Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Faye Dunaway, Helen Slater, Peter O'Toole, Mia Farrow, Brenda Vaccaro, Peter Cook, Simon Ward, Marc McClure, Hart Bochner, Maureen Teefy, David Healy, Sandra Dickinson, Robyn Mandell, Jenifer Landor, Diana Ricardo, Nancy Lippold, Sonya Leite, Lynsey Beauchamp, Michelle Taylor, Nancy Wood, Virginia Greig, Julia Lewis
Written by: David Odell
Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 125
Date: 07/19/1984
IMDB

Supergirl (1984)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Kryptonian Slip

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Warner Home Video quietly slipped out this Super-spinoff title at around the same time as their gargantuan Superman box set, but without including it inside. It's a movie I want to like, since Helen Slater is so appealing in the title role, and since there are so few decent female superhero movies. But the plain fact is that director Jeannot Szwarc turns in a movie so ludicrous and overblown that it skips right over any semblance of logic and into a self-absorbed flight of fancy. The ridiculous plot has Superman's Kryptonian cousin Kara (Slater) coming to earth to retrieve a lost thingee, a glowing ball of tremendous power. A second-rate fortune-teller (Faye Dunaway) gets hold of it, and begins to use its power to take over the world. For some reason her first task is to place a love spell on a hunky gardener (Hart Bochner), who immediately falls for our lovely heroine. Part of the action takes place in an abandoned carnival, but Szwarc fails to understand how well this location could have been used. Still, scenes of Slater discovering her flying ability and other little moments have a lovely tone, thanks to Slater's open-hearted performance. Peter O'Toole has a good time playing Kara's Kryptonian elder, and Mia Farrow appears as her mother. Jimmy Olson (Marc McClure) turns up as the only connector to the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video has released the 125-minute cut of Supergirl, which is advertised as the unrated European theatrical version. But Anchor Bay Entertainment previously released three other editions of Supergirl (all out of print), including a 138-minute cut. However, this new disc has a commentary track by Szwarc, so I guess it's as good as anything else. I remember this movie being released on Thanksgiving weekend. My grandmother took us to the movies that day, and I wanted to see Supergirl, but we ended up seeing Oh, God! You Devil as a compromise. I'm glad I finally caught up with it.