A special tribute to one of the nicest figures in the show business, the ultra-talented actor/comedian John Candy (1950-1994). Released a year after his death, this biography unites friends... See full summary »
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A special tribute to one of the nicest figures in the show business, the ultra-talented actor/comedian John Candy (1950-1994). Released a year after his death, this biography unites friends and co-stars of his in many films and TV shows to talk about the many qualities of Candy, both as an entertainer, as a friend and family man; his legacy as one of the greatest comedians of all time, and one of the most beloved personalities in the business. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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17 July 1995 (USA)  »

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Remembering John Candy: the man and his talent
24 March 2017 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

A comedian of memorable and powerful talent; a great actor and magnificent presence on the screen to the point where there's no way you could dislike; a supportive friend, family man and very devoted to his fans; and sadly, the kind of person we miss through all those years without him. The legacy of the late John Candy is what this tribute documentary is about and what a gentle and thoughtful this film was. Released on the following year of his sudden death at age 43 while filming "Wagons East" in Mexico, the tribute embraces the talent and presence Candy left on his family, friends and loyal viewers out there and the void he left not just in the world of entertainment but also to plenty of people dear to him.

Friends and colleagues such as Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Dave Thomas, Catherine O'Hara, Chris Columbus, Maureen O'Hara and others provide insightful and lovely memories from the actor, ever since his early years as a theater actor, then moving to "SCTV" which made him a familiar comic TV face and later on brought him into Hollywood, appearing in films such as "The Blues Brothers", "Stripes", "Splash", "Brewster Millions", "Uncle Buck", "Home Alone", "Cool Runnings" and the list goes on. It's all good.

The ones we focus the most in this project are Candy's highlights: John Hughes talks about the experience of working with Candy in several films (great partnership by the way) but the one we pay more attention is obviously "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" where the multi-talented actor delivers one of his most hilarious performances as the loud-talker salesman Del Griffith but he also provides one of his most unusual and heartbreaking dramatic performances of all time, which serves to prove that he was a lot more than just a comic who could pull off all types of funny characters and impersonations from Pavarotti to Orson Welles. My favorite bit in terms of presenting his performances (also the most unexpected moment for me) was when Oliver Stone appeared to expose Candy's role in "JFK" as Dean Andrews. He only has two scenes (the main scene appears in this film) and he accomplishes a great deal of dramatic acting without losing his sense of comedy since the real Andrews was quite a buffoon. Stone says Candy was worried about getting the New Orleans accent right; another story not present in the film is that Mr. Candy was truly nervous while playing such role because it was a huge important film in which he would be co-starring with heavyweight stars, so nervous he was he started to sweat profusely but Stone liked that and...the rest is all you see in the movie, possibly the most convincing performance of the supporting cast (not to mention, Candy and Dean Andrews are quite look-a-like).

And there's also plenty of time to present who was the man. Definitely the nicest guy in show business, a genuine and true article, most describe him as being someone who couldn't have said a negative thing to say about anyone; someone who endorsed charities and was very present for his fans, signing autographs to the point of exhaustion and never complained about it. He loved all that. There's also time to expose some of his worryings and obstacles though the film doesn't stay much with those - but it's always fascinating to see how all of those good and bad moments make the person we see on the screen, a whole trajectory. In seeing a glimpse of the real man comes James Belushi telling a great story from the behind the scenes of "Only the Lonely" when John refused to use the trailer the studio gave him in order to better accommodate the legendary Maureen O'Hara, who didn't have one because the studio could only afford one. The story goes on a little bit but I won't ruin your enjoyment. Please, just watch it.

Here's one of those lovely film accomplishments that you truly wish it were longer than it is, just so we could appreciate more of the actor, learn more and more about his gifts and hear about special stories on him. But we still his movies and series to watch (heck, I didn't even knew he had an animation series with him as a lead). For all I've seen in "To John with Love: A Tribute to John Candy", this one is a knock-out tribute and one that would make Mr. Candy very proud if he was here to see it. Thanks for the laughs and this undying charisma generations will see for ages to come. 9/10


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