The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)

TV Series  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,601 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 26 critic

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

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3   2   1  
1986   1983   1982   1981  
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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A feature version of the classic 1980s TV show.

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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)
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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

Taglines:

What America needs is a super hero. What America got was Ralph Hinkley!


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Details

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Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two years after the show's cancellation by ABC, NBC picked up the series and aired its reruns in a Sunday night, post-prime time time slot. This led to speculation that NBC was looking to revive the series, but their efforts only resulted in The Greatest American Heroine pilot. See more »

Quotes

Ralph Hinkley: You see what I mean? Like right now for instance. You're not even listening to me. I mean, for all I know, we could be driving into the biggest shootout of this century
Bill Maxwell: [not listening] Yeah, kid. I'll work on that for ya
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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Eerie Midnight Horror Show (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Good idea...series not pretentious......some spoilage.....don't cry.
18 March 2000 | by (Floyd Montana) – See all my reviews

THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO is the story of a average guy who gets handed the responsibility of being a superhero when his life is falling apart; he's getting a divorce, he doesn't have enough time to spend with his son, he's having girlfriend problems, he has problems on the job, and he has a FBI agent who wants to use his new found powers to fight commies. This is a great premise and actually, the pilot was not that bad. ROBERT CULP is Bill Maxwell, a tough as nails, "so patriotic he can't see straight" FBI agent who sets out to avenge his partners death. WILLIAM KATT is a school teacher who takes a wrong turn in the desert and both he and Maxwell stumble onto these aliens and Maxwell's dead partner who give him a alien supersuit to fight crime. The problem is the teacher looses the instruction book in the desert and can't figure out the suit's basic functions. (ie. he keeps slamming into buildings as he trys to fly.) The series was a semi spoof on SUPERMAN, with a down to earth twist. The show never took itself too seriously and was for the most part well done up until the last season.....things lagged on that one. The series was the brainchild of STEPHEN J. CANNELL...a LA tv tychoon who suffers from dyslexia, yet, has managed to be a force to be reckoned with in hollywood. I hear his pitch sessions are incredible.


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