVE, and ALBERT.
(to EVE threateningly)
Don't let me down.
(looks down. poised
to jump, terrified)
You?! How about me?
You have two minutes and thirty-
WIDE SHOT -- the convoy begins to pass under now. EVE wavers on the edge. ALBERT'S arm comes down, giving the signal. LUTHOR gives EVE a shove.
ON EVE - falling.
She lands on top of the tarpaulin-covered missile, perfectly positioned and lying low. CLOSER: She wiggles over to a narrow slit in the middle of the tarpaulin and slips inside.
209 INT. TARPAULIN COVERED MISSILE
Darkness, All we SEE is her luminous watch glowing, second hand moving. Then a pocket flashlight is switched on. MOVE with EVE who holds the light as she wiggles up towards the nose of the rocket. She collapses there for a moment, breathing hard, catching her breath, arm cut holding the flashlight.
INSERT: The second hand moves on her watch.
PAN DOWN to flashlight, now shining on the compass-like dial on the nose of the rocket, surrounded by screws.
EVE removes a pocket wrench from her back pocket, loosens the screws, then turns the main screw , which moves the needle of the compass dial from one set position to another.
INSERT: As the needle moves to its new position. Then stops.
ON EVE'S WATCH: The time ticks away.
PULL BACK: She tightens the screws quickly, once dropping the screwdriver and having to find it fast as the TICKING of time seems to grow more and more insistent. At last she is finished. She looks at the watch.
ON IT: Exactly two minutes ant thirty-two seconds have passed.
ON EVE: -- she wriggles frantically over to where she got in, pulls up the bottom edge of the tarpaulin. We SEE nothing but clear space and blue sky. She is hanging out in space, so to speak. She moans with fear.
210 EXT. BRIDGE - CONVOY - DAY
WIDE SHOT -- The flatbead truck with the missile is on high bridge over a river. The other vehicles in the convoy behind it are about to make a turn to follow, so that their point of view of the missile is momentarily blocked off by the turn. EVE is hanging out of the tarpaulin, over the side. Down below, on the river, LUTHOR and ALBERT, in a rowboat, row slowly to just near the bridge. LUTHOR wears a fisherman's hat. with "flies" stuck in the brim.
211 ON EVE -- She closes her eyes, flings herself forward in space, and jumps.
ON THE WATER -- ANGLE UP -- EVE hurtling down. She lands with a terrific splash, just behind the rowboat. Gasping, spluttering, she surfaces. Before she can say anything:
Your watch is slow.
212 EXT. SKY OVER METROPOLIS - NIGHT
ON SUPERMAN -- flying again, but slower and looking more discouraged than usual, cruising low. He looks down.
213 POV: The tops of various heads. A few with thinning hair perhaps, but nothing that looks like Luthor's dome.
214 ON SUPERMAN -- flying on, looking down always, like a man obsessed.
215 EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT, DOWNTOWN -- NIGHT
FULL SHOT -- That same gang of thieves we saw much earlier, with their same m.o. going: a truck backed up to the loading platform of a darkened warehouse, its tailgate down, as the crooks carry the stolen appliances out of the warehouse and load them in the truck.
216 NEW ANGLE -- way up there in the sky, SUPERMAN is flying their way. Without a word of discussion, the crooks shrug and immediately begin putting all the loot back where it came from.
217 EXT. SKY ABOVE METROPOLIS - NIGHT
ON SUPERMAN: Who never even noticed them, because his attention is fixed -- with concern - on another destination.
218 WIDE SHOT: He heads fast for the billowing smoke and rising flames in the distance: a building is burning.
219 INT. PRESS ROOM OF THE DAILY PLANET - NIGHT
That standard SHOT from every old movie: the presses run as the late edition comes off. DOLLY IN to headline as a PRESSMAN lifts off a batch of newspapers: In banner type -- SUPERMAN SAVES 300 IN SCHOOL FIRE.
220 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S OFFICE - DAY
ON LUTHOR, in dressing gown and ascot, seating himself at one end of the breakfast table. He is en plein form, all is going well and he is humming "Oh What a Beautiful Morning." Casually he picks up the newspaper folded at his place.
REVERSE -- At the other end of the table, her half-grapefruit untouched, sits EVE. She regards LUTHOR as the mongoose regards the cobra - with doomed intensity.
