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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.75%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 9.38%
Total Crap: 6.25%

3 reviews, 78 user ratings

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by DarkHorse

"A big, loud waste of time for a superb cast and great director"
2 stars

This odd curiosity piece directed by Spielberg tries to do too many things at once and ultimately winds up being a colossal big-budget mess.

1941 tells a fictional account of America's reaction when it is discovered that a Japanese submarine is on it's way to Los Angeles, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

After a hilarious send-up of Jaws and some genuinely funny introductions to the numerous characters in the film, 1941 simply runs out of steam.

One can almost excuse Spielberg for this gargantuan waste of celluloid because of the sheer enormity of the project he tried to undertake.

Told in a style similar to the Airplane/Naked Gun movies, 1941 throws in so much at such a frantic pace that it appears inevitable that eventually it will burst at the seams. This baby bursts like a ripe cantaloupe dropped from The Sears Tower.

Part of the problem is the undercurrent of racism that is fused into almost every element of this film. At first the racial stereotypes being lampooned are funny. After a while they are a nuisance and seem forced. At least Spielberg takes a broad approach and slips in some subversive jabs that are not immediately obvious. There is nothing extremely offensive about this humor but it comes off as just plain sad instead of funny.

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi are among the huge cast in this movie but they probably have about 20 minutes of screen time combined. When they are on the screen they are funny as hell but it is Tim Matheson who steals the show.

He plays a perpetually horny general's aide who goes to great lengths to lay this chick who has a serious thing for airplanes. One of the funniest scenes in the movie is when he shows her his "cockpit".

The budget of 1941 was huge and it shows. There are several scenes that are damn impressive but it collapses under it's own weight.

I recommend checking this flick out just to see what it looks like when a great director lays a massive egg.

This review is on the DVD version that features 26 minutes of restored footage. The added footage does make the plot a bit more coherent, but it fails to save it from sucking almost as bad as it did before.

Have you ever wondered why Spielberg doesn't do comedies? Watch 1941 and it will be painfully clear...

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originally posted: 12/29/99 21:48:15
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User Comments

