In the book, Christopher Reeve writes about one of the scenes in the film where Superman captures a burglar climbing up a building and brings him down to the street. To film the scene, Reeve waited until his crew was ready and was sent to the set with multiple bodyguards.

The movie’s director, Richard Donner, was concerned about Reeve’s safety. When the actor arrived to shoot the scene, not a single fan was in sight on the busy streets of New York — which had Reeve convinced the film would be a “flop.” However, when he walked through a passage to the front of the building where the “Superman” crew was filming, the actor spotted thousands of fans “jamming” the sidewalks on both sides of the street. Cranes, harnesses, and wires hooked Reeve to safety, and when he was hoisted up mid-air, fans cheered and applauded, paying no attention to the large number of crew members or the harnesses in sight. It was magical to see Superman in costume and in action — and as Reeve describes it, he knew at that moment that “Superman” was going to be very, very loved.