Dr. Strange (TV Movie 1978) Poster

(1978 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
34 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
"Do you believe in evil, Doctor?"
utgard1417 January 2016
TV movie (intended as a pilot for a possible series) about the Marvel magical superhero, Dr. Strange. Morgan LeFay (Jessica Walter) is sent to Earth by a demon to prevent an aging sorcerer (John Mills) from passing his power onto someone else. To this end she possesses a young woman named Clea (Anne-Marie Martin) and tries to get her to kill the sorcerer. Clea is traumatized by this, which leads her to being taken to the hospital where she is treated by psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten), who just so happens to be the sorcerer's intended successor.

While it's easy to dismiss this because it's a TV movie and those are largely cliché-ridden and forgettable today, I should point out that this wasn't always the case. In the 1970s TV movies were actually really good on the average, with a lot more creativity and variety than we see today where it's the same recycled soaps, thrillers, and romantic comedies over and over. This does have a limited budget, so those expecting things like Strange creator Steve Ditko's surreal imagery will be disappointed. But if you leave unrealistic expectations at the door and judge it on its own merits, I think you'll find it's a quality movie. Peter Hooten is a little wooden for a leading man but doesn't embarrass himself. Anne-Marie Martin (billed as Eddie Benton) is pretty good and very easy on the eyes. John Mills classes things up significantly. Jessica Walter is delicious fun as Morgan Le Fay. Perhaps the movie's greatest strength is Paul Chihara's score. Again, TV movies today just don't have this level of quality. Next to the Incredible Hulk TV series, this was the best of Marvel's efforts in the '70s and '80s to bring one of their heroes to life on the small or big screen, excluding cartoons. Those who can't enjoy TV movies or those who are fans of the comic book who can't see past their inflated expectations will not like it and should probably skip it altogether. I think most others who watch it will see it's very good for what it is.
20 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
The Geatest Superhero TV Series never made?
Dock-Ock10 July 2003
Dr.Strange carries forward the legacy initiated by Kenneth Johnson on The Incredible Hulk Television Series and Pilot Movies. It takes a serious approach to the superhero genre, and reconstructs it for television. So with Dr.Strange, Writer/Director Philip De Guerre dispenses with alot of the important elements that made Stan Lee's/Steve Ditko's original Strange Tales Dr.Strange comic book stories so unique and exciting for a whole generation of readers, and comes up with a fresh approach for the times {1970's} and the climate {Network Television}. What is so amazing is that it works on almost every level.

Gone from the TV version of Dr Stephen Strange, is the arrogant, haunted persona so familiar with readers of Marvel comics. In its place is a man with a destiny to encompass the mystic arts. Perhaps a forerunner to the Highlander Movies, TV series and cartoons? What we have is a sincere, likeable sweet lead character akin more to Bill Bixby's performance of Dr David Banner. Strange is superbly played and realised by Peter Hooten. Hootens performance is refreshing with what was the norm on TV at the time. Hooten is ably backed up by the sinister Jessica Walter as Morgan Le Fay, and the evergreen John Mills as Thomas Lindmer {replacing the character of the Great One from the Marvel series}. Lindmer is a character reminiscent to Sean Connery's Ramirez in the aforementioned Highlander movies. Hooten and Mills share some genuine screen chemistry together and this movie serves as a fascinating glimpse as to what could have been had a series been commisioned.

The transfer from comics to TV is quite well realised despite the obvious limits of a TV budget. The production design, especially of those of the nightmare realms and Lindmers Castle are very efficient as is the near perfect realisation of Dr. Stranges costume from the comics pages {i actually prefer the TV Movie version}. On the down side the plot is a little cumbersome and slow burning. There doesn't seem to be too much movement, and the plot isn't too involving. It would perhaps have been a better idea to have incorporated more elements from the comics into a pliot movie of Strange's exploits.I think a good example of how fantasy can work on TV is Bill Bixby's The Magician TV series and pilot movie. Also, the special effects at times do look cheesy.Despite this, Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street seems to have incorporated alot of this movies elements into its screenplay, IE, people being haunted, killed or possesed from within a dream state, and a saviour entering that realm.

