It’s no secret that many scenes in the movie Superman 3 were filmed in and around Calgary. The producers did little to hide that fact and in some shots, not the ones shown here but others in the movie, the city’s most famous landmark, the unmistakable Calgary Tower is seen plain as day. Was it lazy film making?
In the scenes we’ll explore we follow the klutzy and likable villain Gus Gorman as he falls of a building while wearing skis. What…skis? Yes, and instead of plunging to his death, he manages to land safely on the busy street below. Totally unbelievable and silly, this sort of premise happens a lot in this movie – it’s more slapstick than serious.
Anyway, Gus (August “Gus” Gorman, played by Richard Pryor), a no-good layabout, and sometime computer hacker, visits the penthouse apartment of millionaire bad guy Ross Webster. This Superman hating villain has a number of nefarious schemes planned and could put Gorman’s computers skills to work. Reluctant to join, Gus is later blackmailed into service.
But what about the skis? How did that happen?
Easy, every rich playboy like Webster will of course have his own ski hill right next to his apartment. Gorman, who has obviously never hit the slopes before takes a turn and instead of stopping at the bottom of the run, he overshoots it and flies right off the building. A very high building by the way.
Falling fast, he miraculously lands unharmed in the street below, body and dignity intact – well the latter may have been a little bit bruised. Blocking traffic, he casually and non-nonchalantly crosses the road, skis still on his feet and wearing a big pink cape, while surprised drivers look on.
In the first of the two screen captures from the movie, we see Gorman skiing down an angled glass structure. Our goal to find that location and by using only our detective skills we do so in no time. One building seen on the movie is instantly recognizable, Now we have a reference point to work with.
In the film it appears that the reference building is approximately one to two blocks away. With that in mind, we wander about at roughly that distance, circling around until we arrive at a location that most closely matches that in the movie. I believe we find it, however construction keeps us away from the exact spot. Even so, the angle, the distance, the layout of the buildings are all very close. And there are even sloped glass overhangs and eves that could have been used for that skiing-down-the-glass scene – although the one we think was used is inaccessible and in that construction area.
Next up, we try to duplicate the scene where Gorman lands on the street. This is an simple one, since the building is easily recognizable. It’s a few blocks away and in no time we find the angle used. Wow, not much has changed in the thirty years since the movie was shot. That’s pretty cool!
Fantastic, we found both locations needed and quite easily in fact.
Stay tuned for more movie then and now articles. Calgary is full of locations seen in popular film and since winter often keeps us in town, you’ll be seeing more of these in the coming months.
Images form the movie are copyright Warner Brothers.
If you’d like to know more about what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: November, 2013.
Location: Calgary, AB.