7.4/10
3,706
58 user 22 critic

The Greatest American Hero 

Trailer
2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

on Prime Video

ON DISC
A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.
Reviews
Popularity
1,942 ( 193)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1986   1983   1982   1981  
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

B.J. and the Bear (1978–1981)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A trucker and his pet chimpanzee travel the highways of America, getting into various adventures and misadventures along the way.

Stars: Greg Evigan, Eric Server, Linda McCullough
The Incredible Hulk (1978–1982)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fugitive scientist has the curse of becoming a powerful green monster under extreme emotional stress.

Stars: Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a severely injured test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear powered limbs and implants, he serves as an intelligence agent.

Stars: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Sheriff Lobo's the corrupt sheriff from Orly County who appeared in several episodes during the first season of B.J. and the Bear (1978), as B.J.'s occasional nemesis. He now stars in his ... See full summary »

Stars: Claude Akins, Brian Kerwin, Mills Watson
The Six Million Dollar Man (TV Movie 1973)
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After an astronaut and test pilot is catastrophically mutilated in a test plane crash, he is rebuilt and equipped with nuclear powered bionic limbs and implants.

Director: Richard Irving
Stars: Lee Majors, Barbara Anderson, Martin Balsam
The Bionic Woman (1976–1978)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After fully recovering from her nearly fatal bout of bionic rejection, Jaime Sommers, the first female cyborg, is assigned to spy missions of her own.

Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
William Katt ...  Ralph Hinkley / ... 44 episodes, 1981-1986
Robert Culp ...  Bill Maxwell 44 episodes, 1981-1986
Connie Sellecca ...  Pam Davidson / ... 42 episodes, 1981-1986
Michael Paré ...  Tony Villicana 30 episodes, 1981-1983
Faye Grant ...  Rhonda Blake 28 episodes, 1981-1982
Jesse D. Goins ...  Cyler Johnson 21 episodes, 1981-1983
Don Cervantes Don Cervantes ...  Paco Rodriguez / ... 20 episodes, 1981-1983
Edit

Storyline

Ralph Hinkley was minding his own business, a teacher on a field trip with his high school students, when the bus he's driving mysteriously drives itself out into the desert. A startled Ralph is soon visited by aliens, who had decided to endow him with superhuman powers to fight the battle against injustice and crime. To this end, they gave him a special suit and an instruction manual. Unfortunately, Ralph managed to lose the instruction manual, and the aliens have a nasty habit of never being around when you need them. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What America needs is a super hero. What America got was Ralph Hinkley!


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Stephen Cannell Productions

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the pilot when Ralph is taken to a mental hospital wearing his super outfit, a man tells him, "That's a bad suit, Jim!" A similar line ("Say Jim, that's a bad out-FIT!") was said to Christopher Reeve in Superman (1978). See more »

Quotes

Bill Maxwell: And so we went to NewFOUNDland to make friends with all the whales and a bunch of little fishies
See more »

Crazy Credits

Throughout the show's production, save for the original pilot, the copyright disclaimer toward the end of each episode's credits had an error, spelling the name of the United States as "THE UNTED STATES" See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1986, three years after the series ended, a pilot film entitled "The Greatest American Heroine" was produced which reunited the original series cast. The pilot was not broadcast, so the film was reedited as an episode of "Greatest American Hero" (complete with original opening credits) for syndication. It was also included on the 2005 DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ready Player One (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe It or Not
Written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer
Performed by Joey Scarbury
(theme song)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the Greatest American TV Shows
19 April 2005 | by BolesroorSee all my reviews

If you aren't familiar with "The Greatest American Hero" you owe it to yourself to get the DVDs... you won't be disappointed. I used to watch the show as a kid and I loved it... they used to play it on Saturday mornings after the cartoons had ended and I never missed an episode. Flash forward twenty years and I'm amazed at not only how well the show has held up but at all I missed the first time around.

Ordinary schoolteacher Ralph Hinkley is given a supersuit by space aliens... when wearing the suit he has all the powers of a superhero. The trouble is he lost the suit's instruction book in episode one and has to figure out how it works as he goes along. He's partnered with crusty, by-the-book FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) and gets lots of help from his gorgeous girlfriend Pam (Connie Selleca). If you think this is a broad, goofy comedy or kid's show you couldn't be farther off... if you think it's kitschy nostalgia you'd be wrong as well. The Greatest American Hero is nothing short of one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

The concept of the everyman becoming superman allowed the show's creators and writers to examine different aspects of human nature... there's so much going on in every episode that getting the bad guy is almost secondary. In one of the best episodes "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," Ralph is forced to examine what it means to be a hero while Bill wrestles with having to arrest his OWN hero, a veteran police officer who has turned to a life of crime. The show was unbelievably human, and the three leads are a perfect triangle... Robert Culp grounds the show by not pulling any punches as the skeptical, impatient fed; his disbelief at the premise only serves to make the premise more real.

William Katt as Ralph is excellent, completely believable as a man trying to balance his roles as boyfriend, father, teacher and superhero. Connie Selleca is not just beautiful... she's a confident, funny actor, putting more into Pam than was on the page. This show is also wonderful as a time-capsule piece, a reminder of when TV could appeal to everyone and still be intelligent, dramatic, and FUN. (Today so many dramas open every episode with a corpse it's all but become the rule.) "GAH" is also one of the BIGGEST TV shows ever made... by that I mean its visual look and style of direction is grand, cinematic. If you get the DVD's you'll see that every episode is a mini-movie. You'll also see that it's one of the best transfers EVER done. The show, twenty years later, is more bright, clean and vivid than anything on TV today. And you also get the memorable theme song, which still gives old-time fans like myself instant nostalgia whenever we hear it.

In conclusion I highly recommend "The Greatest American Hero" to everyone... you will love it, your kids will love it, and it will stimulate your imagination, make you laugh and make you think. What more could you ask for?

GRADE: A+


44 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed