Taglines: This time is gonna be the best time of all!
Wealthy businessman Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn)discovers the hidden talents of Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor), a mischievous computer genius. Ross decides to abuse his talents, in a way to help Webster with his plans for economic control. When the man of steel interferes, something must be done about Supes. When Gus’ synthetic Kryptonite fails to kill Superman, it turns him in an evil incarnation of his former self. The tar-laced Kryptonite pits man against himself, setting up the Clark vs. Superman battle.
Superman III is a 1983 superhero film directed by Richard Lester, based on the DC Comics character Superman. It is the third film in the Superman film series and the last Superman film to be produced by Alexander Salkind and Ilya Salkind. The film stars Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Annette O’Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, and Robert Vaughn. This film is followed by Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, released on July 24, 1987.
Although the film still managed to recoup its budget of $39 million, it was less successful than the first two Superman movies, both financially and critically. While harsh criticism focused on the film’s comedic and campy tone, as well as the casting and performance of Pryor, the special effects and Christopher Reeve’s performance as a temporarily corrupted Superman were praised.
About the Story
Gus Gorman, a chronically unemployed loser, discovers he has a talent for computer programming and gets a job at the Metropolis-based conglomerate Webscoe. Gus, dissatisfied with his pay, embezzles from his employer using a technique known as salami slicing, which brings Gus to the attention of CEO Ross Webster. Webster is intrigued by the computer’s potential to aid him in his schemes to rule the world financially. Joined by his sister Vera and his “psychic nutritionist,” Lorelei Ambrosia, Webster blackmails Gus into helping him.
Clark Kent has convinced his Daily Planet boss Perry White to allow him to return to Smallville for his high-school reunion. En route, as Superman, he extinguishes a fire in a chemical plant containing highly unstable Beltric acid that can produce corrosive vapor when superheated. At the reunion, Clark is reunited with childhood friend Lana Lang, a divorcée with a young son named Ricky, and harassed by Brad Wilson, her ex-boyfriend.
Webster schemes to monopolize the world’s coffee crop. Infuriated by Colombia’s refusal to do business with him, he orders Gus to command a weather satellite, Vulcan, to create a tornado to destroy Colombia’s coffee crop for the next several years. Gus travels to Smallville to use the offices of WheatKing, a subsidiary of Webscoe that manufactures farm equipment, to reprogram the satellite.
Though Gus is successful and Vulcan creates a devastating storm, Webster’s scheme is thwarted when Superman flies into the eye of the storm, neutralizing it and saving the harvest. Webster, seeing Superman as a legitimate threat, orders Gorman to use his computer knowledge to create Kryptonite, remembering Lois Lane’s Daily Planet interview with Superman. Gus uses Vulcan to locate Krypton’s debris in outer space and to analyze its components; he discovers that one of the elements of Kryptonite is an “unknown” compound, but (glancing at his pack of cigarettes) decides to substitute tar instead, thinking no one will notice.
Lana convinces Superman to appear at Ricky’s birthday party, but Smallville turns it into a town celebration. Gus and Vera, disguised as United States Army officers, give Superman the crude Kryptonite as a gift, but it appears to cause no symptoms; however, Superman is seen biting his nails as he studies the kryptonite. Superman soon becomes selfish, focusing on his lust for Lana, which causes him to delay rescuing a truck driver from his jackknifed rig. Superman begins questioning his self-worth and becomes depressed, angry and casually destructive, committing petty acts of vandalism such as blowing out the Olympic Flame and straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Superman 3 (1983)
Directed by: Richard Lester
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper, Annette O’Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Nancy Roberts
Screenplay by: David Newman, Leslie Newman
Production Design by: Peter Murton
Cinematography by: Robert Paynter
Film Editing by: John Victor-Smith
Costume Design by: Evangeline Harrison
Set Decoration by: Peter Young
Art Direction by: Brian Ackland-Snow, Terry Ackland-Snow, Bert Davey
Music by: Ken Thorne
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 17, 1983