Having watched the movie again recently, it was nice to see the innocence in the movie. I can see how the occult theme may have been offensive at the time. But with the spot on performances, tight direction and nicely toned humour,{watch out for a neat cameo by Magician Larry Anderson at the end of the film} watching the film again only serves to re-emphersise my opinion that Dr.Strange was the greatest superhero TV Series NEVER made.
30 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A Decent Attempt
Uriah433 February 2015
"Thomas Lindmer" (John Mills) is a sorcerer who realizes his life is approaching its end. Because of this he needs to transfer his powers to somebody capable enough for his assigned tasks. That person just happens to be a young psychiatrist by the name of "Dr. Stephen Strange" (Peter Hooten) who has no idea of his potential psychic powers or the destiny that awaits him. To add to the situation is the fact that an evil sorceress named "Morgan LeFay" (Jessica Walter) has been released by a demon from her captivity in another dimension with the orders to kill Thomas Lindmer before he has a chance to convey his power to Dr. Strange. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this was a decent attempt to portray the essence of the popular comic book onto the big screen. Unfortunately, some of the graphics weren't as well-developed as some of the others and as a result it gave the movie an uneven feel. The acting seemed adequate for the most part and the presence of Eddie Benton (as "Clea Lake") certainly didn't hurt the scenery in any way. All things considered I rate the film as average.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
TV pilot that suffers from its limitations
tomgillespie200224 August 2012
The current wave of live-action cinematic superheroes is nothing new to our screens. Since 'Superman' first revolutionised the comic book industry in 1939, there have been film adaptations. In the 1940's there were many serials (Batman, Superman, and Captain Marvel for example). Then in the 1950's and 1960's The Adventures of Superman (1952 - 1958) and the campy Batman (1966 - 1968) the superheroes became household names on television. Then, in the 1970's, DC comics, through the ABC television network, produced the highly successful Wonder Woman (1975 - 1979) series, with the Amazonian beauty of Linda Carter. With the prospects of DC's most famous character's big screen incarnation, in Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie (1978), Marvel, with their groundbreaking silver-age characters, needed a platform for their characters. Whilst they had success with their animated Saturday morning shows, live-action and the TV series was the place to promote them.

From 1977 to 1982, Universal television broadcast The Amazing Spider-man (1977 - 1979), The Incredible Hulk (1978 - 1982), and two TV movies, Captain America (1979) and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (also 1979). The quality was of course varied, and the Hulk was its most credible triumph. Then in 1978, writer/producer, Philip DeGuere, produced a feature length television movie of one of Marvels most "psychedelic", cerebral characters, Doctor Strange. Created by comic legend Steve Ditko, it seems like quite a huge leap of faith to create a plausible adaptation within the restrictions of television production. This leads to some of the more fantastical elements of the comic books to be altered, or left out entirely - but this is of course an understandable exclusion.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten), a Psychiatrist working in a New York hospital who has been chosen by Thomas Lindmer (John Mills) to take his place as the new Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. However, an evil Sorceress, Morgan LeFay (Jessica Walter), has plans to kill the Earth- bound magicians. After throwing Thomas off a bridge, Clea Lake (Eddie Benton), has been telepathically controlled by the evil witch, Morgan, and it is down to Dr. Strange to save her from the astral plain, then conquer the cosmic universe to become the sorcerer.

It does have the limitations of 1970's television production, and falls flat very often with the dialogue - including excruciatingly annoying laughter from Strange and Clea, as they laugh at their unfunny exchanges. However, it is an admirable effort to bring a more obscure Marvel character to a live-action context. With Stan Lee as a consultant (as with all the other aforementioned shows), Lee states that this was his most enjoyable experience out of all of them. It was intended as a pilot for a series, but this was never produced - a television interview with Morgan LeFay towards the end, actually gives clues as to the way the show could have gone, and to be honest, it seems like an incredibly good concept. Morgan LeFay would have indoctrinated into her realm of magic the youth of America, through the zeitgeist idea of the self-help programme, something that was big business in the '70's. Alas, the idea was never seen through.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Enjoyable 70's superhero TV movie
Woodyanders29 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Strange (a solid and likable performance by Peter Hooten) discovers that he's been chosen to serve as a sorcerer by an ancient order so he can protect Earth from the forces of evil. Strange's first formidable opponent materializes in the form of ruthless sorceress Morgan LeFay (well played with lip-smacking wicked relish by Jessica Walter).

