Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Doc Savage (1975)

this is a frustrating movie.  it could have been quite good if they left out some of the overt silliness that runs through it.  or if perhaps they went all out and made it a complete comedy, though I would rather not have it done that way.  and it's just enough nonsense that when it happens it takes you completely out of the picture.  which is sad, because there is a lot to like about the movie, if you aren't expecting too much.

and the choice of using John Philip Sousa's marches was not a good idea at all.  add to that dopey lyrics and it completely negates any sense of urgency or drama during the film.  maybe once and without the singing, but dang, all through the movie?
however, I think there is a lot of good stuff here, which is what makes it so frustrating to watch.  the actors are all good, and they all look like their counterparts, at least the Fabulous Five do.  though I never quite picture Monk looking so small and non-apelike.  I'd have left out the pig, since it didn't appear in the books for a while.  they all play their parts pretty straightforwardly, as do the most of the villains.

Ron Ely plays Doc, and he has to do a few silly things, though I bet he didn't know that twinkle in his eye would actually be animated.  he looks like Doc though, at least if you read the books and don't base it on James Bama's version.  I always thought as cool as his covers were, that Doc was about 67 years old.

so all in all it's not a bad movie, it's just not a good one.  it could have been better had they not added the "camp" to it.  critics would call it that anyway, so why play into it?

one can order the widescreen version from amazon,which I think is a burn on demand.


Christopher Sobieniak said...

Someone did a podcast review of this film last year and the comments were about the same as yours over how this film couldn't decided whether it was a comedy or not. I'll say George Pal did his best, but it certainly didn't quite make it.

David McRobie said...

and one expects more from Pal!

I think if they tried to make one now it would just fall flat, like "John Carter" did. which is sad, since Doc should be a natural in the movies. too bad they never made a Republic Serial starring Doc!

Christopher Sobieniak said...

True. There was that chance but it became a missed opportunity.