ON LUTHOR -- He picks up his paper and opens the first page of the Daily Planet full out, only to find himself staring at EVE through a large square that has been cut out of the front page. What is left of the page, including the logo, frames his face, and his expression is nothing you would want to see across the breakfast table.
QUICK REACTION EVE: She looks up, looks down at her food.
TWO SHOT, ANGLED:
No news is not good news. Y'know
There was a recipe on the back --
Something you can feed the pets,
Let's have it.
FAVORING EVE -- Slowly, reluctantly, she brings up a large clipping from her lap and slides it across the table.
NEW ANGLE -- CAMERA behind LEX in OVER THE SHOULDER SHOT FACING EVE as he holds up the clipping. We SEE the headline as he raises it, covering OUR VIEW of her face. The clipping is slowly lowered, REVEALING EVE, more unhappy then ever,
TWO SHOT -- Still in silence, LUTHOR leans across the table, picks up her half-a- grapefruit and looks at her face; memories of James Cagney in "Public Enemy" arise.
But suddenly, a funny look crosses his face: a little smile. An Idea has come to him. Even as EVE cringes, waiting for the inevitable, LEX just transfers the grapefruit to his plate and busily digs in his spoon.
(now very anxious)
You're not going to hit me?
(a very slow smile)
Hit you? A clever girl like you?
(as if savoring it)
'He turned slowly, slowly in the lava...'
was how you described it. Now that's
(leans to her)
I have to hand it to you.
(cringing, eyes closed,
waiting for it)
I knew you'd hit me.
He just takes her hand, tenderly.
My poor girl!
(pitying, to the world.
a la Barrymore)
Poor, frightened girl! Ah, just
look at her.
EVE'S eyes fly open, look into his with fading disbelief and the pitiful beginning of wild hope.
You've been under such a strain. And I've
(almost chokes on it)
-- neglected you. Mea culpa! Y'know.
(to no one in particular)
She knows. Clever, very clever.
And unappreciated. But I'm going to take
you away from all this.
(she can hardly
believe her ears)
A night on the town instead of under it?
(a big mysterious smile)
Baby -- I'm going to take you higher.
221 EXT. PIPER CUB - SKIES ABOVE METROPOLIS - DAY
A fragile little one-engine plane flies over the city.
222 INT. PIPER CUB - DAY
In the cockpit, LUTHOR at the control, EVE next to him. SHE looks disenchanted, he looks absolutely jolly. He wears a leather aviator's helmet with goggles, a la Charles Lindbergh.
I don't understand.
Yours not to reason why, Miss
Teschmacher. Relax! Enjoy it!
(with genuine delight)
Just look at that smog!
This all has something to do with
Superman, doesn't it?
Your volcano chum? Your junior
(sudden, awful smile)
Let's get high.
I didn't bring any --
But LEX was talking about altitude; as he pushes forward on the stick and the nose of the plane goes upwards, EVE catches on.
Oh. Why? does he live up here?
Not exactly. But it's his kind of
What are you going to do to him?
She asked nervously.
Nothing, nothing. I just want to invite
him to tea.
You got wax in your ears?
What if he doesn't show up? What
if he's taking a nap?
He always shows up when somebody's
He unsnaps his safety belt and rises from his seat, walks to the rear of the plane, where the hatch is.
Somebody??? Lex -- where are
Lex is going bye-bye.
He starts to strap on his parachute.
Where's mine?! Where's my
Miss Teschmacher, Superman is a
fairly bright individual. My
understanding of the way he works
is that he won't be fooled by a
Good. Fine. Now where's my
I'm wearing it.
I mean the other one!
What other one?
You can't do this to me!
Of course I can. I love you.
And with a cheery wave, LEX LUTHOR jumps from the plane, hand on his parachute ripcord.
223 EXT. GRASSY FIELD, OUTSKIRTS OF METROPOLIS - DAY
LEX LUTHOR landing gently.
224 INT. PIPER CUB COCKPIT - DAY
EVE screaming her lungs out into the radio.
225 INT. CONTROL TOWER, METROPOLIS AIRPORT
TWO AIRPORT CONTROLLERS at their respective mikes, both just this side of hysterical. DIALOGUE OVERLAPS:
1ST CONTROLLER 2ND CONTROLLER EVE (V.O.)
