Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Synopsis of Movie

“Lenny, I've always considered you the Dutch Elm disease in my family tree.”

Gene Hackman returned to the Superman fold as arch-nemesis Lex Luthor in this fourth and, to date, final installment of the popular film franchise. With a new pair of producers and a screen story co-written by Christopher Reeve himself, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace took the Man of Steel off in decidedly different directions.

This time around, Superman has become a sort of social reformer. Smallville is being taken over by mini-malls, and even the hallowed Daily Planet is being turned into a cheap tabloid by new publisher David Warfield. Warfield’s daughter Lacy has a thing for Clark, and she asks Lois to set her up with the shy, bumbling reporter. Lois obliges, planning a double date with Clark and Lacy and Lois and Superman. With a bit of ingenious trickery, the Man of Steel pulls it off. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor has escaped from prison with the help of goofy nephew Lenny, and his next revenge plot is already taking shape.

At the urging of a young boy, Superman agrees to rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Working with the United Nations, Superman bundles up the planet’s nuclear arsenal in a giant net and hurtles it into the sun. Unfortunately, this plays right into Luthor’s plans. The evil mastermind had plucked a hair from Superman’s dapper coif, and using that DNA, bioengineered a worthy adversary for our hero. When the missiles explode in the sun, Nuclear Man is born, harnessing the power of the solar orb itself. Luthor sends his blond-locked, long-fingernailed baddie against Superman, culminating in an around-the-world battle for the title, “Best Guy-Who-Gets-His-Power-From-the-Sun in the Universe.”

With a lower budget, several re-edits, and the curse of the fourth installment (think Batman and Robin, Alien Resurrection, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace simply had too many strikes against it. While some fans applauded the new film, too few voted with their box office dollars, resulting in a financial disappointment for the Man of Steel. Any plans for a fifth installment soon vanished, and Superman returned to his humble existence as a comic book idol, cartoon star and all-around good guy.

Movie Release History

1978 - Superman
1980 - Superman II
1983 - Superman III
1987 - Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

Warner Bros.


Christopher Reeve Superman/Clark Kent
Lex Luthor Gene Hackman
Perry White Jackie Cooper
Jimmy Olsen Marc McClure
Lenny Jon Cryer
David Warfield Sam Wanamaker
Nuclear Man Mark Pillow
Lacy Warfield Mariel Hemingway
Lois Lane Margot Kidder
Jeremy Damien McLawhorn
Harry Howler William Hootkins
Jean Pierre Dubois Jim Broadbent
General Romoff Stanley Lebor
Levon Hornsby Don Fellows
U.S. President Robert Beatty

Other Movie Links