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|Index||25 reviews in total|
This is absolutely one of the funniest movies I've ever seen without subjecting the viewer to low class potty humor or vulgarity. Most people won't find it as funny as today's vulgar and crass humor or the insipid "dumb and dumber" type of humor. However, if you are looking for something for the entire family that is clean and at the same time hilarious, this is it! My family never tires of watching this movie for a good laugh. They certainly don't make good, clean movies like they used to which is a great pity! I wish I could buy a collection of Dean Jones' movies at one time. I love his ability to seem foolish and yet come out the hero without superficial trappings that seem to be required of most heroes today. He is an "everyman" hero and one that obviously has integrity where other lack it.
Brief synopsis: Baxter (Dean Jones) inherits a hotel in Silver Hill,
Colorado and quits his New York job to take up proprietorship. Although
he discovers the hotel is no longer profitable as such, he sees the
potential of converting it to a ski resort. Of course, as you can
guess, all sorts of humorous mishaps befall the poor man and his family
before he can realise this dream.
This movie was filmed on location in beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado, thinly disguised as Silver Hill. Fantastic scenery here. Crested Butte has changed a lot since this movie was made, but you can see some of the landmarks still.
For many years we had only reel 2 of this movie and never could seem to find a VHS copy. To my great elation, I came across a DVD version a few weeks ago, along with a couple more of my old favourites 'Gus' & 'Big Red'. It was wonderful. They just don't make movies like this any more. I would love to see Disney do more movies like this; but I suppose they are not profitable.
Now, this movie is by no means a masterpiece, but it's so much fun to watch. I like stuff like the tree made of rubber that Dean Jones gets caught on; And the double-tipped skis he (or his stunt double) wears when skiing backwards. That kid's goofy snowmobile was a riot.
Even my teenage kids liked this movie. And I didn't have to worry about objectionable material like I do more recent movies (even from Disney). I figure if it makes me and my kids laugh it's worth it.
I recommend you check this out if you have kids and like to watch movies with them. My rating was a 7 on this one.
I am a 61 year old grandfather who is still a kid at heart. I still roar with laughter at the silly antics of the Roadrunner and Wiley Cayote. True, this movies is dated. All movies made in the 1970's are dated now, but this is such good clean fun that I would not hesitate to show this at a children's Sunday School class party. The "surprises" the family finds in unexpected places as they work to refurbish the hotel in time for the ski season; the fact that no one in the family skies; and the shenanigans they go through trying to get various jobs accomplished makes this movie a true comedy classic. In my opinion movie makers, in general, and Disney, in particular, have lost this sense of fun and it is a real shame. If you like this movie, I would also recommend "The Million Dollar Duck" and "Black Beard's Ghost" - also with Dean Jones - and also truly Disney Classics.
I have a well-worn, copied from tv version of this movie that I watch again and again. The cast is wonderful and the ski and snow-mobile scenes leave me laughing till I cry. Harry Morgan gives (in my opinion) one of his best performances and Dean Jones is in fine form with other Disney regulars making this an exceptional family movie. Could we please see a release in the near future?? Families need movies like these!
Just a couple of comments about Snowball Express. Call it "trivia" if
you like. The movie was filmed in Crested Butte, Colorado. I lived
half-way between Crested Butte and Gunnison, CO at a place called
Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery. I lived there as a kid when the movie was
made. My best memory of the movie being made was the scene where Wally
(Michael McGreevey) gets stuck in the tree on the cliff and Dean Jones
comes to rescue him. This was actually filmed on a cliff along Highway
135 north of Almont, CO about halfway to Crested Butte. I know this
because it was right across the highway from Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery
and we watched the scene being filmed. As I recall it took a number of
days to film the scene and it required traffic to be stopped for each
take as the cliff was right over the highway. (This cliff is now gone
as the highway has been re-aligned.) In a brief moment in the scene you
can see the buildings of Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery where my dad
worked. As another trivia bit, I can remember the snow mobile was on
display for the open of the movie in the local Gunnison theater.
See part of this movie made was great fun a kid growing up there. I recently bought a DVD of the movie and my kids now love it. Of course, they are very interested to see the old Crested Butte I knew as a kid and they especially like the "cliff rescue" scene.