Attention all Piper Cub 143-Y (on mike)
aircraft. Stay do you hear me? Hellllp! Help!
clear of Runways What is your Somebody help!
one, three, seven, problem? What
twelve, fifteen is your landing
sixteen andpattern? Just
eighteen until what in hell do
clearance is you think you're
given. Please doing up there?!
226 EXT. SKY OVER METROPOLIS - DAY
The Piper Cub is circling around in erratic loops, obviously out of control.
227 SUDDENLY, from out of a large white cloud, comes a streak of blue. It's SUPERMAN.
SOUND: EVE up there in the plane, SCREAMING.
228 INT. COCKPIT - DAY
EVE in terror, yelling into the mike.
Help! Hellllp! Hell --
229 The figure of SUPERMAN streaks past the cockpit window, comes to an abrupt stop and looks. Instant recognition on both sides. EVE'S last incomplete cry becomes another word:
(Hel) lo, Superman! You made it!
SUPERMAN grabs the prop, stops it, and sends it spinning in the opposite direction, steadying the plane. A moment later, he whizzes OUT OF SIGHT, coming around the side.
230 ON THE HATCH -- SUPERMAN enters the plane.
You! The girl from the volcano!
(looks around, scared)
Help! I mean -- I can't stop
saying it. Silly, isn't it - There's
nothing to worry about. Help!
What are you doing here?
He wants to see you. Lex Luthor.
The bald man! The one who tried
to kill me?
The way you describe him doesn't
really do him justice.
I'd better get you down.
He sits at the controls, starts to pilot the plane.
Couldn't we forget the plane?
You could lift me in your big
Sure, and let the plane crash in
the middle of the city.
Look, lady, you saved my life once.
I owe you a favor. But I can't
understand why you follow a man
What can I tell you? He's my leader.
Take me to your leader.
As the plane goes into descent:
231 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S OFFICE
TIGHT TWO SHOT: SUPERMAN has LEX by the collar, pulling him nose to nose. SUPERMAN looks fierce and LUTHOR looks terrified.
As LUTHOR makes extravagant choking noises, PULL BACK TO SEE we are in the main chamber. From the doorway, EVE watches this confrontation dubiously.
(shaking her head)
I knew you two would never hit
And she exits just as SUPERMAN releases his grip on LUTHOR'S throat.
LUTHOR backs off, then sighs, throwing up his hands in defeat.
Well -- you've got me! What
can I say?
Plenty! About 'The Crime of
the Century,' Remember?
Oh, that. Listen -- you're
busy -- and it's a long story --
NEW ANGLE as SUPERMAN advances on him, LUTHOR cowers cravenly.
I'll tell! I'll tell! I'll tell all!
(as SUPERMAN stops)
(draws himself up;
Just leave me my dignity. We
are gentlemen. Superman. Let
me...be gracious in defeat.
(as he strolls to
...Ring for tea.
And so saying, he presses a button on the desk.
INSERT: As his finger presses the button.
232 INT. BASE OF UNDERGROUND LAUNCHING PAD
The launching rockets activate and rev up -- great balls of fire and exhaust fumes.
233 INT. UNDERGROUND MISSILE SILO
The great steel and concrete gates over the launching pad begin to open.
234 INT. MISSILE CONTROL CENTER - UNDERGROUND SILO
WIDE SHOT - Seated before their massive control console board, each fronted by a key- turning device framed in red, sit two MAJORS. They each wear a massive key around their necks on a chain, used to activate the detonator. They look bored and half-awake, heir features illuminated by the glowing green dials of the control panels. Suddenly:
INSERT: The red light above the control board begins to flash.
(opening his eyes)
Neil? Did you turn that on?
No. How could...why would I want to...
(the urgency in his voice)
Jesus Christ! It's taking off!
INSERT: On the panel, a red sign light up: "SECOND STAGE, LAUNCHING."
ON the FIRST MAJOR who grabs the red telephone, picks it up.
Major Haley here. Get me Loomis at
the pentagon! Fast! Emergency!
Code Seven: Hurry up, godda --
235 INT. PENTAGON OFFICE - DAY
A GENERAL on the phone, astonished, wild
What! No, I didn't! But -- that's
impossible! Nobody can push
that button without my
He grabs his red phone, picks it up.
