Bud Spencer is, as always, getting into fights - especially after getting a job as sheriff. He's looking after a small boy who's actually an extraterrestrial with special abilities thus the military wants him. Bud's got his hands full.
At the end of the movie H7-25 states he has returned for 50,000 light years. A light year is a measure of distance, not time. See more »
The German DVD re-release from 3L features a shorter (ca. 50 seconds) version than the original release from e-m-s. The reason for this is that the cut re-release was based on an Italian master whereas the original uncut release was based on a German master (this also explains the language differences in the credits). See more »
This is a kid's film from the late 70's. Strictly speaking, it is not a good film. But I've given it ten stars. One can view a film as a critic, and express a judgment; or one can simply grade it on how much enjoyment you got from it. Often these two things are very close together, particularly when one is assessing a film that was made recently.
But in this case they diverge, for me, quite significantly. If you are looking for the godfather, raging bull, network or some other film that has been preserved for posterity by the library of congress, then this is not for you.
There are quite a few slapstick fight scenes, which I tended to skip through, since they are a bit boring. A fair amount of the film can be a bit boring actually. It's a kids film.
However, what makes it so enjoyable is firstly that it is blissfully surreal, and entirely lacking in pretension to be more than it is. The director absolutely loves to repeatedly play parts of a slapstick scene backwards, and then forwards, and then backwards again. This is appalling film-making; but he could care. It's for kids.
This lends it an innocence, which is shared by all the characters. Essentially everyone but the sheriff is a child (although there's only one actual child with a significant role), and behaves as a child might behave in the circumstances. It views the world through the unselfconscious prism of a child's fantasy; from inside a fort made of cushions in the living room.
If you enjoy feeling like a child again, then this might work for you.
But, secondly, what ultimately makes it enjoyable enough to merit ten stars is that it is really quite touching. As I say, the only adult character is the sheriff, who very early in the film takes on the role of guardian to the central child protagonist, and spends the remainder of the film going to great lengths to take responsibility for a strange (i.e. not his own) child.
The sheriff develops a profound affection for the child. He frequently picks him up, smiles at him, and so on. He generally assumes a parental role.
In one scene, he rubs noses with the child.
This scene made me wince. In 2009, for a large, bearded man to exhibit physical affection for a child that isn't his (possibly even one that *is* his) immediately provokes suspicion of pederasty. Clearly, this is very ingrained in me, since I winced.
But the film was made in 1979; a more innocent time at least in that respect (although one suspects there were as many pederasts in 1979 as there are now, just not on the news).
So, it was very heartwarming to see that dynamic; a dynamic that worked as well as it did because of the choice of actors for the sheriff and kid, and the fact that their performances were curiously 3 dimensional in an otherwise 2 dimensional film.
The film reminded me what we (especially men, and possibly also children) have lost in this climate of hysteria over pedophilia.
"Why did I wince at that scene?" I thought to myself. Clearly the film makers thought nothing of it.
I remember when I was a child ( in the 80's - not that long ago) it was OK for people to pat you on the head, engage you in conversation and so on without anyone feeling awkward or concerned.
It is a shame that the world in which this film was made has been replaced by one in which many parents are cautious even to let their kids outside.
But this is a film in which kids play outside, and to the extent you are willing or able to participate, you can join in.
---update Feb 2011
I don't write that many reviews on here. I've just written another one. and that took me back here.
Ever since I wrote this (under my real name) and especially straight after wards I felt great concern for obvious reasons. (i.e. some weird person stalking me for being a pederast)
I guess the thing is that quite apart from a silly film I would not ever encourage my kid to speak to adults she doesn't know, anywhere. pretty much ever.
Because we live like that now, and that's that.
But what I was saying in the review is this saddens me, and I don't think it has to be like that. It wasn't in 1979. It is like that now though.
But when she's older she's damned well playing outside. In the city. unsupervised.
Trees don't climb themselves, and it's no kind of childhood unless you break something.
But not too far. Or for long.
No kid would suddenly decide to jump into the arms of large bearded sheriffs on seeing this. Or want to watch it, or be able to pay attention.
It was aimed at me, when I was a kid. And that's probably the source of the nostalgia and crappy cultural commentary.
Hence the 10 stars. I'm pretty erudite, and pretty eloquent (also way modest) and I watch tons of films. This is really the only one I've written about with serious thought.
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