Writer/director Philip DeGuere Jr. keeps the entertaining story moving along at a steady pace, grounds the fantastic premise in a believable everyday reality, smartly explores the central theme of realizing one's destiny, and maintains an engaging earnest tone throughout. The sincere acting by the capable cast keeps this picture on track, with especially praiseworthy contributions from John Mills as wise old sorcerer mentor Lindmer, Clyde Kusatsu as Lindmer's loyal servant Wong, Anne-Marie Martin as innocent college student Clea Lake, and June Barrett as smitten nurse Sarah. The modest special effects might not be that fancy, but they do the trick just the same. Paul Chihara's funky score hits the right-on groovy spot. Enzo A. Martinelli's sharp cinematography provides a neat stylish look. A fun teleflick.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
"The universe is love. That you shall have."
Hey_Sweden30 January 2017
Initially conceived as a "backdoor pilot" to a potential TV series, this adaptation of the Marvel Comics character does suffer from the limitations of a television level budget. Some people can look at this almost 40 year old telefilm and just see it as hopelessly cheesy. But it provides fairly good entertainment for any lover of fantasy. Written, directed, and executive produced by Philip DeGuere Jr., a TV veteran, it has its heart in the right place, and certainly conjures up some appropriately weird atmosphere.

Playing his role with wit and charm, Sir John Mills ("Great Expectations" '46, "The Quatermass Conclusion") is an all-powerful Good sorcerer named Lindmer, who realizes that the passing of his baton is at hand. His successor will be a psychiatrist named Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten, "Orca", "The Inglorious Bastards"), whom he will have to convince to accept his destiny. Their nemesis is a beautiful witch named Morgan LeFay (Jessica Walter, "Play Misty for Me", 'Arrested Development'), sent from an alternate dimension to Earth to do battle with Lindmer once again.

The lovely Anne-Marie Martin ("Prom Night" '80, 'Sledge Hammer') co-stars as Clea Lake, the young student with whom Strange becomes understandably enchanted. Top character actor Clyde Kusatsu ("Midway", "The Interpreter") is rock solid as Wong, Lindmers' loyal associate. Hooten is good as a skeptic and man of science who will have his consciousness raised. Walter delivers an appropriately campy (but not TOO over the top) performance as the villainess. Michael Ansara, Ted Cassidy, and David Hooks all provide voices, uncredited. But the real treat in watching 'Dr. Strange' '78 is savoring the performance of the legendary Mills.

The music by Paul Chihara is fun, alternating between soaring orchestral music and creepy electronica. The sets are done well, and some of these visuals create a wonderfully trippy, psychedelic quality. This may further help to date the movie, but it does lend it some 70s charm.

A nice diversion that might be just a little too spooky for the youngest of viewers, especially the character of The Nameless One.

Seven out of 10.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
This movie rocks...
shanakin7 March 2005
I had first seen this movie years ago on Sci Fi only part way thru and thought of it often but never took the time to try to hunt down a copy. When low and behold I ran into it at a video rental store where you can rent movies for less than $1.00 for three days.

I cant believe how much fun this movie is, I truly love movies from the 70's and this movie has some major 70's fashion going on. I was surprised at how well the cast got into there roles from Peter Hooten playing Dr. Strange and Jessica Walter playing Morgan they both made the movie a lot of fun and the scene's that there in together are great. This is 70's camp at it's very best, the story is not as strong as it could be and the dialogue is a bit goofy at times but the actors bring the movie to life. Oh and I have to mention the lovely Anne Marie Martin she looks great in this movie what a beautiful lady.

There is another review on this movie that states the Greatest Superhero TV series never made and I have to agree. I wonder if the producers were hoping to go to series, because of the way the movie ends. It certainly had some great potential. I hope that some company takes the time to release the 70's marvel movies other than The Incredible Hulk (I do like the hulk to it's just better know than the Dr. Strange and Captain America and Spderman series of the 70's). The kid inside me from the 70's still loves these movies and I hope that some day they can be released on DVD.

DR. STRANGE LIVE ON IN YOUR MYSTIC WORLD...
18 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
On Balance, A Great Flick
shaman-723 October 2000
So, it's not "Gone With The Wind" or even "The Omen". However, I like it and it is well worth watching.

The basic idea here, that a small number of empowered men(certainly women, too) act to preserve the world that we know from falling into demonic chaos, is an old one. It makes a stylish premise for this movie, which was based on the best-selling "Dr. Strange" comics.

The "astral" sequences are handled with style and grace. The actors play their respective parts very well.

