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Hooper Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

The clarity of hindsight has turned Burt Reynolds's heyday in the Super70s into a time capsule of good ol' boy lunacy, and his movies remain as vital to that decade as disco and Watergate. Hooper represents the tail end of Reynolds's popularity, the last gasp before Reynolds moved on to forgettable romantic comedies and the sheer desperation of Smokey and the Bandit II and The Cannonball Run. Like those films it's harmless fun, and Hooper--conceived as a tribute to veteran stuntman Buddy Joe Hooker--benefits from the fact that both Reynolds and director Hal Needham were former stuntmen. The movie features three generations of stuntmen played by Brian Keith, Reynolds, and Jan-Michael Vincent, the last as a cocky young stunt-star who urges Reynolds to perform his greatest stunt ever: leaping a rocket-powered car over a wide gorge (a stunt inspired by the real-life exploits of daredevil Evel Knievel). What's fun about no-brainers like Hooper is that Reynolds's brand of macho mischief never really goes out of style. It's dated, but it's always going to find an appreciative audience.

Academy Awards

Hooper received an Academy Awards nomination for Sound (Robert Knudson, Robert J. Glass, Don MacDougall, Jack Solomon).

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Your Memories Shared!

"A film that shows how much fun has been eliminated from living in this era of political correctness. [Editor's note: Most of us are having even more fun now. It's just the racists, homophobes and sexists that are hating it. So which one are you?] Seemingly a simple film, it actually has the three elements that scholars look for in classic literature: Man vs. Man (Hooper vs. Ski) Man vs. Nature (Hooper vs. the canyon, other stunts) and Man vs. Himself (Hooper vs. his aging body). I say this is a greatly underestimated work."

--stats

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Hal Needham

Stars: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Marley, Brian Keith, James Best, Adam West, Robert Klein

Released: July 28, 1978

Availability: DVD VHS


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