Superman's screen legacy dates all the way back to 1941, when Fleischer Studios produced a number of acclaimed animated shorts that arrived just three years after the character first appeared in the historic inaugural issue of Action Comics.

Over the next few decades, Superman appeared in movie serials (starting in the late '40s), TV shows (the first arrived in 1952) and cartoons (The New Adventures of Superman premiered in 1966). There was even a 1951 film called Superman and the Mole Men that wasn't even an hour long. But it wasn't until 1978 that the Man of Steel starred in his first big-screen, feature-length movie.

Directed by Richard Donner and featuring Christopher Reeve as the Krypton-born Superman, and his more human alias Clark Kent, Superman was a massive hit in an era dotted with blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars. Reeve made three more films as Superman over the next decade, before the character was shuttled back to the small screen for a series of adventures.

The character was given his first movie reboot in 2006 with the underrated Superman Returns; lackluster box-office returns cooled follow-ups until 2013, when Man of Steel launched the DC Extended Universe with a new commitment to action and to cramming as many superheroes that could possibly fit into two and a half hours.

So which of these Superman movies are truly super? And which are slightly less powerful than a locomotive from the 1800s? Find out below as we rank Supe's big-screen starring features over the years.










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