Superman Turning Back Time

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One of the most iconic scenes of all time. Rest in Peace Christopher Reeve.

Superman : The Movie (1978) directed by Richard Donner starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando

All content belongs to Warner Bros so please don’t block this video, it’s for entertainment purposes only.


Jay Flippen says:

Obviously there is some impossibility associated with this clip which has
caused some emotional negativity on this page (either with claiming how
proposterous the feasibility of the situation would be, or arguments
against a few brave individual’s scientific dissection). I’ll try and
elucidate some inconsistencies I perceive (for fun’s sake…):

Reversal of time (within the limited understanding set forth by general
relativity… and with using the hypothetical “tachyon”) is only possible
through a tachyonic anti-telephone, which relies on extreme, directional,
linear speed as simply opposed to rotational. But… If you use a maximum
angular change of 5 circles around the earth a second, the radius of about
one earth diameter, and the shape of somewhat consistent circles (as
opposed to his flying being close to earth on the near and far side), you
can calculate Superman’s maximum velocity to be about 400,000 km per
second. This is greater than the speed of light at just under 300,000 km
per second… so Superman goes Tachyonic here as long as his average altitude
from the ground is at least three quarters of a earth radius.
Unfortunately, major differences in the initial and final reference frame
are not achievable due to his constant proximity. I think there should be
a scientist out there who should debunk movie scenes in a consistent,
regular fashion… for a show or something. Oh wait… that’s what Mythbusters
does… but they appeal to the general public (as they are on network TV),
which markets to a considerably unconscious crowd… so although they might
be able to formulate my arguments here, it probably wouldn’t be

Additionally, the summation of the tidal acceleration inflicted by Superman
here would equate to zero in each overall direction of rotation. So him
slowing down in the original retrograde motion would end up with the earth
rotating at it’s initial rotational speed and direction, counter-clockwise
when looking at the north pole. This separate acceleration he does from
the earth would have to shed off energy, tangentially from his direction
away from the earth, but somehow still applying tidal acceleration. If he
could match up the effects that the moon has in tidal locking, then he
would be able to appropriate forces more easily.

The mechanism of action which seems to be depicted here (if the earth’s
direction and speed of it’s spin was a completely analogous to time… like a
clock… and Superman had a mass large enough to induce the earth in a spin
with gravitational effects but not pull it too much to one direction when
not rotating quickly around it) would be “frame dragging”, or the
“Lense–Thirring effect”, but in a kind of backwards way as if Superman’s
body was strong enough to do the majority of the rotational effects behind
I’ve heard that Frame dragging is to gravity as electromagnetic flux
(“electromagnetic induction”) is to electricity. However, with frame
dragging the gravitational field must be generated by a concentration of
mass, resulting in a spherical emanation of field forces. So… with frame
dragging the summation of directional forces of gravity won’t be a straight
line to the center of the mass. Instead, the field is slightly warped in a
rotating sense. This effect, although very minimal with the earth’s small
mass and slow rotation (see Gravity Probe B), is a very significant effect
of black holes and is indicative of energy distribution associated with
gravitational-electromagnetism, also known as gravitoelectromagnetism.

Also, the grandfather clause might make him un-do his original actions to
prevent the catastrophe. Gravitational time dilation does exist, but I
bet Superman would achieve nothing more than a slower measurement of time
going in either direction. However, I’m not sure of the full effects of
gravitational frame dragging and the results it would have on his differing

Lastly, Superman’s body would probably not be parallel to the earth. This
relies on his thrust mechanism and the supposed necessity of his
arrow-dynamic pose (going horizontal). He would probably end up doing a
major motion (factoring in no air resistance but with a thrust from his
bodily direction) that would look like donuts in a car in the middle of a
field (‘drifting’). …That is unless his superman flight ability relies on
the manipulation of gravitons when he goes horizontal or something… and the
graviton is only theoretical at this point. On a simple basis I think it’d
be easier to reconcile forces if Superman had his hands on the ground and
was exerting such great force (on something like the side of a cliff).
This would be best if his flying ability included a force so strong enough
that it would be shedding energy off beyond earth’s gravitational grasp
backwards away from his feet (like a quasar or something).

Of course, there are easier flaws to talk about that I am not including
(like how humans cannot fly, he wouldn’t be able to breathe in outer-space,
the minimal effect a single human’s mass would have on such a large body,
etc.) People might unconsciously associate the spin of the earth to the
motion of a clock hand, which are very different concepts.

If you disagree with me or agree with me, feel free to respond to my
comment. But if you troll me, I warn you that I could easily troll you
back even harder. However, a person who would effectively troll against
the science that I said here would have to be someone like an
astrophysicist in a strange manner not conducive to emotional
“understanding”… So if someone trolls me, the chance of them being a dummie
is about 99.99%, and I might have to mute myself from getting any further
responses on this comment if those build up. If you are in that 0.01% and
do possess what seems to be a superior understanding than me, then I will
bow down to you. “Welcome to the Time Masheen” -Idiocracy

ArmaBiologica35 says:

Superman: The sands of time.

gracenote108 says:

The power of boners is strong enough to turn back time.

