Charlie McCready is a worried father. His daughter, Wendy will be attending college in the fall, and he feels the crowd she's hanging out with has no ambition, especially her boyfriend, ... See full summary »
Charlie McCready is a worried father. His daughter, Wendy will be attending college in the fall, and he feels the crowd she's hanging out with has no ambition, especially her boyfriend, Bart. He knows that Wendy's friends will all be attending the same college, so, he concocts a plan where Wendy will recieve a scholarship to a different college. This college being the same one where his wife attended. All goes as planned. Wendy attends Huttington and sees less of her old crowd. Soon Charlie's plan backfires, Wendy discovers her fathers scholarship plan and becomes rebellious. When she starts dating a hippie artist, Charlie realizes he has made a big mistake and must do something before Wendy goes too far. Written by
It's truly sad to see a good cast wasted in this painfully awful alleged "comedy" from the Disney people, but there's an academic interest in "Superdad" as well, to wit: If you want 90 minute capsule definition of everything that was wrong with Disney during the years when Ron Miller was running the studio (1967-81), just watch, or more accurately, endure this film.
I'll expand on this. Miller, who was Disney's son-in-law and an associate producer at the studio, took over the production reigns at Walt Disney's death in late 1966 (Brother Roy Disney still held the purse strings and ran the financial end of things, as his son Roy, Jr., does today). Miller had the technical know-how, but not the genius of picking the right properties and targeting his audience that Walt Disney did, and it's interesting that many of the most successful films made during the Miller years ("The Love Bug," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "The Rescuers," "Freaky Friday," and a few others) were films that were still in the planning stage at Walt's death. Instead of real creativity, Miller adopted a "What would Walt do?" policy, and the result was mostly negative. Disney films made during Walt's lifetime, even the occasional box-office failure, were always marked by distinctiveness and creativity, whereas most of Miller's films for Disney were marked by blandness and derivitiveness. Thus, for every "Love Bug," you got at least two films like "Million Dollar Duck," "Gus," "Candleshoe," innumerable "Love Bug" sequels that got worse with each picture, and the film we're ostensibly discussing here, "Superdad."
To see genuinely talented people such as Kurt Russell, Bruno Kirby, and the late Joe Flynn wasting their time with this drek is painful enough to watch as it is, but to see Bob Crane in the truly thankless title role is almost beyond the power of words to express. After the cancellation of "Hogan's Heroes" three years earlier, Crane tried to expand into movies, like his idol, Jack Lemmon. Unlike Lemmon, though, who always came off as likable, even in an unsympathetic role, there was always something vaguely unpleasent, even a little sleazy, about Crane's personality. It was that quality, undoubtedly, that kept him trapped in terms of the roles he played up until his sudden, mysterious, and still unsolved murder in 1978. Crane would certainly appreciate the irony that he's become a bigger celebrity in death than he ever was in life. At the time this film was made, he seemed like just another washed-up ex-TV star trying to make a go of it in films.
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