White House, pronto.
236 INT. ROCKET SILO
With a rush of flames and a great ROAR, the rocket rises from the launching pad and blasts off
237 EXT. ROCKET SILO - A FILED - DAY
The XK101 shoots out of the underground silo, then suddenly stops when it clears eight feet above the ground, turns sideways and shoots off across the landscape.
238 THE SUPER SPEED TRIP ACROSS AMERICA (PART ONE)
Employing the device wherein you CUT TOGETHER ON FRAME PER SECOND, we present a lightening-fast trip across America from the POINT OF VIEW OF THE SPEEDING ROCKET, eight feet above the ground. The IMAGES WHIZ BY like a magic in this first leg of the trip: the skyscrapers of New York, the oil tanks of New Jersey, the rolling hills and highways of Pennsylvania and so on, PAST Washington, DC. As the classic postcard IMAGES PASS at incredible speed before our eyes. At this point in the trip west...
239 INT. LUTHOR'S OFFICE
The two men where we left them.
I had a dream!
As SUPERMAN makes an impatient gesture --
Okay, okay, okay. Look -- I am, as
they say very heavy into real estate.
And to make money in that game you
have to buy for a little and sell for a
lot. Right? Right. So. problem: how
to make the property more valuable
between the time you buy it and the
time you sell it. Now --
DOLLY WITH LUTHOR as. picking up a professor's pointer on the way, he crosses to a wall where he pulls down a roll-up map of the United States, like a teacher in a classroom. Using the pointer, he points to the West Coast.
This is California. The richest,
most populous state in America.
And growing like a sonofagun.
I don't need a geography lesson,
No, Superman, of course not. You
do get around, don't you.
A little ingratiating chuckle turns abruptly to black despair as he indicates his pointer and his map:
It's just that -- I spent a fortune
on these things!
And all for naught! What a waste --
Of time, Luthor.
Right, right. Where was I? Ah, yes --
PAN UP with the pointer as LUTHOR begins tracking the exact line of the San Andreas Fault from the top to the bottom of the map.
At the San Andreas Fault. Maybe
you've heard of it.
Sure. It's the joining together of two
land masses pushed together eight
million years ago. The fault line
itself is unstable and always shifting,
which is the reason you get earthquakes
in the California area from time to time.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
(back to the map)
Now all this --
(indicates west of the
San Andreas Fault)
-- west of the Fault is the most
expensive real estate in the world.
Los Angeles. San Diego. San
Francisco. And here --
(indicates the line
of the Fault)
-- is just hundreds and hundreds
of miles of cheap desert land.
Land that happens to be owned by
Lex Luthor Enterprises. Well...
(small wistful smile)
...call me a fool, but ...it did occur
to me that if a conventional five
hundred megaton bomb were to
explode at exactly the proper stress
(points to that point
on the Fault line)
-- that would trigger the upheaval
that would cause the San Andreas Fault
to 'do its thing.'
(a sigh of regret)
Ah, it would've been so nice, y'know...
ON SUPERMAN -- a look of horror.
Nice! Most of California would have
been destroyed. Millions of people
would've been killed! The West Coast
as we know it would have --
(trying to hide the
thrill he's getting)
-- Dropped into the sea!
(snaps his fingers)
Bye-bye California! Hello, new
West Coast! Gold Coast! My Coast.
I left my heart in San Francisco...
240 THE SUPER SPEED TRIP ACROSS AMERICA (PART ONE)
By now the rocket has reached the Midwest and IMAGES WHIZ BY at mind-boggling speed: the wheat fields of Kansas, the stockyards of Chicago.
241 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S OFFICE
It would never have worked, Luthor.
You are a dreamer -- a sick, twisted
(seeming to consider
Maybe I should get help.
It wouldn't hurt. You can't go on
living in fantasies. Did you really
think you could get hold of a nuclear
bomb? And drop it?
(shakes his head in
Why, our Strategic Defense boys
would have --
You're right, you're right, Superman.
There were wrinkles to iron out. But,
...there is this new rocket, the XK 101.
(cutting him off, incredulous)
The XK 101. Luthor, that operates
on radio waves. And with our fail-safe
system, only the President himself can
push that button.
I know. I know.
