Superman III

Richard Lester (US, 1983, 125 min.)

Nearly twenty years after A Hard Day's Night, Richard Lester brought moviegoers another opening credits photo booth appearance in this, his second "Superman" film. Superman is pitted against Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) and his dim-witted (and utterly depressing) "computer whiz," Gus Gorman, played by Richard Pryor. When some synthetic kryptonite is given to Superman as a thank you present for rescuing Smallville from a chemical fire, Superman stops shaving, starts sleeping with women, and wreaks environmental havoc on an uncooperative oil tanker.

The opening credit sequence is a sort of Rube Goldbergian comedy of slapstick errors that involves Lester players Graham Stark (of The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film, as well as every Pink Panther film but the original) and Gordon Rawlings (of The Bed Sitting Room as well as one Pink Panther film), as well as the old "pedestrian crashes through a huge painting being carried perpendicular to the ground by two workmen" gag we see near the end ofThe Knack.

When a man drives his car over a hydrant after his tire has been shot by a cop aiming for a bank robber (yes, it is as much of a stretch as it sounds), Superman comes to the rescue as the car's interior begins to fill with water. He substitutes a photo booth for the more traditional phone booth, and cuteness ensues when a boy (Aaron Smolinski, who played baby Clark Kent in Superman: The Movie - thanks, Mike) sees the photos taken of Clark Kent as he makes his transformation.

Contributed by Brian

Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) rushes into the streetside photo booth.
As Clark is inside, a boy inserts money into the slot.
"Superman, this is the world's fastest photo booth, and my pictures are already done!"
Distracted from his duty but still intent on protecting his identity, Superman grabs the revealing photos.
Superman peruses the evidence.
Photo 1: boring Clark.
Photo 2: the unorthodox 'shirt first, tie next' method.
Photo 3: now we're talking.
Photo 4: full-blown hero, complete with totally new part and sexy hair curlicue.
Superman rips off the last photo, hands it to the kid, and keeps the first three - but don't worry, they'll magically disappear in the next shot.
Time for a flying stunt, as the title has already hit the screen and the only action we've seen so far were some domino-like phone booths. Is this Lester's way of shaking up the system?
Note the sweet blur effect as Superman takes off.