Straight from the pages of a pulp comic from a past era, the Rocketeer recreates 1930's Hollywood, complete with gangsters, Nazi spies, and the growth of the Age of Aviation. Young pilot Cliff Secord stumbles on a top secret rocket-pack and with the help of his mechanic/mentor, Peevee, he attempts to save his girl and stop the Nazis as The Rocketeer. Written by
Greg Bole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The plane flown by Cliff in the opening is the Gee Bee racer, specifically Model "Z" from 1931. It was built by the Granville Brothers Aircraft Company (brothers Zantford, Thomas, Robert, Mark, and Edward), hence the plane's initials "G.B." The R-1 was for a time the fastest land-plane in the world, essentially a cockpit, wings, and tail built around an 800 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine. James Doolittle (who would lead the bombing raid over Tokyo in 1942) won the 1932 Thompson Trophy race flying a Gee Bee R-1 at a speed of 252.686 miles per hour. See more »
The final scene shows a stop sign that is white letters on a red background. The White-On-Red color scheme was first mandated in the 1954 revision of the MUTCD, Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, section 29. See more »
[as they bring the Gee Bee out for its maiden flight]
Keep her straight, keep her level. It's your first time up, so don't do anything interesting.
And remember, she stalls out at about a hundred. So keep the air speed up. Otherwise, you're gonna be drifting around all over the sky. And if the ailerons start to shimmy...
Peevy, I have flown a plane or two in my life.
Not like this one, you haven't. This one's... This one's a handful. You sneeze in this thing and you're ...
[...] See more »
This movie is what "Spysmasher" and "The Red Skull" wanted to be, but couldn't because special effects were too lame then and their budgets were too small. It's sad how a lot of critics dumped on Bill Campbell's performance in this movie, when he does precisely what he should -- he's the square-jawed, slightly naive, optimistic hero who is repeatedly double-crossed by the wily villain (if he were less of a Boy Scout and more of a James Bond, there wouldn't be any movie). Connelly and Arkin are just great as, respectively, the beautiful and plucky girlfriend and the brilliant mechanic father-figure/sidekick. If you liked those old serials, you'll love this movie.
Maybe the movie didn't have an audience, but if you watch the trailer it wasn't marketed right -- the trailer makes it seem like an Indiana Jones movie, and it is much more innocent (and sweeter) than that. Apparently Disney was planning to make another one, but pulled the plug because this one bombed at the box office. I recall expecting something else when I went into the theater, and being very pleasantly surprised by it. I was also very surprised when the movie wasn't a hit, but I even sort of liked the old Flash Gordon serials, so...
Another thing that is disappointing me at the moment is that I can't find any entries for the Spysmasher or Red Skull serials (the latter was the first one I know of with the Commando Cody character, although I don't recall him being referred to by that appellation -- I saw it 40 years ago, and then managed the catch the last hour or so in the middle of the night about 15 years ago one sleepless night, so it's kind of a blur).
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