I never promised myself a rose garden.
242 EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAY
MEDIUM LONG SHOT -- A golf course. A bunch of suit-clad, sweating Secret Service men stand around a bunker trap.
CLOSER IN -- In the midst of the group is a MAN holding a black box on his lap, seated in the golf cart. He wears a similar key around his neck. He stares uncomprehendingly at the black box, as a Secret Service man, worried, holds a walkie-talkie next to his ear.
What???!!! No, I didn't push the
button! And stop using that phrase
It's not a button, it's a...What?? It
(he leaps up)
Mr. President! Mr. President!
A chunk of turf goes flying up in b.g.
Goddammit! What now?
As the man runs to tell him...
243 THE SUPER SPEED TRIP ACROSS AMERICA (PART THREE)
The rocket zips on: the green fields of Ohio, the cattle ranches of Texas...
244 INT. LEX LUTHOR'S OFFICE
Still, foolishly, perhaps, I had a
theory that eliminates the Presidential
I was doing my homework...
On radio waves?
(a slow nod)
And garbage doors.
As SUPERMAN looks at him as if he were insane...
(by way of explanation)
Kansas garage doors. Remote control,
y'know. Every bozo in Kansas City has
a clicker to open his remote control
garage door. Well, one day these bozos
are watching the grass grow and they see -
- the garage doors are open. All the
garage doors are open. And nobody had
clicked his clicker. Okay, it's a puzzlement.
Okay, these doors operate on radio wave.
And okay, you push the button, and it's
tuned to the proper frequency and up
goes the door. And okay, all these jerks
are ready to write to "Believe It or Not'
because they didn't press the button, so
what is this 'Open Sesame'?
You guessed it!
You're always one step ahead of me.
(enjoying the irony)
Aren't you Superman?
Yes, right. There was a police
helicopter buzzing the area and
transmitting on the same frequency
as the garage doors. The minute the
signal went out --
(he gestures the
doors flying up)
Zip! Zip! Zip!
As SUPERMAN is about to cut in --
Well, that's their problem, T.S.
But -- but the XK 101 also works
on a radio wave control system.
The problem was to find out the
frequency. Problems, problems, I've
had so many...
They'll soon be over.
In a way -- oh, it'll be a relief.
I'm a wreck. No rest for the
wicked, y'know. It wasn't enough,
the radio frequencies, then I had to
worry about getting to the missile
and adjusting the aiming. So that if
I could have activated the launch --
well, Lex Luthor would've hit the spot.
(with great fondness)
There's a little place on Route 190.
Dead on the practice optimum stress
point of the San Andreas Fault. It
wouldn't mean much to you, Superman,
but I call it...target zero.
(a sigh of longing)
Pancho's Taco Palace...
245 EXT. PANCHO'S TACO PALACE - DAY
LONG SHOT - At the bottom of a hill in the middle of the bare, arid, scrubby California desert is a taco stand that looks exactly like the miniature one seen earlier on Albert's model. A modest eyesore with a drive-up window, one table that sits under full sun on broiling asphalt, and a sign on the roof reading "PANCHO'S TACO PALACE. " Some palace. Just behind it , sticking up in the middle of the desert, is a large, garish billboard that reads:
CHOICE BEACH FRONT PROPERTY
IDEAL HOME SITES
PERFECT FOR INDUSTRY
L. LUTHOR REALTY CO.
As SHOT BEGINS, the owner, PANCHO, dozes behind the counter, attracting flies, when suddenly a car drives down the road and comes to a stop. The door opens and a weary young woman gets out. ZOOM IN ON HER: It is Lois Lane.
246 THE SUPER SPEED ROCKET TRIP ACROSS THE UNITED STATES (PART THREE).
247 THE ROCKET IS NOW APPROACHING THE GRAND CANYON
248 EXT. PANCHO"S TACO PALACE - day
There is a pay telephone booth beside the counter, and LOIS enters it, puts in her dime, starts to dial.
(regarding her hopefully)
But you not hungry?
(a glance at the counter)
Not that hungry.
I have to make a plane.
Hello, Denver Airport? Give me
Western Airlines, please.
All right, I'll wait.
As she taps her finger impatiently...
