Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1975
Directed by
George Roy Hill
105 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Great Waldo Pepper

After huge successes with Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973) director George Roy Hill's third attempt to deliver a jauntily nostalgic crowd-pleaser tanked despite an A-list team of creatives including Robert Redford, at the peak of his blue-eyed fame, as Waldo Pepper, a former WWI pilot now scrounging a living as a stunt pilot touring the farmlands of Nebraska in the last days of the popularity of barnstorming.

Despite a solid script by William Goldman and outstanding aerial photography by Robert Surtees, the film is just too jaunty for its own good and misrepresents what is essentially a substantial story about the passing of an era and all that it implies about the emasculation of the mythic American hero, in this case literally transcending the lives of mere mortals. In the hands of Hill and his production designers the film's retro-stylings and the typology of stock characters are more appropriate to the manifestly contrived look of the musical and had this film had some songs it might have been truly, irresistibly awful instead of just a missed opportunity to do something worthwhile.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst