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In the Memory of Christopher Reeve-The Man of Steel
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Slowpoke
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In the Memory of Christopher Reeve-The Man of Steel

Before the release of the new Superman movie, I wrote this article, hope to let more people know about the Superman legend. Although because of age, I did not really experienced his era, but each time I read his story, I always feel so much admiration and sadness.

Christoph Reeve's father is a novelist, teacher and poet, graduate from Princeton, he had quite illustrious ancestors, his mother is also a Supreme Court’s descendent. He had good grades and had begun to study acting in his high school, at the same time he also engage in a lot of sports. He was accepted by Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Princeton and a few other famous universities. He ultimately chose Cornell University and studied acting in Juiliard. He was handsome and very tall.

The producer of the Superman movie did not consider him as a good choice before met him in person. The casting director put his picture three times on the top of the pile and got thrown away three times. Even himself didn’t think he had much chance, beside he wasn’t famous, he also considered himself too thin. This is indeed true, but after the screen test, his driver told him he got the role.

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These are the screen test photos, Reeve was indeed thin, but had good looks, tall stature and gentle glance, I believe this is the reason they chose him as Superman. Reeve is the third actor who played Superman in live-action, and he was the first to play Superman in a real movie.

Of course Superman could not be so thin, the crew asked him to use fake muscles but Reeve refused. Instead, he received the special training from the famous British bodybuilding and weightlifting athletes, who played Darth Vader in Star Wars (not including the voice and the mask off scene in the end of RotJ) David Prowse for two months. Including a lot of running, weight lifting exercises for two hours and 90 minutes jumping trampoline, while took a lot of high protein foods. He went up from 86 kg to 100 kg, gained a lot of muscle.

Reeve was not a Superman comic book fans, though he had seen George Reeves’ Superman TV series. He believes that the most difficult part is to play two different roles of Clark and Superman, it’s not just about wearing glasses. He talked to the director about this issue. Richard Donner, the director told him do not try to play two separate roles as Reeve. For Clark, take the thoughts of "Superman trying to disguise himself and play Clark”.

Although the movie shooting is not easy, but both the box office or reputation have gained great success, it also received three Oscar nominations. Reeve’s own image and performance also received a lot of praise. Reeve's Clark and Superman does give a completely different impression. His Clark was tall and shy. His Superman image is also perfect. I think Superman should look handsome, tall and strong, but at the same time having a lot of affinity and looks peaceful, to let people feel very safe to be with this man, he should not look threatening, Reeve's Superman showed people exactly what Superman should look like. Henry’s Superman is also quite good, but I feel he looks a bit too aggressive, his Clark might be a bigger problem.

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Superman 2 is overall still a great success, despite the change of the director and a few reshoot. Especially the reception is as good as the first one , this one is also Reeve’s favorite Superman movie.

The third and fourth one of the Superman film series went downhill. The third one had too many comedy elements, both the box office and the reception dropped down dramatically, Reeve was also very dissatisfied. The fourth one is mostly a low budget level B movie, it bombed the box office and had very poor reception. Because the film's great failure, Reeve was also enraged and quit the Superman movies, saying he would not come back unless the script is good enough. Nevertheless, in this two movies, Reeve still had good performances, he also added a little more muscle to make Superman looks even better.

Beside Superman, Reeve prefer dramas, romantic movie "Somewhere in Time" is his favorite own movie.

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He also starred in "Bostonians", the 1985 edition of "Anna Karenina", "Death Trap" and a few other films. He was a skilled pilot, and starred in a movie about a pilot.

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But overall, like his two predecessors of Superman, the deeply rooted image of Superman affected his acting career a bit. After starred in a comedy movie and felt he got too little scenes, he began to fade out from the movies and focusing on theater. He even turned down a few offers of film roles, including Julia Roberts’ breakthrough movie "Pretty Woman"’s leading role (played by Richard Gere). He cares about charity a lot, also served as the Special Olympics track and field coach, in the Special Olympics he met the U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who was once also an actor.

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Since shooting 1985 edition of "Anna Karenina", Reeve started to get interested with horse riding, he bought himself a horse and attended a lot of games. But the tragedy will therefore result. May 27, 1995, in a game, he was ready to jump over but horse suddenly stopped. Reeve fell from his horse stiffly down, his helmet prevented damage to the brain, but broke his spine. He awoke after five days in coma, although the surgery to move his skull back to his spine was successful and saved his life, but he would still be paralyzed, even to breath and talk would need to rely on instruments. Initially, after learned that he could no longer move a finger, he told his wife Dana Reeve, said he wanted to commit suicide, but he soon gave up the idea, through treatment and his amazing willpower, he began to rely less and less on the ventilator, he could breathe on his own for at least 30 minutes in the end.

Reeve did not stay depressed for the rest of his life, he established his own foundation and research centers and supported a lot for spinal cord injury stem cell transplantation research. Reeve also went to the most technologically advanced nation Israel for a visit, he served as Vice Chairman of the American Association for the Disabled. Chinese gymnast Sang Lan, had received his sympathy and help, too. To this day, the story of Sang Lan remains in his foundation's website.

http://www.christopherreeve.org/sit...to_Her_Hero.htm

Sang Lan’s impression of him is:

"I think he was very tall, and very handsome, though his body was paralyzed, but he showed good spirit."

