Mark Rice Red Letter daze staff writer With the recent release of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, movies are once again going back to the golden age of the Saturday matinee show. Sometimes it is nice to be transported to simpler times when the forces of good fought evil, no strings attached. Here are some samples of flicks from today with a penchant for yesteryear.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
This film, along with the other two movies in the Indiana Jones Trilogy, is one of the best examples of the Saturday matinee”s return. Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas team up to make a Hollywood classic. John Williams”s booming musical score, Karen Allen as the spunky female sidekick, and that really annoying as well as evil French archeologist played by Paul Freeman add to the effect. The Nazis show up and do what they do best, which is trying to take over the world but ultimately failing. All in all, Raiders of the Lost Ark is pure Hollywood magic working on all cylinders. ‘Snakes! I hate snakes!’ Yeah, but we love this film.
A second rate pilot played by Bill Campbell mistakingly comes across a new and mysterious flying machine that could alter the course of World War II. Jennifer Connelly shows up to play the damsel in distress. As expected, the Nazis are the bad guys. They are helped out by an Errol Flynn-esque Nazi spy played by Timothy Dalton and a really huge guy who”s only lines in the movie seem to be ‘Where”s the rocket?’ High point of the film: Timothy Dalton inadvertently shortening the original ‘Hollywoodland’ sign to its present, more likeable form.
Warren Beatty”s tribute to the original comic book detective is an adventure not only reminiscent of the classic ‘cops and robbers’ capers of the “30s, but also filmed in the original style of the comic book art. The bright scenery of ‘The City’ combined with great costumes and makeup pay fitting tribute to Chester Gould”s imaginative comic. Warren Beatty plays the incorruptible cop, while Madonna acts out the role of the femme fatale. Still, the best part of this film is how the talented cast hams it up. Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, Dick van Dyke, Paul Sorvino, and of course, Al Pacino all give off-the-wall performances.
This relatively unknown whodunit comedy produced by George Lucas, pays homage to the golden age of radio. When WBN goes on the air in the mid “30s, a series of mysterious murders spoils its maiden broadcast. An estranged couple is faced with a seemingly impossible mission: they must find the murderer, but at the same time keep the show going. The engaging story and the great humor of this flick make it a must see. Some added pluses are performances by benchmark performers from radio”s high water mark including George Burns and Rosemary Clooney among others. Christopher Lloyd also shows up as the station”s wacky but incredibly dedicated sound effects manager.
Archived article by Mark Rice
Red Letter DAZE Staff Writer