Friday, June 06, 2008


1941 ~ Infamously known as Steven Spielberg’s only notable box office flop, this movie about the hysteria that strikes California days after the attack on Pearl Harbor is not really as bad as its reputation suggests. It rolls on with a madcap flair similar to that of Animal House and Meatballs and has many of the Spielbergian elements that would reappear in his later more successful films.

The best scene in my opinion is the opening, which is a parody of Spielberg’s own opening of Jaws. In this age of Scary Movies and other movie satires, it’s ironic that Spielberg may have been the first person to throw that spin on his own work.

While pushed initially as a Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi flick, they are barely in it, but what little they do do is entertaining. The real stars here are Slim Pickens and Nancy Allen who are just hilarious. Also good are the performances of Toshiro Mifume and Christopher Lee is surprisingly comedic roles in the Japanese sub lost offshore finding their way with a Crackerjack compass. Good stuff.


  1. I always thought that 1941 was a helluva lot better and funnier than people gave it credit for. I think you nailed it right on the head when you say that it was marketed as an Akroyd/Belushimovie when it's really an all-star ensemble piece.

    It's got one of my favorite actresses in it in a very funny role, the late Wendi Jo Sperber and the 1941 theme by John Williams is as rousing and stirring as the Indiana Jones theme.

  2. Wow, Derrick, you just gave me a shock as a fellow Wendy Jo fan... I was unaware that she had passed.

    My fave flick with her was the much-overlooked "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," which in my opinion is the best Beatles film the fab four didn't actually make...

  3. Wendie Jo passed away a couple of years ago from breast cancer. I had such a crush on her for years it wasn't funny. She was such a full-figured beauty.

    I wrote a review of I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND a few years back for my LJ. I'll find it and repost it there for you.

  4. @DLFerguson I agree with you. It's been years since I've seen this movie in the theater and I'm not really interested in watching it again.

    I remember Belushi's performance. I love the score by John Williams and still listen to it today.