Superman III (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Superman III1983

Superman III (1983)



Critic Consensus: When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

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Movie Info

The Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve) takes on a megalomaniacal businessman (Robert Vaughn) who is using a dopey hacker (Richard Pryor) to help him take on the world in this third entry in the big-budget, special effects-laden series. This one places more emphasis on humor than adventure.

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Christopher Reeve
as Superman/Clark Kent
Richard Pryor
as Gus Gorman
Robert Vaughn
as Ross Webster
Annette O'Toole
as Lana Lang
Jackie Cooper
as Perry White
Margot Kidder
as Lois Lane
Annie Ross
as Vera Webster
Pamela Stephenson
as Lorelei Ambrosia
Marc McClure
as Jimmy Olsen
Nancy Roberts
as Unemployment Clerk
Graham Stark
as Blind Man
Henry Woolf
as Penguin Man
Gordon Rollings
as Man in Cap
Peter Wear
as Bank Robber
Bob Todd
as Dignified Gent
Terry Camilleri
as Delivery Man
Stefan Kalipha
as Data School Instructor
Helen Horton
as Miss Henderson
Bill Reimbold
as Wages Man
Shane Rimmer
as State Policeman
Al Matthews
as Fire Chief
Barry Dennen
as Dr. McClean
Enid Saunders
as Minnie Bannister
Robert Henderson
as Mr. Simpson
R.J. Bell
as Mr. Stokis
Pamela Mandell
as Mrs. Stokis
Peter Whitman
as Man at Cash Point
Ronnie Brody
as Husband
Philip Gilbert
as Newsreader
Pat Starr
as White-Coated Scientist
John Bluthal
as Pisa Vendor
George Chisholm
as Street Sweeper
David Fielder
as Olympic Runner
Robert Beatty
as Tanker Captain
David Winning
as Commuter
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Critic Reviews for Superman III

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (10)

The plot is nonsensical, as if different scenes were written in isolation without any conception of how to connect them together.

November 30, 2021 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

The action is good but this doesn't move the audience in the same way as the first two.

August 13, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Superman III may be the saddest dissappointment of the summer movie season.

October 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Reeve, the ongoing justification for the series, is no longer contractually obligated after this episode, and his liberation comes not an installment too soon.

April 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Putting its emphasis on broad comedy at the expense of ingenious plotting and technical wizardry, it has virtually none of the mythic or cosmic sensibility that marked its predecessors.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Enjoyable, nevertheless.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Superman III


Although the cast is certainly game the entire effort comes off like a corny comic book parody (and not in a good way!) of a Superman story and is a total waste in the final analysis and best forgotten.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Richard Donner steps out and in comes Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night), who proceeds to strip the franchise away of any dignity it once had. Donner's close-to-the-chest serious tone is abandoned in favor a cheesy campy one, accompanied by lame sight gags and un-funny slapstick. Having Richard Pryor's scenes (who is playing a PG-version of himself) consist of half the film's runtime is just too much because most of the time he just bumbles like an idiot. Rarely has a comedic genius been so utterly misrepresented. Due to working with a lower budget, the story comes off as a Superman TV episode rather than an epic story like the previous two Donner flicks. The subplot with Clark and Lana Lang could have been interesting but it is rushed and brushed to the wayside to set-up a future Superman love-triangle between Lois and Lana (which is never followed-up upon). The villains are lame (especially there computer scheme that's laughable even for the time) but there is a morbid enjoyment to be had watching Reeve play a corrupted Man of Steel, which he perfectly nails. The 'Army of Darkness'-style fight between Good Supes and Evil Supes yields some impressive special effects. Despite a few decent moments trickled throughout, they are all crushed under a crappy and tedious narrative that feels confused about whether it is catering to kids or adults. Donner one time made audiences believe a man CAN fly. With 'Superman III', Lester proved to audiences that a man can also fall from grace.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Dumber, with a less-interesting story and a stupid villain, "Superman 3" is definitely not the return that fans were hoping for. It kind of breaks the back of the series in a way, especially during the first act, where the fact of it being a Superman film is thrown out the window. This time, the film focusses on Richard Pryor's character who is an accountant, stealing money from his firm, but when he get's involved with an evil genius, his plans turn completely around, as he is faced to confront and destroy Superman with them. The most interesting portion of the film is when Superman must face his alternate self, because it is really the soul of the film and the turn-around point which makes the film watchable. I did not hate this film, it does have it's fun moments, but it's just not a good movie. The direction is sloppy, which is odd, because Lester's directing for the second was so great, and the writing here is much more bland. I expected much more from the third film in a series, but oh well, it'll be hard to top the first two anyways. I definitely do not recommend this one!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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