Superman (1978) Poster


Marlon Brando: Jor-El



  • Jor-El : [bidding his son farewell, as Lara looks on]  You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you... even in the face of our death. The richness of our lives shall be yours. All that I have, all that I've learned, everything I feel... all this, and more, I... I bequeath you, my son. You will carry me inside you, all the days of your life. You will make my strength your own, and see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. This is all I... all I can send you, Kal-El.

  • [as Clark discovers his heritage, this is his father's final message to him] 

    Jor-El : Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. But always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son.

  • [first scene: General Zod and his minions are on trial. Jor-El states the accusations] 

    Jor-El : This is no fantasy, no careless product of wild imagination. No, my good friends. These indictments I have brought you today, specific charges listed herein against the individuals - their acts of treason, their ultimate aim of sedition... These are matters of undeniable fact. I ask you now to pronounce judgement on those accused...

    [Jor-El approaches the accused and indicates Non] 

    Jor-El : On this... this mindless aberration, whose only means of expression are wanton violence and destruction.

    [Jor-El indicates Ursa] 

    Jor-El : On the woman Ursa, whose perversions and unreasoning hatred of all mankind have threatened even the children of the planet Krypton.

    [Jor-El indicates Zod] 

    Jor-El : Finally, General Zod - once trusted by this council, charged with maintaining the defense of the planet Krypton itself. Chief architect of this intended revolution, and author of this insidious plot to establish a new order amongst us - with himself as absolute ruler.


    Jor-El : You have heard the evidence. The decision of the council will now be made.

    [all members of the Council announce "Guilty!"] 

    General Zod : The vote must be unanimous, Jor-El. It has therefore now become your decision. You alone will condemn us, if you wish, and you alone will be held responsible by me.


    General Zod : Join us.

    [wordlessly, Jor-El turns and walks off] 

    General Zod : You have been known to disagree with the council before. Yours could become an important voice in the new order, second only to my own! I offer you a chance for greatness, Jor-El! Take it! Join us!

    [Jor-El doesn't even look back] 

    Jor-El : [DELETED LINE, mostly to himself]  I've seen the likes of your new order, too many times before. And I know only too much about what you call "greatness".

    General Zod : You *will* bow down before me, Jor-El! I swear it! No matter if it takes an eternity, YOU *WILL* BOW DOWN BEFORE ME! *BOTH YOU AND, ONE DAY, YOUR HEIRS!*

    Ursa : [All three criminals are imprisoned within the Phantom Zone]  Forgive me...!

    General Zod : I shall return...!

  • Jor-El : [at the Fortress of Solitude]  So, my son. Speak.

    Young Clark Kent : Who am I?

    Jor-El : Your name is Kal-El. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you've been raised as a human, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered.

  • [as Jor-El is preparing to send his son to Earth before the destruction of Krypton, Lara enters the room with the infant, Kal-El] 

    Lara : Have you finished?

    Jor-El : Nearly. It's the only answer, Lara. If he remains here with us... he will die as surely as we will.

    Lara : But why Earth, Jor-El? They're primitives, thousands of years behind us.

    Jor-El : He will need that advantage to survive. Their atmosphere will... sustain him.

    [He looks at his son and walks over to the area where the ship that will carry Kal-El lies. There are information crystals placed in slots on the edges] 

    Lara : He will defy their gravity.

    Jor-El : He will look like one of them.

    Lara : He won't *be* one of them.

    Jor-El : No. His dense molecular structure will make him strong.

    Lara : He'll be odd. Different.

    Jor-El : He'll be fast. Virtually invulnerable.

    Lara : Isolated. Alone.

    Jor-El : He will not be alone.

    [He holds up a clear crystal and takes a long look at it] 

    Jor-El : He will never be alone.

    [He places it in one of the slots along with the other crystals in the ship] 

  • Jor-El : [echo of the past]  It is forbidden for you to interfere with human history.

  • Jor-El : [in the Fortress of Solitude]  You... enjoyed it.

    Superman : I don't know what to say, Father. I'm afraid I just got carried away.

    Jor-El : I anticipated this, my son. I...

    Superman : [surprised]  You couldn't have! You couldn't have imagined...

    Jor-El : ...How good it felt.

    [Clark nods] 

    Jor-El : You are revealed to the world. Very well, so be it. But you must still keep your secret identity.

    Superman : But why?

    Jor-El : The reasons are two. First, you cannot serve humanity twenty-eight hours a day.

    Superman : Twenty-four.

    Jor-El : Or twenty-four, as it is in Earth time. Your help would be called for endlessly, even for those problems which human beings could solve themselves. It is their habit to abuse their resources in such a way.

    Superman : And, secondly?

    Jor-El : Secondly, your enemies will discover their only way to hurt you: by hurting the people you care for.

    Superman : Thank you, Father.

    Jor-El : Lastly... Do not punish yourself for your feelings of vanity. Simply learn to control them. It is an affliction common to all, even on Krypton. Our destruction could have been avoided had it not been for the vanity of some who considered us indestructible. Were it not for vanity, why... at this very moment...


    Jor-El : I could embrace you in my arms. My son.

    [Kal-El reaches yearningly toward his father's image; Jor-El fades, leaving Kal-El alone] 

  • Jor-El : Krypton!

  • Jor-El : [to Kal-El]  The early history of our universe was a bloody mosaic of interplanetary war.

  • First Elder : [following the trial and sentencing of General Zod and Company]  An unpleasant duty has been masterly performed, Jor-El. They have received the fate they deserve: isolation in the Phantom Zone, an eternal living death.

    Jor-El : A chance for survival, nonetheless... as opposed to us, if we continue to ignore these facts. It's suicide! No, it's worse. It's GENOCIDE!

    First Elder : Be warned, Jor-El. The Council has already evaluated this outlandish theory of yours.

    Jor-El : My friends, you know me to be neither rash nor impulsive. I'm not given to wild, unsupported statements. And I tell you that we must evacuate this planet immediately!

    First Elder : Jor-El, you are one of Krypton's greatest scientists.

    2nd Elder : Ah, yes, but so is Vond-Ah.

    Vond-Ah : It isn't that we question your data. The facts are undeniable. It's your conclusions we find unsupportable.

    Jor-El : This planet, and its red sun with it, will destabilize and burst within thirty days... likely within seven.

    Vond-Ah : I tell you Krypton is simply shifting its orbit.

    2nd Elder : Jor-El, be REASONABLE.

    Jor-El : My friend, I've never been otherwise. This madness is yours.

  • First Elder : [after the Council of Elders has voted unanimously against Jor-El's desperate proposal]  Any attempt by you to create a climate of fear and panic among the populace must be deemed by us an act of insurrection.

    Jor-El : You would accuse me of insurrection? Has it now become a crime to cherish life?

    First Elder : You would be banished to endless imprisonment in the Phantom Zone, the eternal void which you yourself discovered.

See also

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