Love it or loathe it, The Maid Of Might’s 1984 feature is nothing if not a product of its time.
Originally conceived as as the first Superhero movie team-up, the script was hastily re-written when Christopher Reeve declined last minute to participate and the shortfall is evident. What remains is a curious and somewhat humourless fairytale resplendent with pantomime villainy. Helen Slater’s sensitive and vulnerable performance earned better material while Peter O’ Toole and Faye Dunaway managed to chew up the scenery regardless.
Though their choice of Director (Jeannot Szwarc) was ill-advised, the Salkind’s were prudent enough to retain their effects team from the Superman series and the wirework (especially the ‘Flying Ballet’ sequence) has yet to be surpassed. Beleaguered by poor reviews and a bemused audience expecting another Superman, Supergirl has nonetheless gained a steady cult following over the years thanks in no small part to Jerry Goldsmith’s stirring score.
Shown above is the definitive release from the movie in the form of the Anchor Bay limited Edition DVD from 2000. Years ahead of its time in terms of content, transfer and presentation, this rare 2-disc set contained the never-before-seen directors cut of the film with all-new commentary and the vintage ‘Making Of’ special.
Given the existence of such excellent material and its genuine place in the Superman cinematic canon, its omission from the upcoming Blu-Ray set is mystifying but like everything else associated with this picture, it deserved better…