I'd recommend this neat little movie both as entertainment and as a springboard for discussions. Do people like "Lindmer", "Wong", "Morgan LeFay" and "Dr. Steven Strange" actually exist?

I find a disconcerting similarity between Morgan LeFay's self-help cult(mentioned at the very end) and the all-too-real "Jonestown" in Guiana. (The mass suicide there, with all its disturbing implications, came a few weeks after this flick was released.)

Maybe there is "war in heaven", with some spiritual powers trying to bring humanity into enlightenment, while others try to "bust" us back into the Dark Ages. Then again, maybe I was just stoned when I saw this movie for the first time.

But I really did have a good time watching it either way!
22 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Good entertainment
Typing_away6 June 2001
This movie deviates somewhat from the Dr. Strange comic book, but I found it to be very entertaining and fun to watch. Peter Hooten does a good job as Dr. Strange. Veteran actor John Mills has a prominent part as Lindmer, the sorcerer. As has been mentioned earlier, "Dr. Strange" was supposed to be the pilot for a proposed TV series, but unfortunately it was not picked up by a network.
16 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Nice Marvel TV-movie with the flair of the 70's
Logan San12 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
It's a nice piece of Marvel-mystery, though not really true to the characters, but which Marvel movie is or ever will be? (In all Movies in the new century - including Blade - they have changed major things!)

The costumes were nice, but especially in the cases of Dr. Strange and Clea I would have loved to see the original comic-costumes...

*** SPOILER ***

It seems to be, that they have made two characters out of Dr. Strange: An old and wise version called Thomas Lindmer (played perfectly by John Mills) who hires the younger Dr. Strange (played by Peter Hooten), who's a little Playboy like, I must admit.

One word about "The Nameless One". I only knew of the Nameless OneS in the Dark Dimension, though I don't think, they are meant. Yes, Dormammu comes up to mind, but there is something more ancient and elder evil in this being!!! :) Could it be one of the elder gods: Chthon (formerly known as the Other)?!? ...because Morgan LeFey once conjured him up, but he was waaaaay to powerful for her, so she send him back to the domain, where he had come from... It seems, in this movie, Morgan hadn't so much luck! *g*

And for me it appears that Chthon made another appearance in a Marvel Movie: Blade I !!!...La Magra, the Blood-God which is summoned through rites of the vampire bible is in my opinion another movie adaption of Chthon, who not only made the Darkhold (a book with arcane black magic rites [like the vampire bible in the movie], as his touchstone to the earth plane) but is therefore ultimately responsible for all vampires at earth, because the first vampire was created by not completing an exorcism rite to an atlantean sorcerer (see Varnae, another character-adaption to movie, I think! See Overlord Eli Damaskinos of the second Blade movie) inscribed in the Darkhold! Though many have made an attempt to summon Chthon through the Darkhold, few have succeeded in it (and jet fewer survived it *eg*).

*** END SPOILER ***

So I give this movie a 7 out of 10, because for the time it was made quite well! It's on par with the Punisher movie I think and really better then the the never released Fantastic Four movie (it's available on eDonkey). But if you really like to see bad Marvel movies, go and watch Howard the Duck or even worse: Kull the Conqueror !!!

Logan San
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Great!
AnnaPagrati31 August 2021
The first Doctor Strange movie! A pretty good one!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
surprisingly somewhat watchable bad TV movie
SnoopyStyle22 February 2015
Morgan LeFay (Jessica Walter) failed her demonic master five hundred years ago. She is sent back into our world to battle the aged Sorcerer Supreme Thomas Lindmer (John Mills) before he can pass on his knowledge. She has three days. Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten) is to be the next sorcerer but he doesn't know it yet. Wong is Lindmer's loyal assistant. LeFay takes over Clea Lake to attack Lindmer. He survives the fall from the bridge. Haunted by LeFay's possession, Clea Lake becomes Strange's patient.