Tampabruh says:

What would have been interesting or should have happened is that in future
sequels that there was some kinda consequence that occurs because of
this….Like they try it into some kinda of space raph created out of this
that helped to break the prison that helped General Zod and his followers
escape and come to Earth or something else crazy. It would have made
sequels more interesting to have mainstream Superman villians incorporated
into the movies rather have Richard Pryor or some bootleg half-baked Lex
Luther serve as Superman’s antagonists. As much as I honor and respect
Christopher Reeves for his epic portrayal of Superman, I wish Hollywood
would have invested more time and money in remaining faithful to the

Crazy Gladiator says:

This is probably the dumbest moment for……..fuck who knows what.

Ty Nash says:

People……Look. You can’t go forwards or backward in time because it
involves moving the entire planet in its hyperbolic tangential radial
spiral helical course through the Milky Way Galaxy. The Earth not only
spins on its axis. It rotates around the sun as it traverses through the
galaxy in a processional course, being pulled by the Suns gravity as the
sun rotates through the outer spiral arm of the Milky Way. The Earth spins
and moves with the sun around the galaxy. The galaxy moves too on some
predestined path. Atoms and molecules do not occur in two time-spaces at
the same moment in space-time. The universe is moving theoretically in one
continuous direction. The planet’s and stars are simultaneously holding
itself in its relativistic space from moment to moment. It doesn’t leap or
jump or bend or warp on its own volition. If it appears to do so (black
holes), there are multiple solar gravity’s of force at work at the point of
singularity. A jump point/doorway/portal or what have you. We just don’t
know or possess the quantum physical mathematical evidence required to
express such phenomenae. If you want to travel through time you’d have to
move the planet the sun and the galaxy along with the universe. You can’t
be here and over there at the same time. Space does not have the property
to do this. That’s what locks everything in place.

Gabriela Ferreira says:

Lets save one life by the cost of billions o/

SephirothgeneX7 says:

Even though the concept of this scene is stupid that scream is spine

dswynne says:

At least Superman crying in THIS film makes a lot more sense than in MoS…

jervey123 says:

hahaha i remember watching superman replays on hbo in the 90’s when i was
10 or so, it was the first time i watched these superman films and even
then i thought this was stupid as fuck, also that one where he has the
power to make anyone forget stuff by kissing them… really? he can make
you forget by kissing you? what the hell were those writers thinking when
they came up with this shit? specially superman 3 and 4 jesus christ, those
movies were more like horribly written fan fiction

minipepsiboy says:

What a dumbass director… if he were somehow in charge of galactic space
affairs in the year 3029, life in the Milky Way would die.

Jake M says:

How exactly would spinning the earth backwards reverse time?

Time isn’t exclusive to just the earth. Supes would have to make the whole
universe retract to reverse time.

LFOVCF says:

For crying out loud, I knew if I tried to find this clip, there would be a
bunch of idiots, with their nerdy crap, debating how this is not possible.
Just take your science ‘peacocking’ and piss off, it’s a film, not a
documentary! Go and discover girls, then you will really struggle to come
up with a theory!

waycomp2002 says:

The fact that it was used once or twice if there are movies in between but
two movies in a row. Granted it was years before richard donners version of
superman 2 came out but still if he had continued doing the superman movies
would that have always been his ultimate problem solution send the planet
back in time and correct it before it happened?

L.D. Guerrero says:

Just impossible!! What about the damn natural disaster he would have
provoked by his stupid spinning turning planet back??!! And who the fuck
says time is a circle rounding the planet?? Mr. Hawking.. please come
lecture some stupid junkie united stater

Chloe Lapore says:

No one hero can turn back the time only Superman, and the Time machine man
who wants to turn back her girlfriend but sadly dies in different

Sachitra Weerakoon says:

One of the worst scientifically inaccurate movies of all time let alone
superman himself is scientifically inaccurate 

James Farina says:

I know it was the original ending for Superman II but Personally it works
better here

Sigurd Torvaldsson says:

This is when Khal Drogo came back to Dany

LordAkaname says:

Real nooice ~

ProgRockisFXXKINGLAME says:

Still better than Man of Steel….

liam shilton says:

so now the earth is flying the wrong way? cheers superman. 

TheoNE24DCOMICS says:

Lol este superman es mucho mas rapido que gotenks xDD

Bill Dewar says:

Boy I wish I could do that!

Christopher McLoughlin says:

Batman: You reversed time didn’t you.
Superman: How did you know that?

Cirtap Tomas says:

It was so damn Magical. You really believed a Man Could Fly! 

D. K. Anderson says:

Everyone has missed the true deep meaning of this seen. He is still
mourning the death of his father (John Kent)…..”those powers and could
not save him”…he was not going let this happen to a person, he now –
truly and deeply loves.

Love is a power thing when an emotional connection is pure. I hope, you
been able to re-focus and connect w/ this scene on an EMOTIONAL LEVEL. 

Steven Hong says:

If u do that, you should be going to future but wth is this

The Groll Channel says:

This is how he could have brought the towers back on 9/11

mindsaglowin says:

More implausible than turning back time is a POS Ford LTD running as long
as it did.

LeBadman says:

One of the best scenes ever.

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