This is another one of those all-star-cast Disney films that we just don't see made anymore...and that's a shame. Dean Jones stars as an over worked blue-collar type that loads up the family and moves them to the mountains. Lots of silly antics; the comedy sequences are timed so right, and the story flows evenly throughout. Harry Morgan is a gem in this film. There are great skiing scenes throughout, and a rip-roaring race at the end. This is a classic '70s Disney comedy that still holds up today. It's out on DVD too, so, if you're a collector, add it to your collection. I did. Yes...from start to finish, you'll laugh enough times to make you want to watch it again!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was nine years old when Disney's Snowball Express first came out. I
can still remember seeing it in the theaters and having an absolute
wonderful time with it. I've seen it several times over the years since
and while I no longer consider it one of my favorites, I still have a
good time with it. Regardless of how old I've become or how much my
taste in movies has changed, Snowball Express never fails to provide
some level of entertainment or make me laugh out loud at a couple of
the funnier moments. It's just good, simple, clean fun.
One thing that makes many of these Disney live action films good to me is the presence of Dean Jones. He is an Everyman. He has such an easy-going, amiable air about him that it's easy to put yourself in his shoes. His reaction to situations and events occurring around him rings true (given a certain level of exaggeration necessary for comedy). It's this believability that makes him relatable and perfect for a role like the one in Snowball Express.
There really isn't much to this early 70s Disney flick featuring Dean
Jones and his family moving to Colorado to operate a hotel they have
just inherited. Poor Dean Jones! I certainly hope the folks at Disney
kept him well paid and provided every amenity he desired in his trailer
at this and every shoot. Always asked to play the same character for
the same audience, one would think he would have been very tired of it
by then. He does play a likable character though.
Though filled with some good skiing and snowmobile stunts, you don't have to look hard to spot the stunt doubles. The close shots are just the actors in a studio with a snowy backdrop behind them as they act like they are skiing down a mountain or about to fall off a snowmobile. This makes the film look VERY dated, as does the opening sequence in an office building. There are some decent other actors in this film. Keenan Wynn gives as good a performance as his character deserves, and Harry Morgan lets a shaggy beard do the acting in his pre-MASH days. Johnny Whitaker has a couple funny lines and good moments in his pre-crack pipe days, too.
The plot deals mostly with the family inheriting the hotel and then trying to fight off the attempts of a shady banker (Wynn) from stealing the rights to it from them. It may not be a great film, but something about it made me look it up after all these years. Maybe it was that cool hybrid snowmobile that Jones uses in the race? Hard to say. 5 of 10 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
TITLE: SNOWBALL EXPRESS was release in theaters on December 22 1972 and
if you watch this movie it will take you 99 minutes. Snowball Express
is a 1972 screwball comedy film made by Walt Disney Pictures about a
man who leaves his desk job to run a hotel left to him by his uncle.
Starring in this picture was Dean Jones, Nancy Olson, and Harry Morgan
SUMMARY: Johnny Baxter (Dean Jones) is at his usual corporate desk job one day when an probate attorney (David White) appears. The attorney tells Baxter that his recently deceased uncle, Jacob Barnesworth, has left him sole ownership of the lucrative Grand Imperial Hotel in the fictional town of Silver Hill, Colorado. Baxter impulsively quits his job in a grand spectacle and moves his family to Colorado to take up proprietorship of the hotel. Arriving at the hotel, the family finds it to be an immense but ramshackle building with no heat, and a colorful old codger, Jesse McCord (Harry Morgan), living in the shed. Accepting the situation for the meantime, Baxter attempts to build the hotel up to its former glory and comes upon the idea to turn the hill adjacent to the hotel into a ski lodge. The biggest problem for Baxter is obtaining some capital for his venture. Local banker Martin Ridgeway (Keenan Wynn) expresses great interest in Baxter's daring idea, but continually offers to pony up some cash to take the dilapidated lodge off Baxter's shoulders to convert it into a boys' school in honor of the deceased uncle. Baxter's wife Sue (Nancy Olson) does not trust Ridgeway one iota and says so from the get go. Realizing there are too many strings attached involving Ridgeway, Baxter searches for funding elsewhere and finds a friendly banker named Mr. Wainwright (George Kirkpatrick) in a nearby town who is genuinely interested in Baxter's venture. Wainwright agrees to meet with Baxter at a ski lodge, as Baxter admits he is an avid skier. Sue Baxter nearly passes out when she hears this, knowing that her husband has never skied a day in his life. Chaos ensues when Baxter hops on the ski lift with Wainwright and promptly glides uncontrollably down the mountain, taking out several skiers and ultimately plowing into a tree, face first. While Baxter is recovering from injuries sustained from the skiing incident, Martin Ridgeway drops by to give Baxter a check for $3,000, taking feigned pity on his recent skiing disaster. Baxter quickly takes the money and starts making a list of repairs needed for the lodge. As Baxter is enthusiastically building his dream