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The Projectionist (1971)

A projectionist bored with his everyday life begins fantasizing about his being one of the superheroes he sees in the movies he shows.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ina Balin ...
The Girl
...
Renaldi / The Bat
Jára Kohout ...
Candy Man / Scientist
Harry Hurwitz ...
Friendly Usher
Mike Gentry ...
Usher / Henchman (as Michael Gentry)
Lucky Kargo ...
Usher / Henchman
David Holliday ...
Fat Man / Bat's Henchman
Sam Stewart ...
Usher / Henchman
...
Usher / Henchman
...
Usher / Henchman
Stephen Philips ...
Minister
Morocco ...
Belly Dancer
Clara Rosenthal ...
Crazy Lady
Jacqueline Glenn ...
Nude on Bearskin
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Storyline

A projectionist working in a New York City cinema loves the "movie" aspect of his job - he is often doing impersonations of his favorite movie stars in scenes from his favorite movies, and he has movie posters plastered all over his bedroom walls - but he hates his dictatorial boss, Renaldi, who has strict and often unreasonable rules in how he runs the establishment. The projectionist is basically a solitary man, partly due to the nature of his work. As such, he has much time to think about his favorite movies. Sometimes, he fantasizes that he is a character in a movie, a super hero named Captain Flash. In these fantasies, he references many of the movies that he has seen. But the two constants in the fantasies are Captain Flash's battles against his arch enemy, the Bat (who resembles Renaldi), who is portrayed as someone who wants to take over the world much like Adolf Hitler, and Captain Flash saving "the girl", who resembles a real life girl the projectionist admires from afar. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

17 January 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Filmvorführer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Rodney Dangerfield. See more »

Connections

References The Bohemian Girl (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

De File Triomphal
(uncredited)
Music by Faustin Jeanjean
See more »

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User Reviews

In the mainstream of movies that tear down the screen
20 April 2002 | by (NJ) – See all my reviews

There have been movies before and after The Projectionist that tear down film's equivalent of Theatre's fourth wall by lifting the barrier between the movie and the real world. Buster Keaton did it most brilliantly in Sherlock Jr. (1924, 44 mins., also featuring a projectionist), and Woody Allen pulled off a reversal (character steps out of the screen) in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Steve Martin duked it out with Cagney and others in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). The Projectionist is an amusing and annoying combination of a sweet schlub played by Chuck McCann, very reminiscent of John Candy, Rodney Dangerfield's film debut as a dictatorial movie theatre manager given to delivering incredible dressing-down speeches at his hapless ushers (shades of Full Metal Jacket), a nostalgic look at Times Square before it became "Times Square", and a melding of our hero with his screen idols, including his eye-popping drop-in at Rick's Cafe Americain. So what's to be annoyed at? A running super-hero theme is weak, and once you realize it will return again and again it's stomach tightening time while you anticipate the enjoyable sequences being interrupted by this underwritten motif. But without question The Projectionist is not to be missed in a time when imagination has been sucked out of Hollywood. And so I appreciated this film last night even more than when I saw it in a theatre 31 years ago, not excluding a hilarious trailer for a faux end-of-the-world flick that's a little too predictive of 9/11 for comfort.


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