Supergirl - Movie Review

20 March 2023


supergirl movie helen slater

"Supergirl" is a 1984 superhero film directed by Jeannot Szwarc from a screenplay by David Odell.  It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. 

The fourth film in the Superman film series it is set after the events of Superman III and serves as a spin-off of the series.

Despite its notable cast, which includes Helen Slater as Supergirl, Faye Dunaway, Hart Bochner, Peter Cook, Mia Farrow, Brenda Vaccaro, and Peter O'Toole, the film failed to impress critics and audiences alike, while also underperforming at the box-office.

The film follows the story of Kara Zor-El, the cousin of Superman, who travels to Earth to retrieve the Omegahedron, a powerful Kryptonian artifact that has been lost on the planet. Along the way, she assumes the identity of Linda Lee, enrolls in an all-girls school, befriends Lucy Lane, and falls in love with Ethan, a school groundskeeper. 

However, the Omegahedron falls into the hands of Selena, a power-hungry witch who seeks to use it to gain true magic. Supergirl then proceeds to battle Selena and her minions to save the world from her destructive plans.

helen slater supergirl pose

The film has a light-hearted and whimsical tone that is in keeping with the Superman films of the time, and Helen Slater delivers a charming and charismatic performance as Supergirl. However, the film's campy humor and over-the-top performances by Faye Dunaway and Peter O'Toole were criticized by many, and the film ultimately failed to resonate with audiences.

Despite its poor reception, Supergirl has developed a cult following over the years, with fans appreciating its campy charm and Slater's endearing portrayal of the titular hero. The film's legacy also extends beyond its own story, as its failure led to the eventual sale of the Superman film rights to The Cannon Group, Inc. in 1986, which produced the critically panned Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

Overall, Supergirl is a flawed but enjoyable addition to the Superman film series that is worth watching for fans of the character and those who enjoy campy superhero films. While it may not have achieved the same level of success as its predecessors, it remains an important part of Superman's cinematic history and a fun throwback to the superhero films of the 1980s.

Trivia and production notes about the Supergirl movie:

  1. The film was a critical and commercial failure upon release, grossing only $14 million on a $35 million budget.
  2. The film was originally intended to be the first in a Supergirl film series, but the poor box office performance led to those plans being scrapped.
  3. The movie was shot on location in England, with many of the outdoor scenes filmed at various castles and historic sites.
  4. Faye Dunaway played the main villain in the film, an evil sorceress named Selena who attempts to take over the world.
  5. Selena's costume was designed by the legendary fashion designer Paco Rabanne, who also designed costumes for films like Barbarella and Two for the Road.
  6. The film features a number of prominent British actors in supporting roles, including Peter O'Toole, Mia Farrow, and Brenda Vaccaro.
  7. Helen Slater was a relatively unknown actress at the time of the film's production, having only appeared in a few small roles on TV and in films.
  8. To prepare for the role of Supergirl, Slater underwent an intensive training regimen that included weightlifting, gymnastics, and martial arts.
  9. The film's special effects were created by Derek Meddings, who had previously worked on the James Bond films and the Superman movies.
  10. The film's score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, who also composed the scores for films like Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Alien.
  11. The film's script was written by David Odell, who had worked on The Dark Crystal and The Muppet Show.
  12. Despite the film's poor reception, it has since gained a cult following among fans of the character and superhero movies in general.
  13. The film was eventually followed by a Supergirl TV series in 2015, which starred Melissa Benoist in the title role.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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