There are some reasonable TV acting which includes the great Jessica Walter. It would be hilarious if she gets a part in the new movie. This has all the cheesiness that can be expected from a lower rate 70s TV effort. The production and the style has that lower value of that era. The special effects is of that era and is not good enough to do the subject with justice. It is somewhat watchable which is my best compliment for this TV movie.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Cheesy fun
briancham199421 March 2022
By itself, the film is a very dated and very cheesy 70s film about an evil sorceress who wants to defeat her magical rival. It's somewhat fun to watch. As an adaptation of Doctor Strange, it fails because it takes far too long to transform the titular character from a regular human to the sorcerer supreme. The setup has some decent suspense as a civilian is under the spell of the villain Morgan LeFay and Stephen Strange has to figure out what's going on, all while the current sorcerer is under threat. However, this drags on for too long and the payoff is anticlimactic as Doctor Strange learns his powers too quickly and the special effects are laughable.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Excellent movie about a sorcerers apprentice
POODY20 April 1999
A tv pilot that should have been a series. The christian coalition boycotted this excellent portrayal of demonology. The sponsors decided it was too controversial to air as a serial, A real shame, the suspense and eerie soundtrack made for excellent viewing...
16 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Maybe Whedon or Raimi will ultimately fix this mess...
A_Different_Drummer3 November 2013
This review is penned in Anno Domini 2013 when, for the first time in decades, competent writers and producers are finally turning the Marvel vault into a steady stream of serious entertainment, albeit of uneven quality. Among fanboys, it is known that one of the greatest disappointments in the Marvel library is Dr. Strange, which has never been turned into a decent film, not even once. Part of the fault is the quality (or lack of same) in the production teams who, in the past, have taken on the project - AND THIS FILM, DONE TO A BELOW AVERAGE TV MOVIE STANDARD, IS A CASE IN POINT. It is AWFUL. And part of the problem -- the part no one wants to discuss -- is that the Dr. Strange character is not the brightest bulb in the Marvel catalogue. The original character was created to be deliberately dull and morose, and it did not help that the working mechanics of the mystical world in the series are, for example, several notches below Harry Potter. That's not promising. I mean, you really should know a little about what you writing about, and this is not evident in the Dr. Strange series. The promise is there, but no more than that. (Literary history buffs will note that, in the 1970s a fictional series came out to compete in this niche, entitled Dr. Orient, and it was much more creative, and showed the promise of the core idea.)
13 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Not as awful as you might think
ericstevenson8 August 2016
This movie is, as far as I know, the first movie ever created based on a Marvel comic book. The first theatrically released one was "Howard The Duck" which didn't come out until 1986 and to this movie's credit, it is probably an improvement. I don't know as much about Dr. Strange as I do Spider-Man or Captain America, as he's simply not quite as well known. This movie mostly faults from waiting until 74 minutes into the movie to actually show the title character in his costume, which I could recognize. Now a lot of it actually was pretty faithful to the comics. You got to see some familiar characters.

Now the thing is, originally I was going to give this movie a lot lower rating, but I did realize something. This was in fact intended to be the pilot for a TV show that was never made. As cheesy as the film was, I actually could excuse its pacing for the fact that it wasn't really meant to be a full movie. The way it went slowly actually did make sense for what it was supposed to be. I never watched any live-action Marvel shows ever. The bad definitely outweighed the good, so it's best to just skip this and watch the awesome Marvel movies released in theaters. **
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Wonderful thriller in the 70s genre
Linda_S5 October 2008
I absolutely adore this made for TV film. Frankly having just re-watched a VHS I have I would so love to have this on DVD. It gets NO AIRINGS on TV to my knowledge. Shame. I loved Peter Hooten and John Mills and Clyde Kusatsu. What a HOME Lindmer had!!! The vivacious Jessica Walter at her absolute sexiest! There is something very special about this film; a compassion, a humanity that can sometimes appear cheesy and forced in the medium however, despite what some may think, there is a genuineness about Hooten and Mills performances that I found so refreshing.

Keeping in mind that this is made for TV and with a background that lends itself to formulaic triteness I think the crew did a heck of a job.

The set for Lindmer's house is well done for a film with a rock bottom budget.

Good versus Evil, as old as man, and this is a special entry in that genre.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
It was strange alright...
paul_haakonsen28 April 2022
Yeah, this is one of those movies where the majority of people out there don't believe you when you say that long before Cumberbatch there was Peter Hooten. But there is truth to it, just take this 1978 TV movie that is based on the Marvel comic book of the same name; Dr. Strange.

The 1970s saw a handful of Marvel heroes make their transition from the colored pages of the comic books and onto the screens, in bigger or smaller success.

