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1941 Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Keith Simanton

Watching this director's cut, it's finally possible to see why the studio made Spielberg mercilessly hack up this comedy: it's a screaming movie (everyone screams a lot), and screaming movies do not need character development. So all those character-development scenes hit the cutting-room floor and, surprise, they were all critical to Spielberg's pace for the humor in this film. The screaming wasn't that funny then--and it still isn't--but what is funny are the reinserted development scenes, showcasing the now-evident sense of hysteria in the Los Angeles community, post-Pearl Harbor. A bunch of certified nitwits, and a few certified lunatics, act as if Tojo Hideki's entire Imperial force is just off the mainland. Actually, one Japanese submarine is, and it helps fuel the frenzy. John Belushi is Wild Bill Kelso, an insane fighter pilot, and Dan Aykroyd plays a conciliatory tank commander. Robert Stack's performance as General Stilwell, one of the best of the film, finally makes sense. Also fun for the numerous cameos, Spielberg's inside jokes, and John Williams's great score.

Academy Awards

1941 received Academy Awards nominations for Cinematography (William A. Fraker), Sound (Robert Knudson, Robert J. Glass, Don MacDougall, Gene S. Cantamessa), Special Visual Effects (William A. Fraker, A.D. Flowers, Gregory Jein).

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Treat Williams, Nancy Allen

Released: December 14, 1979

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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