5/02/18 Charley I couldn't agree more. We need to lobby for a 40th anniversary reissue on the big screen! 5 stars
3/23/15 D. The R. The loudest, stupidest, and unfunniest assault on the ears since comedy was invented. 2 stars
1/12/15 Steve It's a blast. Turn down your snob knob and get ready to laugh. 4 stars
7/05/14 thomas its not a raiders dry run!!!? its a loser big budget rip off of Animal House! 1 stars
4/29/14 Bob Don't listen to what anyone says watch this movie it's great. But be sure to get the direct 5 stars
6/09/13 s One of my all time guilty pleasures 5 stars
6/01/13 Marie Logan A huge misfire!! What a waste of money and talent. 1 stars
12/25/11 Mark Durland Just fun, and lots of it. Don't worry, film festival types. We know you don't like fun. 5 stars
10/26/11 George League I loved it too! Extremely funny, great dance numbers too. 5 stars
10/10/10 Joe Schmo Will be looked back on in MUCH kinder ways by future generations. Esp. the director's cut! 4 stars
5/19/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Sometimes funny, mostly loud and annoying. 2 stars
1/25/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Misfire from Hollywood's top Hostess twinkie baker. 1 stars
12/06/09 Wayne 'Wild Bill Kelso' George OTT and as funny as hell..1941 is pure class.UK DVD available 28/12/09 5 stars
11/21/09 blues_for_jesse This is Spielberg's ode to It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 4 stars
6/30/08 Grant My personal favorite film 5 stars
5/26/08 Carol Loved this movie since I first saw it years ago. 5 stars
11/05/07 StinkyWicket Love it. The scale, the characters the sillyness, brilliant 5 stars
3/10/07 CHAS I'm a crazy ass SOB. 1941 features my kind of people! Critics - craw back into your holes. 5 stars
2/23/07 Steve_CEC Great cast - funny script - big big effects - superb film! 5 stars
7/19/06 adam the biggest pile of unfunny crap i've ever seen . Its not a hidden masterpiece atall. 1 stars
2/10/06 Chip Underrated Comedy 4 stars
6/27/05 Cheif mrs brody is in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
4/26/05 tatum Tons of mayhem and destruction, but not all that funny 3 stars
2/02/05 ralph a true movie expert 32 yrs old a true classic is goldrush,duck soup,modern times,not this rusty 3 stars
12/10/04 Rusty "Pipes" Heyman This is a true classic. All those critics don't understand a true classic when they see it 5 stars
11/22/04 javed elahi i m 22 yers old n i like sexy movie 3 stars
10/13/04 Paul Sewter Silly, but very funny - shame the DVD is not available in UK 5 stars
8/27/04 john collins This movie will one day be recognized as one of sielbergs best films and be a classic. 5 stars
7/07/04 chimpy121 Fun as hell and well-made. 4 stars
4/29/04 Patrick awesome 5 stars
2/12/04 Kevin Overlooked Belushi film 4 stars
12/25/03 paul heslep Spielberg explores his (still young) style. A very solid comedy 5 stars
12/18/03 * An Idiot Who Loves Dan Aykroyd* FUCKIN' SWEET! I LOVED IT IT WAS THE GREATEST! JOHN BELUSHI ROX! 5 stars
12/07/03 john a bit long and overblown but better than its reputation 4 stars
11/30/03 *A Monotonous Creton who loves Tom Hulce* john rulz. aykroyd rulz. this damn movie rulz. screw DarkHorse!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/11/03 Simon Beal Slap-stick comedy at its best! 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston There are scenes that are mind blowning!!! 4 stars
9/23/03 MellCat_Slayer_de_Jake "the stars at night are big and bright" oh, KELSO, you were the FUCKING BEST!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/21/03 CAT BLUES it was sweet frank tree is such a fuzz wad kelso was nuts ...who gives a horse shit... #1 5 stars
8/31/03 Kitty Kelso u think i would use KITTY KELSO 4 nothing???!!! 5 stars
8/30/03 Kitty B. "TAKE THAT TOJO!!" doi, belushi kicked ass!! 5 stars
7/18/03 EZE pretty amusing evn after the first time u watch it, a bit long tho 4 stars
5/18/03 David Keeling Funny,not as bad as its rep. 4 stars
4/12/03 Michael One of the funniest movies I have ever seen 5 stars
12/15/02 Eugene Donaldo Favorite comedy spectacular 5 stars
12/11/02 jay saw this movie when it was released n 1979 and loved it ever since.FUNNY!!!!!! 5 stars
9/27/02 Tom Fleeman This was some funny shit! 4 stars
5/12/02 Allen Forster Loved it especially the ventriloquist dummy "Jeezus it's a Jap sub!" 5 stars
5/01/02 lecomte A very good moment ! 5 stars
2/11/02 Steve Weiss A classic - Belushi, Akyroyd, Candy - it is AWESOME!! 5 stars
1/20/02 Sean 1941 was an extreamly funny movie! 4 stars
11/18/01 Romaniac This movie's hilariously funny! A good piece of parody and slapstick. 5 stars
10/17/01 Hitler's 3rd Testicle Okay, so it's not terrible. But it IS pretty boring. Wacky sunts and elaborate production 3 stars
9/20/01 Luca great movie great belushi 5 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Surprisingly not Steven Spielberg/Dan Aykroyd/John Belushi/John Candy/Rob Zemeckis fare. 3 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk John Belushi is GOD! This was back when Spielberg had balls. 5 stars
7/30/01 Anthony Mancuso Fucking Amazing! 5 stars
7/05/01 Luis Roizman one of the best movies of all times 5 stars
6/20/01 Judith Latham I saw it when it came out (I'm in my 30s) and it was awful and brilliant at the same time 2 stars
6/15/01 Matthew Bartley Underneath all the mess there's a great movie struggling to get out... 3 stars
6/12/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Yes, it's bad. But it's goddamn funny. 4 stars
3/03/01 campibis laughed so hard my side hurt for three days 5 stars
2/19/01 Steve in Prague GREAT flick..probably John Williams BEST score, even better than JAWS...TERRIFIC MOVIE 5 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Belushi enough said! 5 stars
12/10/00 robbie vinder just nice, you know, it's just nice 5 stars
6/28/00 Chocise A classic spectacle in the mode of "Mad, Mad World". The USO dance sequence is superb! 5 stars
11/04/99 christopher hofer I can not believe that 1941 got such terrible reviews, I love this movie. Aside from the de 5 stars
7/27/99 Ron Great movie! Sure its lowbrow, but pretty hilarious nonetheless. 4 stars
7/26/99 Erwin An hilariously over-the-top, hysteric comedy 5 stars
7/26/99 Biondo It's the best film of S.Spielberg, the best for ilarius, the best for the special effect 4 stars
4/16/99 little jerry Not particularly funny but seen on the big screen it really is quite something to behold. 4 stars
4/14/99 Thethug266 This was pretty funny. A war comedy that bombed. What, America can't make war comedy's?! 4 stars
4/08/99 Neil Frankland underated and misunderstood comedy with plenty of redeeming features 3 stars
4/07/99 Cool Thing I bet Speilberg still has nightmares about this one. 1 stars
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  14-Dec-1979 (PG)


  02-Feb-1980 (PG)

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