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Christopher Reeve
Gene Hackman
Jackie Cooper
Marc McClure
Jon Cryer
Sam Wanamaker
Mark Pillow.
Sydney J Furie.
Lawrence Konner
Mark Rosenthal.
Running Time
90 minutes

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Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
Stop at Superman III.

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After Superman rids the world of its nuclear arsenal, an even bigger threat is posed by Lex Luthor’s latest attempts to extinguish the Man Of Steel — Nuclear Man!


From Police Academy IV to Batman And Robin, there is an unwritten law in Hollywood that the fourth instalment of any franchise must be awful, as if all the last dregs of creative energy to make a third movie have been used up and there is nothing left in the barrel. This rule applies to A Quest For Peace, a dreadful end to the mostly majestic Superman series of the ‘70s/’80s, that takes everything you hold sacred about The Man Of Steel and flushes it down the toilet.
       Based on a story idea by Christopher Reeve, who only returned to the role if the character became more socially relevant, A Quest For Peace sees Superman, spurred on by a schoolboy’s letter, pull off the not insubstantial task of ridding the world of nuclear weapons by rounding them up in a big old net and lobbing them up at the sun. If this wasn’t terrible enough, Lex Luthor (Hackman, woefully over the top), in cahoots with his surfer dude nephew Lenny, creates a new nemesis with the risible moniker Nuclear Man to battle Superman against a plethora of terrible backscreen projections.
          Financed by the bargain bucket company Cannon, the budget was slashed by some $17 million just before shooting started and you can see the squeeze (not too mention the wires) in every frame. Set-pieces involving the destruction of The Great Wall Of China and Superman rescuing a runaway subway train fail to convince and the decision to shift the shoot from New York to the new town of Milton Keynes is like shooting Apocalypse Now on Hampstead Heath. The scenes involving Clark Kent, the heart of previous Superman flicks where Reeve is so self assured at being awkward, feel tired and weary. Happily, good sense prevailed and this incarnation of the character came to a thundering halt. The sighs of relief were more, shall we say,  Supersized.

Predictably awful fourth installment.

Reviewed by William Thomas

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
Empire Star Rating

Utterly irredeemable

The worst Superman movie. Such a shame this was Reeve's last movie as Kal-El. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr Gittes at 22:42, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Review

The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot's going. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 14:17, 19 December 2011 | Report This Post


The curse of the fourth movie returns ( Jaws 4, Police Academy 4, Indy 4). All shit. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Franciscus at 00:35, 21 March 2010 | Report This Post

I always heard that this was the worst part of the lot but compared to the 3rd film I thought this was way better. Of course it`s not at all a good movie. It`s more in the series "so bad it`s good". It takes itself way too serious and towards the end the patriotism is all over the place. Also the script is obviously the work of the Cold War period. And the special effects are probably one of the cheapest you`ll ever see. But all in all I thought this was kinda watchable. /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:21, 19 August 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

at least this movie had its heart in the right place by being a SUPERMAN movie.not a richard pryor comedy guest starring superman.tqfp is deeply flawed,but is fast paced,has a great music score by alexander courage and gene hackman is most welcome in his return as lex luthor.also,the ''double date'' scene is very well done and is very funny. at least its entertaining and doesnt put me to sleep like superman returns did! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by darth silas at 19:51, 15 April 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

I saw Superman IV: The Quest for Peace at the Cinema when I was a Kid and at the time loved it, however I recently purchased the Region One version of Superman: The Ultimate Collection with a newer remastered etc version of TQFP and upon watching the Movie I was stunned at how lax it really was.   Not even the late great Chris Reeve in the dual role of Clark Kent and Superman could save a Movie with a particularly hammy performance from (Gene) Hackman as Luthor and Mariel Hemmingw... More

Posted by Babsgordonsboytoy at 20:14, 13 April 2007 | Report This Post

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