[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/supergirl_movie_350_9073.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[BoxOfficeBomb Also her last.]]]]

The 1984 film ''Supergirl'' followed ''Film/SupermanIII''; it was produced largely due to Creator/ChristopherReeve's lack of interest in portraying the Man of Steel a fourth time. Series producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind wanted to milk more money out of the franchise, and since they owned the film rights to Supergirl, they appeared to have found a way to continue the franchise despite no longer having its star actor.

After considering many other actresses for the title role, Helen Slater was cast as Kara/Supergirl (marking her film debut), while Faye Dunaway played the movie's primary villain (the witch Selena) and Creator/PeterOToole portrayed Kara's Kryptonian mentor Zaltar. In an attempt to offer continuity with the Superman films, Marc [=McClure=] reprised his role as ComicBook/JimmyOlsen, and ComicBook/LoisLane's sister Lucy (Maureen Teefy) appears as the roommate of Linda Lee (Supergirl's secret identity).

Argo City is a part of Krypton that survived the planet's destruction and thrives in another dimension, but is dependent on the tiny-but-powerful device known as the Omegahedron. Zaltar has been secretly fooling with it and when he hides it with innocent Kara (cousin of a certain Kal-El), her own foolishness causes it to "escape" the city. Everyone will be doomed in a few days without it, so she heads out into our dimension to retrieve it. Following it to Earth, she gains her own superpowers from its yellow sun. Supergirl tracks the Omegahedron to the small town of Midvale and learns it has fallen into the clutches of Selena, who is using its powers in service of her witchcraft to TakeOverTheWorld.

The film's running time was slashed by its North American distributor for the American theatrical release -- from 125 minutes to 114 minutes -- and slashed further to 92 minutes for broadcast networks and syndication. The film was eventually released on DVD with both the 125-minute International Cut and a 138-minute DirectorsCut present (the latter basically being the rough cut before any scenes were deleted).
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!!''Supergirl'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AmusementParkOfDoom: Selena lives in a closed-down amusement park, in the old HauntedHouse attraction to be precise. Her first face-to-face confrontation with Supergirl has her menace the heroine and Ethan by magically controlling the rides.
* AntiHero: Zaltar took the Omegahedron in the first place, and accepts his banishment to the Phantom Zone as punishment while noting that Argo City's suffering will be quick and painless.
* AntiVillain: Bianca doesn't really ''do'' anything evil, but association with Selena doesn't do her any favors.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Subverted. Selena thinks the Omegahedron is a conduit for the power of shadow, but it's amplifying her existing powers and is also used to power Argo City. Played straight with the Burundi Wand, an artifact of pure evil that amplifies the Omegahedron's powers.
* AscendedFridgeHorror: The Phantom Zone is shown in all its infamy, complete with an endless void, a craggy surface, and all-encompassing darkness. Supergirl is trapped there briefly. Zaltar voluntarily went there. Both try to escape, but he never makes it out.
* AttemptedRape: Two truckers Kara encounters after her arrival have this on their mind.[[note]]One is Matt Frewer in a pre-''Film/MaxHeadroom'' role![[/note]]
* BigBraToFill: While often (but [[DependingOnTheArtist not invariably]]) buxom in the comic books, Slater's Supergirl is modestly endowed.
* BlackMagic: Selena's weapon of choice. According to canon, that and Kryptonite are surefire ways to sideline or kill a Kryptonian.
* BroughtDownToNormal: Supergirl loses her superpowers when Selena banishes her to the Phantom Zone; she gets them back once she escapes.
* TheBully: Myra, a tough jock who bullies anyone unafraid of her.
* ButNowIMustGo: Supergirl retrieves the Omegahedron and returns home to Argo City at the end of the movie -- saving the city, but leaving no obvious SequelHook.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Supergirl'' is ignored by ''Film/SupermanReturns'' (as are ''FilM/SupermanIII'' and ''[[Film/SupermanIVTheQuestForPeace IV]]'').
* CanonForeigner: Selena, Zaltar, and every other character besides Supergirl, her parents, Jimmy Olsen, and Lucy Lane fall under this trope.
* CanonImmigrant: The headband Supergirl began wearing in 1984 (and was wearing when she died in ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'') was added at the request of the film's producers, who wanted DC's Supergirl to look like the movie version. DC agreed to the change -- and then the producers changed their minds. Screen test images of Helen Slater wearing the headband can be seen [[http://www.oocities.org/supergirl_helenslater/test-pilot.htm here]].
