Colin Jacobson

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"'1941' is underrated" = the fakest of fake news! :lol:

The other 4 movies from 1975-82 = complete classics. Not a flaw among them.

"1941"? Just a mess. Only Eddie Deezen redeems it!
 

Jeffrey D

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My favorite Spielberg films-
Jaws
Raiders
Private Ryan
Catch Me If You Can

I saw E.T. as a new theatrical release when I was 19, and uneducated about films. I didn’t like it then. I watched it again 20 years later, having watched a good number of highly regarded films, and felt more knowledgeable about films- I still didn’t like it. Will never watch it again.
 

noel aguirre

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Actually, he did work on the Jaws screenplay (uncredited, along with a couple of other writers, including Howard Sackler), and a decent amount of his original work survived the rewrite-process into the finished film.
So you’re not giving credit to the actual credited screenplay writers Carl Gotlieb and Peter Benchley even though Spielberg at that point in time lacked the track record or reputation to yield that sort of power that would come to him afterwards? Do you have a source where it’s stated he actually wrote those lines?
Rich.
 

noel aguirre

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Jaws gets blamed for that but there were movies that came out prior to it (like The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno) that were already setting up the 'blockbuster' template. If Jaws had never existed, some other movie would have been a big hit (Star Wars, Superman, etc.) and done the same thing. The studios were, as always, happy to make as much money as possible and by the insanely greed driven 1980's, Hollywood would have been fueled by exactly the same kind of focus on summer movies with or without Jaws.
Not saying it’s a blame game but Jaws was the original hands down.
I’m sure the rate of return was much greater on Jaws than either Star Wars or Superman So no comparison . I mean how expensive does it cost to build a rubber shark compared to all the craftsmanship and extras etc in the other 2? And Jaws was a summer release that created that period’s Blockbuster that is still used today. Not Poseidon- that was a holiday movie release - don’t know about Towering inferno. But I would bet Jaws made more than both of those combined anyway.
 

noel aguirre

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To each his own. I find Altman's films wildly hit and miss, not a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, and Terence Malick and Antonioni put me right to sleep,
I agree on above but what about Coppola, Scorsese , DiPalma, Allen, Ridley Scott? I’ll take Blade Runner any day to watch again over ET released in the same year.
 

Worth

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I agree on above but what about Coppola, Scorsese , DiPalma, Allen, Ridley Scott? I’ll take Blade Runner any day to watch again over ET released in the same year.
In that case, I like them both, though I've probably seen Blade Runner more than ET. It's hard to believe ET, Blade Runner and The Thing all came out on the same day.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Eddie Deezen and the dummy are enough to make it a cinematic classic. :D
We should include Murray Hamilton, too, as his reactions to Deezen and the dummy help sell it.

Otherwise... cripes, what a mess!

How could a movie directed by Spielberg in his prime, written by Zemeckis and Gale and starring that massive, insanely talented cast be so awful?

Some here can call it an underrated classic if they want. It's a mess, and a boring mess at that!
 

joshEH

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So you’re not giving credit to the actual credited screenplay writers Carl Gotlieb and Peter Benchley even though Spielberg at that point in time lacked the track record or reputation to yield that sort of power that would come to him afterwards? Do you have a source where it’s stated he actually wrote those lines?
Rich.
Spielberg talks about it at good length in the 2-hour LaserDisc documentary (which is on the 4K UHD) -- also, he had pretty much total screenplay-control at that point; he describes how it was his own personal call to turn over his previous drafts to subsequent writers to finesse, but certain pieces of that script carried over into what made it onto the screen eventually.
 
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TravisR

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We should include Murray Hamilton, too, as his reactions to Deezen and the dummy help sell it.

Otherwise... cripes, what a mess!

How could a movie directed by Spielberg in his prime, written by Zemeckis and Gale and starring that massive, insanely talented cast be so awful?

