Superman Movie Minute #22 – Tessmacher Peaks

SUPERMAN MOVIE MINUTE #22 - Tessmacher Peaks

Fire and Water Network All-Stars Chris Franklin and Rob Kelly bring you SUPERMAN MOVIE MINUTE, where they analyze, scrutinize, and you'll-believe-a-man-can-fly-ize the classic 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, and Marlon Brando, five minutes at a time!

In minutes 106:00 - 110:00, Superman arrives at Luthor's lair, and Luthor begins to lay out his plan. Special Guest: Dan Greenfield!

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9 responses to “Superman Movie Minute #22 – Tessmacher Peaks

  1. The scene in Luthor’s Lair where Lex tells Otis to “Take the gentleman’s cape” is my very favorite moment in all four films of Christopher Reeve in costume. There’s a level of confidence that comes through in this understated performance that is rarely (if ever) matched by other actors who have put on the tights and cape. Without moving or any real physical intimidation; with…as the song says, just one look…Christopher Reeve perfectly embodies the role of the Man of Steel. And Ned Beaty’s timid reply “I don’t think he wants me to, Mr. Luthor” makes for a brilliant duet of acting and reacting that shows us this Superman (and these great actors) means business!

    As always another entertaining episode. Good to hear Dan Greenfield talking about the other half of the World’s Finest team for a change.

    “Groovy” Mike

  2. I love Hackman’s outfit in this sequence. It really captures the character’s flair. I thought that Jesse Eisenberg’s suit in the Justice League end credits scene was reminiscent of Hackman’s.

    1. I have to admit, I didn’t catch the Hackman-clothing connection in the theater either time I saw Justice League. And I enjoyed the movie! But I guess I just loathe Eisenberg’s Lex so much I just glossed over it. I saw comments about it after the second time I saw it.


  3. It’s so fun listening to you guys dissect the sight gags. This is a movie I’ve often played in the background, and don’t actively “sit and watch” until it gets to the big stuff. But still, the “Tessmacher Peaks” gag must have been cut off in non-letterbox versions. So sly and funny! Thanks, guys!

  4. Dan, if you do a project about New York “as seen from comic books” I’d be all in! If you only used Ross Andru’s work on Amazing Spider-Man, you’d have enough material to cover almost all of Manhattan! That’s where this Bay State boy learned a lot of Big Apple geography. From Chelsea, to RIker’s Island, Roosevelt Island, the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, Andru put Spidey in a vividly real environment!

  5. Here’s my gripe about Superman III, and I think it’s your gripe, too….but maybe you’ve resigned yourself, because it was a LESTER movie, as it probably was disappointingly crap to you and it was, unfortunately to ME.

    How exactly did Loreli Ambrosia — the “Psychic Nutritionist,” to Ross Webster — SURVIVE knocking boots with Tar-Kryptonite Suffering Superman?

    Because the whole Premise of II, was that if he wanted to knock boots with LOIS, he has to get de-powered. “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” article, printed in Playboy, comes to Mind.


    Now watching “III” you see Loreli, supposedly an Eve Tessmacher replacement….acting like what you would expect a Ditzy Blonde would act like….with a secret: She’s actually more Brainiac than Vera.

    Now, can you imagine how the scene, in the cave would play out….if….Loreli reacts DIFFERENTLY to what Superman said, when he said the line, “I’m sorry that guy’s gone…”

    What would happen if she got, PISSED…and I mean SO PISSED at Him, at that Moment, and you can see it on her face…

    (because in her mind Superman is LYING LIKE A RUG. And Superman is NOT SUPPOSED TO LIE. PERIOD. FULL STOP. Which is ANOTHER reason why I got thrown out of the story that this debacle of a movie did)

    … so PISSED that she exits the control console, “Excuse me Ross….” “Where are you Going?!”

    ….and she comes out of that Supercomputer’s little spiral staircase…and out the exit…and she’s locking eyes with Superman. and she’s slowly walking toward him…. you can hear the clop, clop, clop, that her heels are making on the ground… the camera cuts up at her face.

    And she’s NOT happy at all….she’s taking her earrings off….letting them drop on the ground as she takes them off — the Camera is tracking her every step, as we see the earrings go Clink! Clink! and bounce and roll off the ground…..

    (When a Guy sees a woman take her earrings off while walking toward him, and never loosing eye contact….then that guy KNOWS he’s in some serious Trouble… and he better run!)