resort, local bumpkin Wally Perkins (Michael McGreevey) works feverishly with Jesse to repair an ailing hot water heater. No sooner does Baxter relish his $3,000 check when the water heater explodes, tearing a hole in the kitchen wall. Luckily, the recently acquired capital covers the repair, but leaves nothing for the ski lift Baxter had in mind. Jesse comes to the rescue by pulling an old donkey engine out of mothballs, ties a rope around it, and uses it for a makeshift ski lift. After successfully hauling the mammoth donkey engine up the mountain, the Baxter's are ready to roll, though Sue still feels uncomfortable knowing the resort's repairs were financed by the scheming Ridgeway. The restored Grand Imperial Hotel opens to little fanfare. The Baxter's and Jesse stand in an empty resort for several days, with nary a single customer setting foot in the immaculate hotel. Meanwhile, Wally is outside trying to dynamite a tree stump from the ground. The explosion sets off an avalanche that blocks a passing passenger train, stranding the several hundred skiers aboard. Astute Jesse quietly suggests transporting the skiers to a warm place in the interim. Realizing they are about to be inundated with customers, the Baxter's quickly start shuttling the stranded skiers to the resort. The Baxter's quiet resort becomes a Mecca for the skiers, and it looks as if John Baxter's gamble has paid off. All goes well until bricks-for-brains Wally commence ski-training class. Having never taught skiing before (he is reading the 1970 version of "How to Ski" shortly before the lesson begins), Wally manages to lose his balance and skis down a steep mountain, dangling over a ledge while clinging to a pine tree. Using the venerable donkey engine and a rope to lower John Baxter down the mountain to rescue Wally, Jesse accidentally jostles a loose piece of lit firewood onto one of the thick ropes anchoring the donkey engine in place. Baxter successfully rescues Wally, who suffers a broken arm because of the fall. Just then, the burning rope tears, setting the donkey engine free. The steam-powered beast rapidly glides down the mountain, with Baxter in tow, still roped to the machine after having rescued Wally. Unfortunately, Jesse cannot steer nor slow the careening the donkey engine and it plows right through the center of the Grand Imperial Hotel situated at the bottom of the mountain. Sue Baxter comes running after the runaway donkey engine, and feels a chill come over her as a bone-chilling breeze rustles through the hole created by the disaster. All guests check out immediately, leaving the Baxter's flat and out of money once again.
QUESTIONS: Why was John Baxter afraid to go see Martin Ridgeway? Who was Martin Ridgeway and what business did he have with John Baxter? How did John find out about the Silver Hills Snowmobile Race? Where did Wally come from and what did he have to do with all of this? How has Ridgeway won the last three-snowmobile races? What was on John Baxter's property that Ridgeway wanted so badly?
MY THOUGHTS: There are some great scenes in this movie and the pictures of the mountain are beautiful. I can't give this movie 10 weasel stars because it had no leading actress, however I will give this movie 8 weasel stars for the comedy alone.
Based on the comments made so far, everyone seems to either hate this
movie or love it. I think it would be fair to point out that although
this is not a GREAT movie, it has its interesting moments. For one
thing, it was filmed on location in Colorado (was it Breckinridge or
Telluride? I can't remember, but it is in the credits). The location is
absolutely stunning and spectacular. It's beautiful, even to me who
lived in Colorado for several years.
Next, it has Disney's penchant for wonderful character actors. Harry Morgan has never been in better form than when he plays in a Disney movie. He is literally hysterical. Also, remember the wonderful Mary Wickes? Although she has a "bit part" in this movie, she is great, as always. If you don't know who she is, think of the animated Disney version of Hunchback from Notre Dame (she was one of the gargoyles), and she was also the most interesting nun in "Sister Act", as well as the best nun in "The Trouble With Angels." She has always been a great character actress and most character actors never receive the recognition they deserve.
In addition to character actors and all-star casts, in the 1960s-1970s Disney may have not had the "greatest" movies, but, if you really watch some of them from beginning to end, you will NOTICE that every movie has some really funny or hysterical moment in it. The entire movie may not be funny, but there is always a comic gem (at least 1 or 2) in every single "live-action" movie Disney ever made. Whether it's Harry Morgan in one of his bellowing tones of voice, or Tim Conway floundering around, or Joe Flynn giving one of his priceless looks of horror, it is all good. The whole film may not be good, but there are ALWAYS hysterical moments in every Disney film from this period that I have ever seen. Disney in this time period always managed to make a person smile, despite the dumbness of the film.
Bsed on these comments, I disagree with viewers who say every Disney movie in this time period is awful. That statement it not quite accurate. Rather, it is easier for me to give credit to the funny moments and overlook the weaknesses in the plots.
Some live-action Disney movies are true classics (Old Yeller, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins), but for those that aren't, I am able to appreciate them for what they were -- good clean family fun in a time when movies had become vulgar, crude and offensive.
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