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The Projectionist (1971)

A projectionist bored with his everyday life begins fantasizing about his being one of the superheroes he sees in the movies he shows.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Projectionist / Captain Flash
... The Girl
... Renaldi / The Bat
... Candy Man / Scientist
Harry Hurwitz ... Friendly Usher
Mike Gentry ... Usher / Henchman (as Michael Gentry)
Lucky Kargo ... Usher / Henchman
David Holliday ... Fat Man / Bat's Henchman
Sam Stewart ... Usher / Henchman
... Usher / Henchman
... Usher / Henchman
Stephen Philips ... Minister
Morocco ... Belly Dancer
Clara Rosenthal ... Crazy Lady
Jacqueline Glenn ... Nude on Bearskin


A projectionist working in a New York City cinema loves the "movie" aspect of his job - he is often doing impersonations of his favorite movie stars in scenes from his favorite movies, and he has movie posters plastered all over his bedroom walls - but he hates his dictatorial boss, Renaldi, who has strict and often unreasonable rules in how he runs the establishment. The projectionist is basically a solitary man, partly due to the nature of his work. As such, he has much time to think about his favorite movies. Sometimes, he fantasizes that he is a character in a movie, a super hero named Captain Flash. In these fantasies, he references many of the movies that he has seen. But the two constants in the fantasies are Captain Flash's battles against his arch enemy, the Bat (who resembles Renaldi), who is portrayed as someone who wants to take over the world much like Adolf Hitler, and Captain Flash saving "the girl", who resembles a real life girl the projectionist admires from afar. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The true story of the mild mannered projectionist, Chuck McCann, who knew in his heart that he was actually CAPTAIN FLASH - The fabled crime fighter.


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy


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Release Date:

17 January 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Filmvorführer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The marquee of the theatre "The Projectionist" works at lists the film itself as the film that is playing . . . in other words, the film "Now Showing" is indeed the film "Now Showing". See more »


References ...and the Fifth Horseman Is Fear (1965) See more »


Danny's Search
Music by Stu Phillips
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User Reviews

A Cult film in search of a Cult.
13 September 1999 | by See all my reviews

"The Projectionist" is a witty, clever, creative fantasy that deserves a large underground following. The simple tale tells of Chuck McCann (played by, er, Chuck McCann) who is the projectionist at the local uniplex. His life is pretty uneventful, and most of his time is spent watching, quoting, and generally living deep, deep inside movies.

His boring every day life gives way to wonderfully shot black and white fantasy sequences in which Chuck becomes Captain Flash, super superhero and all around nice guy, who must save the world from the Bat (Rodney Dangerfield) and his army of Nazi stock footage.

The fantasy sequences look great, really capturing the look of a silent movie serial. The scenes mix real old movie footage with the new stuff seamlessly, looking fantastic. There is another fantasy sequence, in which Chuck tells about a women he met & fell in love with, also shot in black and white, that is sweet and very reminiscent of Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories".

McCann is a wonderful talent, mixing impersonations, physical comedy, and a surprising tenderness that would almost be heart-breaking if the movie didn't remain upbeat. Rodney Dangerfield is superb also. He doubles as McCann's boss in the "real" world as well as the villainous Bat in Captain Flash's world. Dangerfield's character is a miserly control freak, and Dangerfield never breaks character to crack a joke or anything- he remains slimy and unlikable in a professional performance altogether missing from his starring roles (not to undermine the subtle nuances of "Meet Wally Sparks").

My only complaint is that the color reality sequences don't live up to the day-dream scenes, but they too look great and gritty, a real great contrast to the fantasy scenes.

I whole-heatedly endorse "The Projectionist" as a fine, entertaining art film disguised as a comedy that makes few mistakes in it's character study of a lonely, good natured man mired in pop culture.

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