Some here can call it an underrated classic if they want. It's a mess, and a boring mess at that!
That it's so off the wall, has a gigantic cast and clearly made by a guy who was given all the money he wanted are exactly the things that are entertaining about it.

Also, beyond Eddie Deezen, the dummy and Murray Hamilton, I would say two more undeniable pluses in 1941's favor is a wonderful score and great special effects (the shots of the airplanes flying down Hollywood Boulevard is just amazing model work). Not that those things will save a movie that a viewer otherwise doesn't like but the movie has some good points.
 
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Tino

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It's hard to believe ET, Blade Runner and The Thing all came out on the same day.
Not so hard because They didn’t;)

E.T was released on June 11 1982

Blade Runner
and The Thing were released June 25 1982(saw them both on that very day).
 

Tino

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Spielberg talks about it at good length in the 2-hour LaserDisc documentary (which is on the 4K UHD) -- also, he had pretty much total screenplay-control at that point; he describes how it was his own personal call to turn over his previous drafts to subsequent writers to finesse, but certain pieces of that script carried over into what made it onto the screen eventually.
Correct. And speaking of screenplay credit, the actual written line isn’t the most determining factor. It’s the construction of the scenes, plot points etc. I know this because my friend is a screenwriter and got sole credit for one of his films where very little of his written dialog was actually used.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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That it's so off the wall, has a gigantic cast and clearly made by a guy who was given all the money he wanted are exactly the things that are entertaining about it.

Also, beyond Eddie Deezen, the dummy and Murray Hamilton, I would say two more undeniable pluses in 1941's favor is a wonderful score and great special effects (the shots of the airplanes flying down Hollywood Boulevard is just amazing model work). Not that those things will save a movie that a viewer otherwise doesn't like but the movie has some good points.
I do agree on the FX. From my review:

" On the positive side, the film's effects are very well produced, and the film enjoys a massive scope, so you can definitely see where the money went. At times, I actually felt startled by the scale of the picture, just because I couldn't stop thinking about how expensive the damned thing would be nowadays. "

But the "guy who was given all the money he wanted" is one of the problems. With so much money, Spielberg could indulge every whim, whether or not it was a good idea.

"1941" is one of those movies I desperately want to like. As noted, I think the other 4 Spielberg movies in the 75-82 run are unimpeachable. Any one of them would be viewed as a crowning career achievement for most filmmakers - you could pick any of the 4 as the best of the 4 and no one could criticize your choice.

But "1941"... ugh. I rewatch it every so often and think that it can't be as bad as I remember... and yet it always is! :huh:
 

Walter Kittel

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I know I am in the minority on this, but I prefer 1941 to E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial which always was a bit too sentimental and manipulative for my tastes and is one of my least favorite Spielberg films for that reason. 1941 is definitely a flawed film, but it is also really funny in a juvenile sort of way that has always appealed to me. The dance hall sequence is something I've always enjoyed due to the film's soundtrack. I don't disagree with Colin's assessment that objectively 1941 is the weakest film from that period in Spielberg's career, but films are also subjective and on that basis I do enjoy it warts and all.

- Walter.
 

dpippel

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I have a confession to make - I've never watched 1941. It's the only Spielberg movie I have NOT seen. I have it on Blu, just never got around to watching it. Time to rectify that in the upcoming few weeks.
 
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TravisR

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I have a confession to make - I've never watched 1941. It's the only Spielberg movie I have NOT seen. I have it on Blu, just never got around to watching it. Time to rectify that in the upcoming few weeks.
I think your level of enjoyment will depend on your taste in comedy. If you like silly stuff, you might dig it. If not, at least you can say you've seen all of Spielberg's movies.
 
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Scott Merryfield

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I have a confession to make - I've never watched 1941. It's the only Spielberg movie I have NOT seen. I have it on Blu, just never got around to watching it. Time to rectify that in the upcoming few weeks.
You are not the only one here who hasn't seen 1941 -- I haven't, either. I don't own it in any format, so I doubt I will be checking it out anytime soon.
 

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