The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)

TV Series  -   -  Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,249 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 25 critic

A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 14 Dec 2010
 
a list of 34 titles
created 16 Nov 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 17 Mar 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 05 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 20 May 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)

The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Greatest American Hero.

User Polls

Season:

3 | 2 | 1

Year:

1986 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Sci-Fi | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter rides the Old West, fighting bad guys, many with futuristic-type gadgets.

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson
House (1986)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Roger Cobb is a Vietnam vet whose career as a horror novelist has taken a turn for the worse when his son Jimmy mysteriously disappears while visiting his aunt's house. Roger's search for ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: William Katt, Kay Lenz, George Wendt
SeaQuest 2032 (1993–1996)
Action | Family | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the early 21st century, mankind has colonized the oceans. The United Earth Oceans Organization enlists Captain Nathan Bridger and the submarine seaQuest DSV to keep the peace and explore the last frontier on Earth.

Stars: Jonathan Brandis, Don Franklin, Ted Raimi
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985... without interfering with his first trip.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Lost in Space (1965–1968)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course.

Stars: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard
Wonder Woman (1975–1979)
Action | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adventures of the greatest of the female superheroes.

Stars: Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, Tom Kratochvil
Battlestar Galactica (1978–1979)
Sci-Fi | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The last major Colonial fighter carrier leads a makeshift fleet of human refugees on a desperate search for the legendary planet Earth.

Stars: Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict
The Dukes of Hazzard (1979–1985)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The adventures of the fast-drivin', rubber-burnin' Duke boys of Hazzard County.

Stars: Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Catherine Bach
Jonny Quest (1964–1965)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The Quest family and their bodyguard investigate strange phenomena and battle villains around the world.

Stars: Mike Road, Tim Matheson, Don Messick
Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pulled to the far side of the Galaxy, where the Federation is 75 years away at maximum warp speed, a Starfleet ship must cooperate with Maquis rebels to find a way home.

Stars: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson
Short | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A revamp of the successful '80s television series by Stephen J. Cannell, where an ordinary school teacher is given superhuman powers after receiving a super-suit by aliens. Unfortunately he... See full summary »

Director: Mitch Yapko
Stars: Allen Rueckert, Don Stark, Brittany Ross
The Greatest American Hero (TV Series 2008)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Brad Heller, Josh Kirby, Milton Lawrence
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Ralph Hinkley / ... (44 episodes, 1981-1986)
...
 Bill Maxwell (44 episodes, 1981-1986)
...
 Pam Davidson / ... (41 episodes, 1981-1986)
Don Cervantes ...
 Paco Rodriguez (23 episodes, 1981-1983)
...
 Rhonda Blake (22 episodes, 1981-1982)
...
 Tony Villicana (21 episodes, 1981-1983)
...
 Cyler Johnson / ... (19 episodes, 1981-1983)
Edit

Storyline

A pair of strangers, liberal high-school teacher Ralph Hinkley and right-wing FBI agent Bill Maxwell, have a close encounter in the Southern California desert one night with "little green men", who give our heroes a red superhero suit. The suit works only for Ralph, and the two, accompanied by Ralph's cute lawyer girlfriend Pam, reluctantly team up to battle criminals. Problems ensue when Ralph loses the suit's instruction book, so he had to master the suit's powers on his own. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

suit | alien | teacher | superhero | california | See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The series was parodied in an episode of Robot Chicken (2005), "Yancy the Yo-Yo Boy". See more »

Quotes

Pam Davidson: I wouldn't use that phone, Bill. The hospital may want you for a lobotomy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the pilot "Greatest American Heroine", the three-note NBC theme is heard as the letters "i-n-e" appear one at a time on screen. (An in-joke as NBC was the network the series was being pitched to at the time) See more »


Soundtracks

Believe It or Not
Written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer
Performed by Joey Scarbury
(theme song)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the Greatest American TV Shows
19 April 2005 | by (New York, NY USA) – See all my reviews

If you aren't familiar with "The Greatest American Hero" you owe it to yourself to get the DVDs... you won't be disappointed. I used to watch the show as a kid and I loved it... they used to play it on Saturday mornings after the cartoons had ended and I never missed an episode. Flash forward twenty years and I'm amazed at not only how well the show has held up but at all I missed the first time around.

Ordinary schoolteacher Ralph Hinkley is given a supersuit by space aliens... when wearing the suit he has all the powers of a superhero. The trouble is he lost the suit's instruction book in episode one and has to figure out how it works as he goes along. He's partnered with crusty, by-the-book FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) and gets lots of help from his gorgeous girlfriend Pam (Connie Selleca). If you think this is a broad, goofy comedy or kid's show you couldn't be farther off... if you think it's kitschy nostalgia you'd be wrong as well. The Greatest American Hero is nothing short of one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

The concept of the everyman becoming superman allowed the show's creators and writers to examine different aspects of human nature... there's so much going on in every episode that getting the bad guy is almost secondary. In one of the best episodes "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," Ralph is forced to examine what it means to be a hero while Bill wrestles with having to arrest his OWN hero, a veteran police officer who has turned to a life of crime. The show was unbelievably human, and the three leads are a perfect triangle... Robert Culp grounds the show by not pulling any punches as the skeptical, impatient fed; his disbelief at the premise only serves to make the premise more real.

William Katt as Ralph is excellent, completely believable as a man trying to balance his roles as boyfriend, father, teacher and superhero. Connie Selleca is not just beautiful... she's a confident, funny actor, putting more into Pam than was on the page. This show is also wonderful as a time-capsule piece, a reminder of when TV could appeal to everyone and still be intelligent, dramatic, and FUN. (Today so many dramas open every episode with a corpse it's all but become the rule.) "GAH" is also one of the BIGGEST TV shows ever made... by that I mean its visual look and style of direction is grand, cinematic. If you get the DVD's you'll see that every episode is a mini-movie. You'll also see that it's one of the best transfers EVER done. The show, twenty years later, is more bright, clean and vivid than anything on TV today. And you also get the memorable theme song, which still gives old-time fans like myself instant nostalgia whenever we hear it.

In conclusion I highly recommend "The Greatest American Hero" to everyone... you will love it, your kids will love it, and it will stimulate your imagination, make you laugh and make you think. What more could you ask for?

GRADE: A+


38 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Time for The Greatest American Hero on the Big Screen!! zatara74
The rest of the world? unclesatan
An idea for 2012 instead ofdreaded reboots GimplyGump
Can we all please agree... shalmo
Help with episode njny99
Ralph's Son thegoddesserin-1
Discuss The Greatest American Hero (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page