Debbie Schlussel spots a sadly typical Hollywood bait and switch maneuver: the full phrase “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” is fine for Superman Returns’ U.S. advertisements, but not for the movie itself. Maybe that’s one reason why the lead headline on the Internet Movie Database’s news ticker reads “‘Superman’ Didn’t Fly High Enough, Say Analysts”.
What makes the absence of the phrase even more loathesome is that if Warner Brothers truly did feel that the film’s foreign box office would be damaged by its inclusion, they could have easily have either quietly redubbed the line, or shot the scene both ways for airing overseas. It’s common for big budget Hollywood movies to have alternate scenes with toned down violence, sexual content or language shot for network television airing. Instead, Superman’s writers decided to give American audiences a deliberately punitive Fourth of July weekend slur.