"Although at the time we did a lot of opportunities to be alone, but he seems to know me, Christopher Reeve have a natural affinity with him, feel like sunshine."

According to a Chinese voice actor who dubbed the Superman movie, Reeve came to China floods during the 1998 floods and met with them.

"I was so excited when I heard “Superman is coming!” and ran to see him. I saw Superman in a wheelchair, I felt he was quite silent, looks he had aged a lot, it was obvious that he suffered a big blow, he seems to have strength but could not express it. I said to him, 'You will always be Superman in our hearts, though you cannot use your power to protect many people, but you have will of Superman. ‘After my words were translated to him, I saw him dropped tears. "

Old Post May 27th, 2013 09:40 PM
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Slowpoke
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In addition to stem cell transplantation, the Reeve also published inspirational speeches all across the nation, without rely on any of the teleprompter or read the manuscript. In the 1996 Academy Awards ceremony, Reeve also presented a not long but very touching speech, he triggered a one minute long applause right after he appeared. Because there was nothing need to be said, his presence here is the proof of his indomitable spirit.

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Even his acting career was no over. Reeve firstly directed an HBO movie “In the Gloaming”. In 1998, he also directed and played the protagonist of Hitchcock’s classic "Rear Window" remake (the protagonist is sitting in a wheelchair), although he could not move his body, but he used his facial expressions and lines to portray the character and it was well received by audience.

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In 2003, after quit Superman for more than 15 years, Reeve return again in the TV series "Smallville" plays a wise professor on wheelchair to teach the young Clark about the mysteries of the universe and humanity, he appeared a total of three episodes, all the Superman fans were so excited to see him.

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In 2004, he directed an A & E television movie "The Brooke Ellison Story", the animated film "Everyone’s hero" that released in 2006 was also mostly directed by Reeve.

Reeve also published a biography "Still Me" about his career and life before and after the incident. It stayed on New York Times bestseller list for elven weeks, I was fortunate to have read a few pages of that book The writing is smooth, he didn’t show discouraged and sad meaning, but full of confidence and hope. In 2004, his second biography, "Nothing is impossible" had also been published.

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For a long period of time, Reeve still did a lot of exercise through special machines to maintain a strong shape, as well as his handsome looks. Because he still believed he would one day be able to move again, and he must be ready for this, in 2000, a very small part of his body regained consciousness, he could also move his index finger up.

However, the tragedy finally came, in October 10, 2004, after the infection because nearly killed Reeve twice and forced him to shave bald. He died due to sepsis caused heart failure and coma, at the age of 52 years old.

His death caused a heavy tribute to fans around the world, more than 900 people attended the funeral. Friends and fans of his official website received numerous tribute letters and drawing, mourning the Superman in their heart. Including a few stars in China.


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1985 "Superman" was introduced to China show, Cao Lei served as the film's translation director, when she heard "Superman" died, she said, "I really feel sad for the Superman in my heart passed away. "

"Superman" was the first American blockbuster movie Cao Lei Duli had translated, she still remember those details: "Because I hadn’t watched movies like the" Star Wars ", seeing such a movie let me feel really cool. " Picking the right voice actor to dub Superman also troubled Cao Lei for a while. Christopher Reeve's voice is not very amazing, it's quite deep but fit the character. She later picked a new actor who named Shi Rong to dub Superman.

One year after dubbed " Superman ", Shi Rong went to the United States, and later came back. He once told Cao Lei, when he saw Christopher Reeve was paralyzed but still continue to shoot movies and television, he wanted to write an letter to tell the "Superman", he had dubbed him in his movies, the Chinese viewers wish him to recover. "Now, however, it's too late and no longer possible to do. "Cao Lei said regretfully.



His wife, Dana Reeve died due to lung cancer in less than two years, the same year that Superman Returns was released. There were scenes of “In the memory of Christopher and Dana Reeve” in Superman Returns.

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Here, I still feel quite sad, the couple are gone, leaving behind an unforgettable legend, whether on screen or in real life. What he left us will become timeless classics. No one can surpass Christopher Reeve on the portrayal of Superman. Because he didn’t just presented the handsome, strong, tall and peaceful perfect Superman image to us on screen. In real life, he also showed the indomitable, resilient, iron willed spirit that never giving up no matter what, that’s the spirit of Superman. Just like the Superman movie trailer once said: He made us believe a man can fly…

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Old Post May 27th, 2013 09:41 PM
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-Pr-
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Wrong forum stick out tongue

Nice though.


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Old Post May 27th, 2013 09:44 PM
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CosmicComet
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I'll admit to tearing up quite a bit.


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Old Post May 27th, 2013 10:33 PM
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focus4chumps
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christopher reeve related, i caught this still from a tv spot. looks like him imho

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Old Post May 28th, 2013 12:56 AM
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Zack Fair
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I'd thumbs up this thread a thousand times.

Thank you for this.


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Old Post May 28th, 2013 05:58 AM
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heathjack
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if you wont good chick flick or like time travel movies I highly recommend some were in time stars Christopher revve as a screen writer who travels back in time to meet this famous actor.

Old Post Oct 14th, 2013 01:43 AM
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