249 A SERIES OF AERIAL VIEWS that look to be of Southern California.
(NOTE: The following MONTAGE SEQUENCE must look absolutely convincing until its payoff. The audience must believe that it is truly witnessing the devastation of Southern California. Thus we SEE:)
A. The XK 101 hits square on Pancho's Taco Palace, exploding it to smithereens.
B. The San Andreas Fault line in the desert begins to crack open, then gapes wider and wider. Great upheavals.
C. San Francisco: "The Golden Gate Bridge" begins to shimmy and sway alarmingly. Its roadway buckles, its struts bend.
D. Los Angeles: The Hollywood hills are rent asunder; the famed "HOLLYWOOD" sign cracks in two as the mountains part.
E. Highways buckling, collapsing.
F. Vast chunks of coastline dropping off into the onrushing sea.
G. The Golden Gate Bridge collapses.
H. Desert land flooded by the ocean as tidal waves sweep inland.
250 As this SEQUENCE BUILDS in momentum and horror so that the audience is absolutely convinced it is watching the terrible results of the splitting of the San Andreas fault, suddenly as we WATCH what looks like an enormous Los Angeles skyscraper tumble into the sea, FOLLOW it as it falls left and we suddenly SEE the face of Lex Luthor FULL SIZE, behind it as if he were an enormous giant, a Gulliver. As the "building" hits the water, it sends up a splash, some of which gets Lex in the eye. Laughing, he wipes it off: and we PULL BACK TO REVEAL for the first time that we have not been watching the real destruction of the West Coast but we are in fact -
251 INT. LEX LUTHER'S MODEL ROOM - DAY
-- where all of this has taken place on Albert's detailed table-top tank display model of the West Coast, where Luthor programmed all this in miniature, including water, representing the Pacific ocean, which gushes in from the sides of the tank, filling up the area to the "new coastline." Luthor stands beside the model, beaming with pride.
Well, it's very impressive but
you built this junk for nothing.
(enjoying this great
moment to the hilt)
For the first time today, Superman
I must tell you that you're wrong.
But how could you know that -
(checks his watch)
Oh, well. I guess I could tell you now.
Y'see, actually...but this conversation
is becoming rather dry, isn't it.
QUICK CLOSEUP OF SUPERMAN with a "what the hell is this guy talking about" expression.
We never got our tea!
Could I...could I have pressed the
(snaps his fingers)
Of course! Silly old me. I pressed the
button that launched the XK 101!
QUICK CLOSEUP - SUPERMAN: Startled.
(building to manic glee)
Which is now somewhere near the
Grand Canyon and going strong!
And I can't tell you how much I've
enjoyed whiling away the minutes -- !!
SUPERMAN leaps at him and has him by the throat again.
TIGHT SHOT -- Face to face, but this time LUTHOR is sneering.
Now who's the dreamer, Superman? Even
you can't fly that fast!
We'll see how fast I can fly.
252 PULL BACK WIDE
And we'll see how fast you can
And with that, he pitches Luthor right into the alligator tank at the far end of the room. A long pass.
he falls in)
No! No! No!
QUICK SHOT-- Luthor swimming for his life, pursued by giant albino alligators, rats, snapping turtles, and the like.
253 ON SUPERMAN -- Flying up and out, knocking a hole in the ceiling.
254 EXT. METROPOLIS STREET - DAY
On a busy street in midtown, even normally blasé Metropolitans are startled to see Superman suddenly come bursting out of the pavement, heading straight up at top speed.
255 EXT. SKY - DAY
Superman flying high in the sky, looking as if he's straining for speed.
CLOSE IN on him -- as he looks O.S. and down.
256 HIS POV: Far below, flying just over the ground, is the missile, In the distance we can SEE the Grand Canyon.
257 ON SUPERMAN -- He dives for it.
258 EXT. RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON - DAY
WIDE SHOT -- as Superman plants himself firmly in the path of the missile and braces himself to grab it.
259 HIS POV: ON THE ROCKET -- speeding towards him. Suddenly it changes course and rushes past him.
260 ON SUPERMAN -- He lunges for it, but the missile veers out of reach, and whizzes away in the distance.
CLOSEUP - SUPERMAN -- a look of grim determination on his face. He flies off after the rocket.
261 EXT. BASE OF THE ROCKIES - DAY
ON the missile -- zooming along, eight feet off the ground.