* CardCarryingVillain: Selena plans world domination, openly studies black magic, and hates light.
* ClarkKenting: Kara disguises herself as "Linda Lee" on Earth. She's less convincing than her cousin but then [[JustifiedTrope he has a lifetime at being Clark Kent while she made up "Linda" on the spot.]]
* ColdIron: Supergirl stops Selena at the amusement park by surrounding her with metal posts.
* CurseEscapeClause: Selena's love potion loses its potency when its ingredients are disturbed, or after one day.
* DeusExitMachina: A radio news report mentions Superman's departure from Earth on an intergalactic peacekeeping mission, which explains why he isn't around to handle Selena.
* DistaffCounterpart: This is noticed InUniverse by Selena's sidekick, Bianca.
-->'''Bianca:''' You know, I think I recognize the costume.
** Bianca herself is this to Otis, Lex Luthor's sidekick in the first two films of the main series.
* DistressedDude: Selena frequently puts Ethan in danger, forcing Supergirl to save him.
* EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry: Selena and Bianca are bedecked in gems, spoils of their conquest of Midvale, as they plot their next moves.
* EvilCounterpart: Nigel to Zaltar. Both are mentor figures, but to the villainess and heroine respectively.
* EvilIsPetty: Selena torments a girl Nigel is interested in just to hurt him, and to gain followers. She's ''furious'' when Linda accidentally makes Ethan fall in love with her and vows to make her as miserable as Supergirl.
* EvilRedhead: Selena has curly red hair and is definitely evil.
* EvilSorcerer: Selena is a female example; her ambition is to become a SorcerousOverlord.
* EvilTeacher: Nigel's day job is to teach math at Midvale College.
* FatalFlaw: Selena's impatience and short-sightedness is commented on by several characters, and is the main reason she lacked the power to take over the world until finding the Omegahedron.
* {{Fireballs}}: As the depowered Supergirl and Zaltar climb towards the portal that leads out of the Phantom Zone, Selena sends these through her MagicMirror to stop them.
* [[ForgotAboutHisPowers Forgot About Her Powers]]: At one point in the climax, the floor is swaying around and Supergirl forgets about the flight power she's been using for the entire movie.
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Zaltar goes mad during his time in the Phantom Zone, as to him it felt like ''forever'' had passed.
* [[Main/HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoist By Her Own Petard]]: Once Supergirl escapes the clutches of the giant demon Selena summons, she takes Nigel's advice to turn the witch's powers against her. Supergirl creates a cyclone that traps Selena and the demon together, and since it now has nothing else to go after, it turns on Selena.
* HomicideMachines: Selena controls a a bulldozer to capture Ethan when he wanders off.
* HowDoIShotWeb: While not inept, Selena is unsure of how to use her powers effectively at first. Nigel points out that she wouldn't know how to use magic at all without his help.
* IHaveYourWife: Selena and Nigel work together to kidnap Ethan so Supergirl will come to them. Selena then kidnaps Lucy and Jimmy in case Supergirl interferes.
* ImpairmentShot: After waking up from the love potion's effects, the camera stumbles around as Ethan makes his way out of the haunted house and onto the streets.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Supergirl uses a lamppost charged with lightning to gain an edge against the invisible demon.
* InSeriesNickname: Before she realizes they're one and the same, Selena coins one nickname each for Linda Lee and Supergirl -- "The Wimp" and "Bluebird".
* InstantSedation: Selena's love potion causes Ethan to fall asleep instantly. When he wakes up, he's ''very'' drowsy.
* InvisibleMonsters: Selena sends an invisible demon to fight Supergirl and reduce the movie's special effects budget, though it's briefly visible at the end of the fight.
* KarmaHoudini: Nigel is a warlock who participates in Ethan's capture, but he walks away scot-free at the end.
* LargeHam: Faye Dunaway as Selena.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: Selena and Bianca live together and constantly bicker.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Selena's potion makes Ethan fall in love on sight with the first woman he sees.
* LovePotion: Selena uses this on the handsome young Ethan, but her plan goes awry fast. She's supposed to be the first woman he sees after he drinks it, but he wanders off and she tries to get him back by enchanting some heavy machinery. Havoc ensues, and Supergirl saves the day -- but this means that, as Linda, ''she's'' the person Ethan sees and falls for. Eventually he's freed from the spell's influence and comes to like the heroine on his own.
