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Supergirl is a 1984 superhero film. It stars Helen Slater in her first motion picture role in the title role of the DC Comics superheroine Supergirl. Faye Dunaway (who received top billing) played the primary villain, Selena. The movie was a spin-off from the popular Superman film series which lasted from 1978 to 1987 starring Christopher Reeve. The movie also featured Marc McClure reprising his role as Jimmy Olsen.
The movie performed poorly at the box office and failed to impress critics and audiences. Helen Slater, however, was nominated for a Saturn Award for her strong performance by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The film does contain some expansions on the Superman movie mythology, such as taking the viewer into the Phantom Zone itself (in the first two Superman films, it was merely represented by a spinning black pane of glass). The story uses sorcery (a noted Superman weakness, but less favored over kryptonite) as a counter attack on Supergirl to great effect.
Released on video over the years by different companies, the film's first DVD release was on independent home video company Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2000 under license from StudioCanal. Warner Bros. recently acquired the rights to the film and reissued it on DVD late in 2006 to coincide with the reissues on DVD of the other Superman films. However, even though it is technically part of the same series of films as the ones produced between 1978 and 1987 with the late Christopher Reeve, it is not included in any of Warners' Superman-related 2006 box set DVD collections.
Kara Zor-El (Helen Slater) lives in an isolated community, a Kryptonian city called Argo City, in a pocket of trans-dimensional space. Zaltar (Peter O'Toole) allows Kara to see a unique item known as the Omegahedron, which he has borrowed without the knowledge of the city government, and which can infuse an artificial structure with life. She uses it under the tutelage of Zaltar to make a dragonfly-like creature; this creature breaches a window of the community and in the decompression that follows, the Omegahedron (which also powers the city) is sucked out into space. Kara follows it to Earth in an effort to recover it and save the city, which will die without it.
On Earth, the Omegahedron is recovered by Selena, (Faye Dunaway) a would-be witch, who quickly realizes that it can be used to allow her to perform real magical spells. On the radio, Selena hears that Superman has just left on a peace-seeking mission to a galaxy several light years away. Kara, now dressed as Supergirl, arrives on Earth and discovers her powers. Following the path of the Omegahedron, she takes the name Linda Lee, identifies herself as the cousin of Clark Kent, and enrolls at an all girls school. Supergirl and Selena are both enamored by Ethan, who works as a groundskeeper at the girls' school. After Selena misuses the Omegahedron to make herself a "princess of Earth", she drugs Ethan with a potion to make him love her and serve as her consort. Supergirl rescues Ethan and breaks him of Selena's spell. Supergirl and Selena repeatedly battle in various ways, until Selena uses her powers to put Supergirl in an "eternal void" known as the Phantom Zone. Here, stripped of her powers, she wanders the bleak landscape and nearly drowns in an oily bog. Yet she finds help in Zaltar, who has been imprisoned for losing the Omegahedron. Zaltar sacrifices his life to allow Supergirl to escape. Back on Earth she regains her powers and defeats Selena by trapping her in the Phantom Zone. Ethan admits his love for Kara, but knows it is possible he may never see her again and understands she must save Argo City. The final scene shows Kara returning to a darkened Argo City, which promptly lights up again.