262 WIDE SHOT -- Superman has flown ahead and comes at the speeding missile, this time from the side. But again, as soon as he gets within range, the rocket's sensory device goes into action and dodges out of range, leaving him far behind.
263 EXT. PANCHO'S TACO PALACE - DAY
As before. But Pancho is now wiping the counter with a filthy rag as LOIS, very irritated, says into the phone:
Another dime? Operator, I just
put in a dime..
Listen, lady --
264 EXT. DESERT - DAY
ON the missile -- speeding along, just above the desert. The CAMERA TRACKS ALONGSIDE it for several moments, then the rocket outdistances the CAMERA, which CONTINUES TRACKING FORWARD. A moment later, Superman comes INTO FRAME, still chasing the rocket. Now he catches up to it.
265 CLOSER IN: Superman grabs the missile from behind , gripping it.
266 HIS POV LOOKING PAST the nose of the rocket: Pancho's Taco Palace, not far away and getting closer every second.
(NOTE: The distance is close enough for Pancho to see what is happening, but Lois, whose back is turned in the phone booth, has her back to the action and sees nothing.)
267 ON SUPERMAN -- With a mighty effort, he wrenches the missile off its course.
268 WIDE SHOT -- He has stopped the rocket only a couple of hundred yards from the taco stand. Quickly he angles it up and zooms into the clouds with it.
269 EXT. SKY - DAY
Superman rips off the nose cone, as the rocket housing falls to the desert below. Just about to discard the rest when:
SOUND: BEEP BEEP BEEP coming from the warhead.
Startled, he looks at what he is holding.
270 EFFECTS (X-RAY VISION) -- A counter has started its nuclear countdown inside the warhead. 19, 18, 17...
271 ON SUPERMAN -- Instantly he accelerates, holding the warhead, flying straight up.
272 EXT. SKY/SPACE
ON SUPERMAN -- He climbs higher over the United States, gaining speed as the atmosphere begins to blur into the dark mysterious blue of space.
273 EXT. SPACE
WIDE SHOT -- Superman with the speed of light zooms through the universe, past the moon with the Earth growing smaller in the distance. Faster and faster he goes until he bursts through into another galaxy.
274 CLOSER ON SUPERMAN -- as he hurls the rocket into the void of outer space.
275 EXT. SPACE
WIDE SHOT -- as the rocket, speeding through the galaxy, EXPLODES. The closest star breaks into shooting fiery fragments.
276 EXT. SPACE
ON SUPERMAN -- as he is sent reeling through the limitless void, falling away, stunned by the explosion.
277 EXT. SPACE
SPECIAL EFFECTS: Shock waves shake the stability of the furthest galaxies.
278 EXT. SPACE
ON SUPERMAN -- in uncontrolled flight, projected millions of miles, as he regains consciousness and steadies his trajectory. He soars through the galaxies, bursting through into our solar system. He wings closer and closer to Earth, growing smaller and smaller as he approaches the United States, until he appears as a tiny blue dot far away in a sparkling, star-filled universe.
279 EXT. PANCHO'S TACO PALACE - DAY
PANCHO is standing in front of his stand, staring with a stunned expression at the sky, like a man who has seen a miracle. In b.g. LOIS hangs up the phone with a furious slam.
She steps out and sees PANCHO, who turns to her, gesticulating, inarticulate.
Eencredible! Santa Caramba, Senorita,
Nah, you never get your dime back.
And off she marches to her car, having missed it all.
280 EXT. SPACE
Heading up and out, the shock waves are stronger now, rippling through the vast starry reaches.
281 The shock waves crack, crumble and disintegrate before OUR EYES. PANNING INTO space as the shock waves move until they meet resistance of a great crystalline cloud - The Phantom Zone.
EFFECTS: The crystalline walls shatter.
282 THE FOUR GREAT VILLAINS: JAK-EL, URSA, GENERAL ZOD and NON -- as they rush to the opened wall and suck in the air of unexpected freedom.
NON lets out a terrifying howl, like an animal who has burst its bonds.
Their horrifying faces FILL THE SCREEN with yowls of glee as they drift off into space. HOLD as they move further and further away, moving towards Earth, until they are tiny dots lost in the stars.
SUPERIMPOSE: THE END OF PART I