* MagicMirror: Selena has one. Not only is it useful for spying on others, but it can also serve as a portal to and from the Phantom Zone.
* MesACrowd: During the amusement park fight, Selena creates magical shadows of herself to block Supergirl.
* MostCommonSuperpower: This was averted. Helen Slater, whose bra size is reportedly 32A, said the following in an interview about the film: "In the comics, Supergirl is quite, um, buxom... so I hope people won't come to the film expecting that."
* MuggingTheMonster: The two truckers who accost Supergirl soon after her arrival on Earth fall under this trope.
* MundaneUtility: Selena's first acts of power with the Omegahedron are to start a car and roast a turkey.
* NegatedMomentOfAwesome: Lucy Lane climbs onto the possessed construction vehicle and attempts to stop it, but is knocked out when it swerves.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Given the extreme liberties taken with her cousin's powers, such as [[Film/SupermanII telekinesis]] and [[Film/SupermanIVTheQuestForPeace "Rebuild-the-Great-Wall-of-China Vision"]], ''Supergirl'' surprisingly averts this, as Kara has all of her powers from the comics with no "extras" pulled out of thin air specifically for the movie.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: If Zaltar hadn't "borrowed" the Omegahedron, there'd be no movie. Same for Kara toying with things she couldn't understand.
* NoSocialSkills: Inconsistently applied with Kara; unlike her cousin, she arrives on Earth as a teenager instead of being raised amongst humans as a young child. She speaks fluent English, but doesn't understand certain customs such as handshakes. She doesn't realize the function of a brassiere, either, putting it on over her clothes.
* NumberTwo: Myra has Muffy, who gives her advice and spies for her.
* OnlySaneMan: Bianca and Nigel are critical of Selena and her schemes, though she refuses to listen to them.
* PhantomZone: The title character is thrown into the Phantom Zone by her nemesis Selena using the power of the Omegahedron, which strips her of her powers in the process. Zaltar, who came to the Phantom Zone as a self-imposed exile for losing the Omegahedron in the first place, pulls a HeroicSacrifice to allow her to escape and regain her powers.
* PortalPool: Inverted; a lake on Earth turns out to serve as this between Supergirl's dimension and ours.
* ProductPlacement: Even by 1984's standards, this movie's blatant about it. One of the biggest action scenes takes place in and around a Popeye's Fried Chicken franchise. Popeyes is even prominent in the background of some of the most memorable stills from the movie of Helen Slater as Supergirl.
* PurpleProse: When under the influence of the love potion, all of Ethan's dialogue towards Linda is insipidly purple prose declaring his love for her.
* RapidAging: Selena betrays Nigel and makes him old to spite his affections.
* RealityEnsues: Selena spends so much time being needlessly evil that she's down on all her house payments at the start of the film.
* TheSocialExpert: Bianca is good friends with the locals, inviting them to parties at Selena's house. Selena later exploits this to gain followers.
* TheStarscream: Selena betrays Nigel, taking his Burundi Wand for herself and turning him old.
* SupervillainLair: After channeling the Omegahedron's powers through the Burundi Wand, a device of "pure evil", one of Selena's first acts is to create this -- a mountain crowned with her new, Gothic castle materializes at the edge of Midvale. Soon she conquers the town, puts the authorities under her command, and has the heroine's friends caged up within as she and Bianca plot to extend her reach further and further. Her magic allows her to create traps on the fly to stymie the heroine.
* TakenForGranite: A scene only in the international cut has Selena turning a protestor into an ice statue... which melts.
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: Kara messing with the Omegahedron and making a mechanical dragonfly come to life results in the dragonfly crashing through a window. The resulting vacuum causes the Omegahedron to fly out the window, putting Argo City in danger.
* UnholyMatrimony: Nigel is in love with Selena, but she only uses his affections for her own gain.
* UpUpAndAway: This was averted; director Jeannot Szwarc deliberately tried to avoid making the flight scenes similar to those in the Superman film by opting instead for a more ballet-inspired take.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Selena goes drunk with power the more she uses the Omegahedron.
* WrittenInAbsence: The producers failed to secure a cameo from Christopher Reeve; during the movie, a radio news report mentions Superman's departure from Earth on an intergalactic peacekeeping mission. Reeve's Superman does appear once in the movie, but only on a poster in Lucy Lane's dorm room.
* YearInsideHourOutside: The Phantom Zone is implied to work like this. Zaltar feels it's been forever inside when only a few days have passed.
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