    (almost as if Superman Moves Closer and Closer to the Bad Guy with a Tommy Gun, emptying every bullet at Superman’s \S/ to No Avail…you KNOW the baddie’s gonna have that Tommy gun’s barrel wrapped around his neck, on his way to Jail! This time, it’s Superman in the Baddie’s Position…and here comes Loreli!)

    There’s a shot of Gus, Ross, and Vera Looking on for a few seconds. and then the camera shows Lorelei’s feet, her heels, clop…clop…clop walking closer and closer to Superman. Superman is standing his ground. and then in the frame, Lorelei’s stilettos, and Superman’s bright red boots are in the 70 MM frame….and then we hear….

    SLAP! And it’s the slap heard round the world! Just merely HEARING IT….HURTS!!

    (it would hearken back to the point in S:TM, where the little girl ran in the house with her cat, telling her Mamma “this man swooped out of the sky and gave him to me!” “Haven’t I told you not to tell anymore LIES?! (Slap!)” but this time, the AUDIENCE is now that little girl….who, like Superman, is in complete disbelief, because, OW! That HURT!….)

    and the Camera cuts to Superman’s face, and the whole left side of his face, (our left, his right) has Lorelei’s hand print…and it’s almost as red as his cape! In the Audio as we’re seeing his face, we hear Lorelei say “Who did I just slap? You? Him? Or does it matter?!”

    And then we see Lorelei perform the BACK-SWING, and instead of hitting Superman’s Other Cheek….
    She RIPS THE SPIT-CURL OFF HIS HEAD, but we don’t actually SEE it, and the only way we know this, is (1) We HEAR the RIP, (it almost sound like Velcro being ripped apart, or Fabric being Torn….what is the sound of Hair being ripped out?!) and (2) the Camera is now focused on HER face and in front of her face is her hand dangling before her eyes Superman’s Super SpitCurl, which with the Musical cues, she lets drop from her hand,

    and then the camera goes back to the two pairs of FEET, Lorelei’s steady stilettos and now, Superman’s UNSTEADY feet, on his heels, and as the spit-curl slowly floats down to hit the ground….we hear the music, and we hear Lorelei again…”Whose HAIR did I just Rip, yours? His? or does it matter?!”

    and then…the Camera pans up and we see her hands take HIS left hand…. and place it on her tummy.
    and she moves in closer to him, his breath is on her left shoulder…..

    (you BETTER KNOW by NOW what that means, don’t you, when a Girl places a guys hand on her tummy, right?)

    This time…there is no “And whose hand is holding……” She doesn’t even say a Word, and Superman is well, a little out of it his face is like “Huh?!”

    And there you see it….an Unsteady Superman, his hand holding the tummy of a Very Steady and almost serene Loreli just like you saw Jor-El, hold the tummy of Lara, letting him know that Kal was on the way…..

    BUT just when you think it’s Superman being shown he’s a CAD…and a LYING CAD at that…we hear Lorelei say to Superman: “You can fool the whole world with a pair of Glasses…”

    Loreli reaches up, to her hair, grabbing the front of it….

    And, we see the feet again… and the Blonde tresses of Lorelei come down to the ground…..

    She doesn’t even need to say “Imagine what I did with a WIG”…. She doesn’t need to say anything at this Moment.

    The Camera cuts up back to her face….giving Superman the Side Eye….. taking the palm of her right thumb, and rub one eye, then the other….. and DAMN, it’s HER…..

    Now, this would be the point in the Blues Brothers Movie where Carrie Fisher’s “Jilted Bride” has the drop on
    a kneeling Belushi’s “Joliet Jake”….

    Only This time…. Both SHE and Superman are standing….except one is going to Faint….and it ain’t HER.

    Where Long Curly Blond Tresses Were, Now are SHORT DARK RAVEN…
    (kinda like Joan Jett… or Joyce Dewitt from 3’s Company…actually Joan Jett’s)

    Where pretty Blue eyes Were…. are now Dark too and real smoky….

    Luscious Red Lips are now….BLACK….

    Now it’s URSA’s turn to be unsure what to say next, when Superman says….. “I’m sorry”

    “………………… Gotcha.”


    Imagine, if THAT was put into Superman III……. THAT would have saved the movie.

    like Wonder Woman arriving just in the nick of time to save Batman from Doomsday’s blast in BvS….and that Guitar Solo!

    THAT one scene that I just outlined…would have had more tongues wagging about III than anything about Richard Pryor being in the flick….

    Anyway….your thoughts

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