Of the DC Comics characters, Batman may be the most popular, but Superman has always been there right along there with him. So to show our appreciation for this classic superhero we had to compile our list of the best Superman movie quotes.
This may be a controversial choice but when comparing all the Superman movies I just found Zack Snyder’s vision of Superman to be the best so far, this is not to takeaway anything from the original Richard Donner Superman, but this version just feels more mythic. It’s darker tone is a refreshing change and gets this iconic superhero out of the camp zone that it has been sitting in for so long. Henry Cavill gives a strong performance and has great physical presence as Superman. Of course it’s not without flaw and it’s major weakness lies in the romance which comes across as shallow and the overly long action fight scenes towards the end which just becomes generic and bland. Overall it succeeds in giving a solid background story and character development.
Clark Kent (13 Years): What was I supposed to do? Just let them die?
Jonathan Kent: Maybe. There’s more at stake here than just our lives, Clark, or the lives of those around us. When the world, when the world finds out what you can do, it’s going to change everything. Our beliefs, our notions of what it means to be human, everything
Jonathan Kent: People are afraid of what they don’t understand.
Jonathan Kent: You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Because, whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world.
[he opens his coat to reveal ‘S’ shape symbol on his suit]
Jor-El: The symbol of the house of El means hope. Embodied within that hope is the fundamental belief in the potential of every person to be a force for good. That’s what you can bring them.
Jor-El: You will give the people of earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.
Clark Kent: Zod can’t be trusted. The problem is I’m not sure the people of earth can be either.
[Clark rises and starts walking out of the church]
Father Leone: Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first, the trust part comes later.
2. Superman (1978)
Directed by Richard Donner and Christopher Reeves first outing as the Man of Steel. This is one of those movies where it remains to have a great nostalgic feel despite some of its cheesiness. We get to see Reeves really make the character of Superman his own and Hackman is totally over the top as Lex Luthor, but it’s totally intone with the feel of the movie so it works perfectly. It’s a great comic book adaptation full of heart and humor.
[bidding his son farewell]
Jor-El: You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you, even in the face of our death. The richness of our lives shall be yours. All that I have, all that I’ve learned, everything I feel, all this, and more, I bequeath you, my son. You will carry me inside you, all the days of your life. You will make my strength your own, and see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. This is all I, all I can send you, Kal-El.
Jonathan Kent: When you first came to us, we thought people would come and take you away because, when they found out, you know, the things you could do, and that worried us a lot. But then a man gets older, and he starts thinking differently and things get very clear. And one thing I do know, son, and that is you are here for a reason. I don’t know whose reason, or whatever the reason is. Maybe it’s because, uh, I don’t know. But I do know one thing. It’s not to score touchdowns.
[at the Fortress of Solitude]
Jor-El: So, my son. Speak.
Young Clark Kent: Who am I?
Jor-El: Your name is Kal-El. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you’ve been raised as a human, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered.
[as Clark discovers his heritage, his father’s final message to him]
Jor-El: Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. But always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son.
3. Superman II (1980)
Directed by both Richard Lester and Richard Donner, the movie is well known for its behind the scenes battle between director Richard Donner and the producers which led to Donner being fired and Lester being brought in to finish the project. Despite the behind the scenes problems this turned out to be a great follow up to the original with a solid cast, a more personal story and plausible villains. There is some campiness and this is more due to Richard Lester’s touch who replaced Donner halfway through filming.
Clark Kent: General, would you care to step outside?
General Zod: Come to me, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod!
[after using heat vision on a snake]
Ursa: Did you see that? Did you see what I did? I have powers beyond reason here!
General Zod: We all have them, my dear.
[after admitting to Lois that he’s Superman]
Superman: We’d better talk.
Lois Lane: I’m in love with you.
Superman: We’d really better talk.
[returning from the bathroom, Clark sees that his seat next to Lois has been taken]
Clark Kent: Excuse me sir, you’re sitting in my seat.
[referring to the bathroom Clark just exited]
Rocky: You’re seat’s in there, four eyes.
Clark Kent: Somebody ought to teach you some manners, sir.
Rocky: Oh, yeah? Well, let me know when he comes in.
Despite all the negative critic reviews I personally found this to be okay. It has some great parts and some really bad parts and, yes, it did suffer from pacing issues, but in the end I enjoyed it for what it was.
Clark Kent: [to Lois] No one stays good in this world.
The story is centered on Batman enlisting the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, where they work quickly to find and recruit a team of meta-humans to stand against this newly awakened threat. Most of the goodness that could be found here was just taken over by the mess that was made with Superman.
[after Clark has been brought back]
Lois Lane: You smell good.
Clark Kent: Did I not before?
Steppenwolf: You’re all too weak to see it.
Superman: Well, I believe in truth. But I’m also a big fan of justice.
6. Superman Returns (2006)
After over twenty years of waiting for a reboot we got Bryan Singer’s version with newcomer Brandon Routh taking on the role of Man of Steel and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Everything about it sounded great but sadly it had some major flaws, mainly the weak plot and relies too heavily on the love story between Lois and Superman, also Kevin Spacey as Luthor just looked like he was going for a silly Hackman impersonation and to finish off the whole script was filled with some unremarkable dialogue.
Lex Luthor: Kitty, what did my father always say?
Kitty: You’re losing your hair?
Lex Luthor: Before that.
Kitty: Get out?
[to Jason asleep in his bed]
Superman: You will be different. Sometimes you’ll feel like an outcast, but you’ll never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.
Superman: Listen; what do you hear?
Lois Lane: Nothing.
Superman: I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.
[referring to Jason]
Lois Lane: He’s a little fragile, but he’s going to grow up to be big and strong, just like his dad.
7. Superman III (1983)
Richard Lester steps in as the director and sadly the whole franchise took a nosedive here. The script is subpar with dumb villains and way too much humor. The only saving grace is Christopher Reeve giving his usual graceful performance and Richard Pryor. Oh, and the great sequence of superman fighting himself.
Ross Webster: Congratulations. You’re going to go down in history as the man who killed Superman.
Ross Webster: What will it do?
Gus Gorman: Anything I tell it.
Ross Webster: What will it do for me?
Gus Gorman: For you, it will do anything you tell me to tell it to do for you.
Gus Gorman: I don’t want to go to jail because there are robbers and rapers and rapers who rape robbers.
Perry White: I don’t have to tell you, it isn’t easy for me to lose one of my best reporters.
Clark Kent: Oh, that’s okay.
Perry White: But you deserve the vacation, Lois.
Lois Lane: Thank you.
8. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Christopher Reeve’s final outing as Superman and it was so not worthy! This to me is very much like the Batman & Robin (1997) of the Superman franchise and pretty much killed the whole thing until over 20 years later when it was rebooted in 2006. What can I say, it had the dumbest plot, stupidest dialogue, terrible effects, laughable villain, nothing here makes sense or looks good. All you can say is why was it ever made?!
Superman: You’d risk worldwide nuclear war for your own personal financial gain.
Lex Luthor: Nobody wants war. I just want to keep the threat alive.
Lex Luthor: You know what I can do with a single strand of Superman’s hair?
Lenny: You can make a toupee that flies.
Lex Luthor: Destroy Superman!
Nuclear Man: First, I have fun.
Superman: And there will be peace. There will be peace when the people of the world, want it so badly, that their governments will have no choice but to give it to them. I just wish you could all see the Earth the way that I see it. Because when you really look at it, it’s just one world.