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The Rocketeer (1991)

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0:31 | Trailer
A young pilot stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high flying masked hero.

Director:

Joe Johnston

Writers:

Dave Stevens (graphic novel "The Rocketeer"), Danny Bilson (story) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
3,375 ( 241)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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A girl inherits the persona of The Rocketeer, and with the help of her gadget-building friend they tackle epic adventures.

Stars: Kitana Turnbull, Billy Campbell, Callan Farris
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Campbell ... Cliff (as Bill Campbell)
Jennifer Connelly ... Jenny
Alan Arkin ... Peevy
Timothy Dalton ... Neville Sinclair
Paul Sorvino ... Eddie Valentine
Terry O'Quinn ... Howard Hughes
Ed Lauter ... Fitch
James Handy ... Wooly
Robert Miranda Robert Miranda ... Spanish Johnny (as Robert Guy Miranda)
John Lavachielli ... Rusty
Jon Polito ... Bigelow
Eddie Jones ... Malcolm
William Sanderson ... Skeets
Don Pugsley ... Goose
Nada Despotovich Nada Despotovich ... Irma
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Storyline

Straight from the pages of a pulp comic from a past era, the Rocketeer recreates 1930's Hollywood, complete with gangsters, Nazi spies, and the growth of the Age of Aviation. Young pilot Cliff Secord stumbles on a top secret rocket-pack and with the help of his mechanic/mentor, Peevy, he attempts to save his girl and stop the Nazis as The Rocketeer. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Ordinary Man Forced to Become An Extraordinary Hero. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

21 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rocketeer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,600,754, 23 June 1991

Gross USA:

$46,704,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,704,056
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plane flown by Cliff in the opening is the Gee Bee racer, specifically Model "Z" from 1931. It was built by the Granville Brothers Aircraft Company (brothers Zantford, Thomas, Robert, Mark, and Edward), hence the plane's initials "G.B." The R-1 was for a time the fastest land-plane in the world, essentially a cockpit, wings, and tail built around an 800 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine. James Doolittle (who would lead the bombing raid over Tokyo in 1942) won the 1932 Thompson Trophy race flying a Gee Bee R-1 at a speed of 252.686 miles per hour. See more »

Goofs

When the GeeBee crashes, you can see the cable which pulls it along. The cable pulling the car into the gas truck can be seen as well. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Peevy: [as they bring the Gee Bee out for its maiden flight] Keep her straight, keep her level. It's your first time up, so don't do anything interesting.
Cliff Secord: Who, me?
Peevy: And remember, she stalls out at about a hundred. So keep the air speed up. Otherwise, you're gonna be drifting around all over the sky. And if the ailerons start to shimmy...
Cliff Secord: Peevy, I have flown a plane or two in my life.
Peevy: Not like this one, you haven't. This one's... This one's a handful. You sneeze in this thing and you're ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

YOU'RE A SWEET LITTLE HEADACHE
Written by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin
Performed by Artie Shaw and his orchestra
Vocals by Helen Forrest
Courtesy of Bluebird / RCA / BMG record labels
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty enjoyable
3 July 2004 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

There's more fun to be had out of this movie than I'd expected. The story is given elsewhere so I'll pretty much skip it and get to the more important things, like the twenty-year-old Jennifer Connelly with her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame. She's a bit plumper (all over) than we're used to seeing her but it's okay because cartoon figures ought to be slightly overdone. She looks and sounds magnificent -- those two monumental and nacreous incisors, I guess. She could open mangoes with those teeth. Not that she's as beautiful as any woman possibly could be. Connelly COULD be better looking but if she were it would probably be against some law. Anyway, it would be hard for any normal man to stop from flinging himself at her feet and groveling over her toes.

Bill Campbell looks like a cartoon too. In fact everyone in the movie looks like a cartoon except the guy playing the huge thug working for Paul Sorvino. That guy doesn't look like a cartoon. He looks exactly like Rondo Hatten, an acromegalic actor from a few 40s horror flicks. But, it must be admitted, Rondo Hatten looked like a cartoon. And, well, if A = C and B = C, then A = B, no? It's a conundrum alright.

The movie is filled with delicious 1938 atmosphere. I wasn't around to enjoy it but it's always struck a resonant chord in me when I glimpse it in movies or listen to recordings from the period.

Here we have an Artie Shaw sort of band playing "Begin the Beguine" with a close simulation of that famous arrangement that made it such a hit. A smiling singer who looks like Nicole Kidman stands on the stage and sings without rolling around or smashing a guitar. Call me retro, but I prefer it to Snoop Dog Eeeze 2 Dudes. All seriousness aside, what happened to pop music anyway? Where are our Cole Porters and Ira Gershwins. Somebody hand me a hankie.

The production designer deserves a medal for capturing the exhilarating vulgarity of Southern California. I think I glimpsed a reproduction of Benvenuto Cellini's Apollo amidst the faux Egyptian columns.

I enjoyed the airplanes too. The one in the beginning of the movie was built exclusively for racing. (I forget its designation.) It was a horror to fly because it was hardly more than a huge engine with a tiny airplane built around it, as unstable a craft as ever took wing. Scary news footage exists of one of them zipping along at a tremendous rate and then, out of nowhere, kaboom, spinning deliriously into the ground at full speed. The 1930s were famous for their air races, like NASCAR is today. Heroes were made out of aviators. Airplanes that later became famous as fighters in WWII were first configured as racers -- Curtis P-40s, for instance, and the British Spitfires.

Of course it's an imitation of the Indiana Jones series and maybe an imitation of some Indiana Jones imitations, a kind of meta-imitation, but, gee, it's enjoyable. What atmosphere. And lots of action. Everybody and everything is turned into mincemeat one way or another but not in any way that's offensive.

It's really kind of engaging if you don't ask for significance.


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