Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Overlooked Movies: Cocoon

I was already starting to feel my age a bit when I first saw this movie nearly 30 years ago, but I loved it.  I've always found the ideas of rejuvenation and immortality fascinating in SF stories, so I was primed for this one.

Ancient astronauts had an earth outpost on the island of Atlantis, and when it was destroyed, twenty of the aliens had to stay behind.  The aliens are on cocoons.  The ones who return to pick them up can assume human form, and the water that gives the cocoons life force is in a swimming pool in a swanky house.  Naturally some older human folks get into the pool and suddenly find their youthful vigor returning.  This causes some problems, especially when the word gets out about the pool and an entire nursing home takes advantage.

This screws up the life force in the water, but the cocoons can survive in sea water.  When the aliens leave, they offer the nursing home residents a ride to their home planet where they'll life happily forever, free of disease and pain.  This has even more appeal to me now than it did in 1985.  Not everyone takes advantage of the opportunity.  One major character, played by Jack Guilford, chooses to remain here to age and die.  I know what choice I'd make.

Great cast. Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn, Wilford Brimley, Brian Dennehy, Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapelton, and, yes, Steve Gutenberg.  All doing a swell job.


Todd Mason said...
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Todd Mason said...

I will cheerfully admit that this film lives in my memory as the one that provided such fine evidence of the existence of Tahnee Welch, who so impressively took after her mother (even if younger Welch seemed a bit too thin in the standard H'wood starvation regimen).

Oh, sure, the aliens offer pain-free immortality and the companionship offer, potentially, of a Ms. Welch (or the local equivalent)...but do they have cream soda? Vegetarian BLTs? You can't just rush into these things, Bill. (Dr. Pepper would have to be a given.)

(One's fingers will do what they want...regiment when I meant regimen, thank you.)