I have actually never seen this 1978 movie from writers Philip DeGuere Jr., Steve Ditko and Stan Lee before now in 2022, when I had the opportunity to sit down and watch the movie. So it was sort of an appetizer for the upcoming "Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" movie, I suppose.

Well, I can't claim that I was particularly impressed with director Philip DeGuere Jr.'s 1978 movie. It felt like you took the comic book and spliced it up with a 1970s acid trip. It was pretty spacy and out there, especially the astral travel scene.

The storyline in this 1978 movie was just not solid enough. The movie ran for 93 minutes and ultimately then very little actually happened throughout the course of the movie, which made it somewhat of a struggle to sit through the movie. Actually, "Dr. Strange" felt more like a hospital drama than it felt like a superhero movie set in the Marvel universe.

The acting in the movie was generally adequate, however I can't fathom why they opted to have Peter Hooten in the leading role as Dr. Stephen Strange. The actor was simply too wooden and rigid in his performance, and seemed rather unable to portray emotions. It was nice, though, to see Jessica Walter and Clyde Kusatsu in this movie.

I am sure that hardcore fans of the Marvel comic books will get a kick out of this 1978 movie. But for a regular viewer, and one that is not overly keen on superheroes to begin with, then director Philip DeGuere Jr. Just didn't deliver a particularly wholesome movie.

My rating of "Dr. Strange" lands on a very generous four out of ten stars.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Pretty good for its time.
Ceronomus2 May 2021
(1977) Spider-Man (1977) The Incredible Hulk (1977) The Incredible Hulk: Death in the Family (1878) Doctor Strange (1979) Captain America (1979) Captain America II: Death Too Soon

This was the "MCU" of the 1970s. As a kid,, I ate these up. Of them, Spider-Man and the Hulk went on to be series, the other entries did not. Spider-Man ran on Wednesday nights, and wasn't particularly good - the Hulk? Well everyone knows about how well THAT series did. In the case of Doctor Strange, it is particularly disappointing that it never jumped to a series, as it really was the next best entry after the Incredible Hulk.

Certainly, this tv movie has its issues, Dr. Strange being inexplicably transformed from a surgeon into a psychiatry resident among them. The effects are, of course, dated and we don't get a classic Dr. Strange villain - but that is the case with all of the other Marvel tv films of the era. What we do get though, is a well costumed, decent portrayal of the titular hero and a throwaway portrayal of his love interest Clea.

If you are a fan of the character of Doctor Strange, this little oddity is worth a watch. If your exposure to the character is limited to the FAR superior film with Benedict Cumberbatch, you will be disappointed. There is no fair way to compare the two. One is a failed pilot and the other a modern cinematic blockbuster. But, if you go into this with realistic expectations, you will find yourself enjoy it.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Talated magicians.
chubarova3 August 2019
What can you say about this film? There is no point in 2019 to evaluate the schedule, which was in 1978. Therefore I will tell only about a plot. The plot turned out to be extremely interesting, though simple. Morgana was great, so was the doctor. cons have movie, too, there is. Vaguely shown Ancient and Wong, as well as the entire Sanctum Sanctorum. I put the film 6 out of 10.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Loved it!!
brianwhite530 July 2019
Absolutely superb entertainment 70's style. Having a top rated actor like John Mills just adds to the enjoyment but the real star is the actor playing Dr Strange who just fits the role perfectly. Yes, it knows it's limitations so stays within them letting your imagination go wild....I can't understand why so few people have seen this film although I oly saw it since I stumbled upon it on VHS and it's mine to watch many times more. Highly recommended!!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
TV Strange
BandSAboutMovies6 May 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Stan Lee said of his experience with the 70s live action Marvel films, particularly Dr. Strange, "I probably had the most input into that one. I've become good friends with the writer/producer Phil DeGuere. I was pleased with Dr. Strange and The Incredible Hulk. I think that Dr. Strange would have done much better than it did in the ratings, except that it aired opposite Roots. Those are the only experiences I've had with live action television. Dr. Strange and The Incredible Hulk were fine. Captain America was a bit of a disappointment, and Spider-Man was a total nightmare."

Director and writer DeGuere was crushed when this series wasn't picked up and all we got was the TV movie, but he ended up creating Simon and Simon, so he did alright.

