Three years after the disastrous TV-musical (were they in a hurry to get rid of the bad taste?), Warner Brothers got it right.
Casting relative-unknown Christopher Reeve and creating new visual effects techniques for the flying sequences, Warner Brothers' Superman: The Movie made people believe a man could fly.
It didn't hurt that, except for being on the skinny side, Reeve was pretty much a dead-ringer for Superman, and played the role perfectly. The success factor was multiplied by Reeve's chemistry with co-star Margot Kidder as Lois Lane.
In 1980, Superman II amped up the action and adventure by delivering Superman three super-powered Kryptonian villains. And introducing the world to a new superpower: the cellophane "S" (!!!?).
The franchise took a step back in 1983's Superman III by casting a comedian (Richard Pryor) as a quasi-antagonist, and playing the game too much for laughs.
The less said about 1987's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace the better...
Here are the movie trailers for all 4 movies:
Superman on Wikipedia
Superman II on Wikipedia
Superman III on Wikipedia
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace on Wikipedia
Available @ Amazon:
Superman: The Movie (4-Disc Special Edition)
Superman II (2-Disc Special Edition)
Superman III (Deluxe Edition)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (Deluxe Edition)
The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection