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Hero at Large (1980)

An idealistic but struggling actor finds his life unexpectedly complicated when he stops a robbery while wearing the costume of Captain Avenger, a superhero character of a film he is hired ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Anita Dangler ...
Jane Hallaren ...
Leonard Harris ...
Mayor
Rick Podell ...
Milo
...
Marty Fields
Kurt Andon ...
Fireman
Gerry Black ...
Hero at Fire
Tony Cacciotti ...
Anthony Casselli
William Bogert ...
TV Moderator
...
Herself (as Dr. Joyce Brothers)

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Storyline

An idealistic but struggling actor finds his life unexpectedly complicated when he stops a robbery while wearing the costume of Captain Avenger, a superhero character of a film he is hired to to promote. He decides to dabble at being a superhero only to find that it is more difficult and dangerous than he ever imagined. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Help is on the way!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Avenger  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several nods to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), including showing cab drivers hanging outside of the Belmore Cafeteria at night, and the casting of Leonard Harris, who played Senator Charles Palantine in Taxi Driver (1976), playing the Mayor. In one scene, while the mayor is giving a speech, he has both arms raised in the same fashion as Taxi Driver. See more »

Goofs

Right before Steve and J. Marsh kiss, she touches his uninjured left arm, and he says "ouch". See more »

Quotes

Walter Reeves: Don't be selfish, Steve.
Steve Nichols: Selfish?
Walter Reeves: Give them what they want, Steve. Give them the legend.
See more »

Connections

References Dracula (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hero With Heart
7 June 2008 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

There's a lot going on with "Hero At Large." Notably, this is a film that was, for the bulk of it, made on location in NYC, circa 1979. That fact alone would be enough to recommend it, because it gives you a glimpse into what the city was about at that time, how it looked, what was playing at local movie houses and on Broadway, and what was important to its residents.

But this film goes well beyond the basics of the setting. And that's due to a meaningful script by A.J. Carothers and a truly remarkable performance by John Ritter.

In some ways, Ritter's character here is in a similar situation to Dustin Hoffman's character in 1982's "Tootsie." He plays an out of work actor who is desperate to get a part in a play, or even a commercial just to make the rent. When he books the role of Captain Avenger, a comic book hero who is the star of a cheesy live action film, he's not the motion picture actor, he's the stooge signing 8 x 10s outside of the theater dressed in the character's costume, one of dozens of actors playing the part all over town! But on the way home from his gig, when his local grocer gets held up at knife-point, he uses that costume to thwart the street toughs and saves the day! His interest in his next door neighbor, J. (Anne Archer) helps to fuel his heroics, and he finds himself starting to take chances to help people and win her attention and affection, and to make a statement about what's really important.

A surprise is Bert Convy, who was known for his "nice guy" image, here goes against type as the sleazy PR manager, who was in charge of both the Captain Avenger film and the Mayoral Campaign of the incumbent, who sees a way of tying the two together, based on the genuine heroics of the actor, that regular guy trying to make people think about a bigger idea(l).

This is a New York movie, through and through, but it's the heart of the film that makes it special and that's due to John Ritter. His performance is always genuine, never hits a wrong note and is a tribute to the actor himself. It's those elements that take this film to soaring heights! Plus there are cameos by some of the city's longtime television reporters: Who knew that Penny Crone had brown hair at one time?

Hero At Large may not be the greatest superhero film ever, but it's better than many that are longer on special effects and much shorter on story.


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