Morgan Le Fay (Jessica Walter, who was in Play Misty for Me and Arrested Development and this is not anywhere near those) possesses Clea (Eddie Benton, Prom Night, The Boogens) and has her shove Earth's Sorcerer Supreme Thomas Lindmer (John Mills) off a bridge. He survives and Clea ends up being cared for by Dr. Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten, 2020 Texas Gladiators, Just a Damned Soldier and most importantly, Night Killer), who has magical powers inherited from his father, which leads Lindmer and his friend Wong (Clyde Kusatsu) to meet Strange and teach him the path that he really should be on. I mean, why help people deal with mental illness when you can battle the demon Balzaroth (Ted Cassidy, who wasn't just Lurch, he was also the voice of Galactus on the first Fantastic Four cartoon and the narrator of the original opening to The Incredible Hulk).

Le Fay and Clea are both interested in Strange, which leads the Nameless One to threaten Le Fay with old age if she doesn't destroy the young magic user. She sends the shadow form of Asmodeus - a Ghost Rider villain - to capture Lindmer and lure Strange into her trap. She attempts to seduce him and fails. Then, Strange accepts the responsibility of being the new Sorcerer Supreme.

After all that - and despite being abandoned by the Nameless One and becoming wrinkled and aged, Le Fay is on TV as a self-help star, teasing the series that was never made.

This is a pretty slow moving movie, but as a kid, I loved it, because I just wanted more comic book stuff on TV. It would have been nice to see where the TV show would have gone.

Here's a strange trivia question: Who is the first Marvel supervillain to be adapted to live action?

Yes, the villainess of this movie, Morgan LeFay. The Arthurian villainess was one of Spider-Woman's main enemies and somehow, she beat every other villain to the screen.

Sure, she acts a bit more like Umar, the daughter of Dormammu, but there you go.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Disappointing as an adaptation, weak as a stand-alone film
balkaster19 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
---SPOILERS, NOT PLOT RELATED---

Comics fans will probably be disappointed with the number of liberties taken with the characters and their motivations (Strange gains his powers after being mutated by an alien machine, instead of through years of study and discipline; his mentor is an English dandy who just happens to live in Manhattan, instead of an ancient reclusive sage who lives in Tibet; Wong is a westernized valet instead of an Oriental mystical disciple; Clea is a ditzy grad student at NYU instead of an extra-dimensional sorceress-in-training; etc.), but the production values are surprisingly good for a low-budget TV production. Most of the supporting cast do their jobs credibly, but Peter Hooten is a cypher. He plays Strange as a somewhat vapid, self-absorbed disco-era playboy and projects no real sense of personality. Instead of being shocked or horrified by the mystical horizons revealed by the other characters, he just seems lost and maybe disinterested. As an example of failed 1970's Marvel Comics TV adaptations (the others that come to mind are "Amazing Spider-Man" with Nicholas Hammond, and "Captain America" with Reb Brown), this is the best of a very bad lot. A marginally better "Strange" derivative is "Doctor Mordrid" with Jeffrey Combs and Brian Thompson.
5 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Dr. Strange: On par with the remake, not that it's a good thing
Platypuschow19 August 2017
I'm a big marvel fan, truth be told it doesn't even have to be Marvel I just like superhero themed movies and television shows.

Trouble is within the Marvel Universe the one and only film I didn't enjoy was Dr Strange, I simply didn't "Get it". It bored me, it baffled me and I found myself frustrated that a character I couldn't stand was getting added to the movie franchise.

I knew that plenty of cheesy marvel movies had been made across the 60's/70's/80's but I wasn't aware Steven Strange was among them. Part of me wishes I hadn't found out.

Very tacky and thoroughly 70's this early attempt at Dr.Strange is really quite bad but no worse than the remake.

Battling the evil sorceress Morgan LeFay while having his tweaked origin story told we see our hero do..........very little actually.

It's not awful, it's just tacky. I found myself wishing Thanos would appear and rip his head off just for it to end, also because I think that would be a really cool thing to happen. Fingers crossed that happens in the Infinity Wars.

The Good: Certainly fairly charming

The Bad:

It just all looks so very very terrible

Dr Strange looks like a 70's porn star

That costume!

Things I learnt from this movie:

If a super villain is attracted to you they'll leave you alone
3 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Dr. Crap
Everymoviegetsa1013 February 2021
This movie sucked real bad.

It was very interesting. I turned it off after like 10 minutes.

Even the MCU version was just ok. It felt kind of dry to be honest. Verdict: Dr. Crap.
0 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed