Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Rocketeer at 25: An Adventure Movie Out of Time

The Rocketeer at 25: An Adventure Movie Out of Time 

10 comments:

Mike Stamm said...

I haven't figured out quite why THE ROCKETEER (and the two other similar not-quite-worked THE PHANTOM and THE SHADOW) didn't quite work--I got a big kick out of each of them. (But then, I was born in the early '50s and came of age when slam-bang-something-new-every-moment moviemaking was still being figured out.) Pacing, maybe, which was usually a problem with the original Republic serials and something the updates didn't fix. But the news of a ROCKETEER sequel is good news indeed; I'm only sorry Dave Stevens isn't here to see it.

Richard Robinson said...

I loved this one, even bought a VHS of it.

Bill Crider said...

I loved this one, too, and also THE PHANTOM. I liked THE SHADOW a little less, but even that one was pretty good.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Another that just didn't work for me, at all.

Dan said...

With all its sly humor and sub-texts,ROCKETEER always reminded me of THE PRINCESS BRIDE, and it deserves an equal cult following.

Fred Blosser said...

Four guesses: 1) only a relative handful of die-hard comic book fans were familiar with the character to begin with, 2) no big-name star in the lead, 3) for the average viewer, "been there and done that" with the '30s setting already used for Indiana Jones, and 4) the in-jokes (Timothy Dalton's Errol Flynn/Nazi sympathizer character, the Rondo Hatton "Creeper" homage) went over the head of most viewers and especially younger ones.

Bill Crider said...

Good guesses. Probably there weren't a lot of fans of the old Rocketman serials who cared for it, either, but I loved those. I can still watch them with pleasure, and this movie made me happy because it reminded me of them.

Gerard said...

I really liked ROCKETEER and SHADOW. PHANTOM used to run in my local paper and i was excited for that film but disappointed.

I read THE ROCKETEER DELUXE a couple years ago. That has an additional story of Cliff following his girlfriend to New York and running into a Shadow-like character.

The whole Rocketeer series began after Stevens did an illustration and was then asked to write a story around the image. Betty Page claimed that the first issues of ROCKETEER led to Page's resurgence after Stevens modeled the girlfriend after Page.

Maybe this is all in the article you linked to. I don't know because I did not read it.

S.W.B. said...


Actually a friend saw once I had a copy of used-video store sold Rocketeer movie, and he said "Doesn't that have a villian with a mask for a rubber face they made like Dick Tracy -- they RUINED THE movie when they had those scenes." - I actually had to agree.

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Dave Stevens befriended Bettie Page later in her life, and showed her people still had a nostalgia for her pin-ups and famous look [which was certainly the basis for Betty in the comic ROCKETEER].
Jennifer Connelly in the movie, and she's certainly always seemed a capable actor and fine features at that. (I heard Gretchen Mol starred as the lead in a movie THE NOTORIUS BETTIE PAGE).

S.W.B. said...


''the Rondo Hatton "Creeper" homage went over the head of most viewers ''


--
That's is, a character with a prothesis face mask was to look like Hatton, from the very old films, I recall it now!