Dir. Steven Spielberg. 1979, 118 mins. 35mm. With John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Candy. Critically dismissed at the time of its release, Spielberg’s grand folly is a lavish spectacle that has attracted a major cult following. A slapstick behemoth on a massive, budget-busting scale, 1941 charts the fictional pandemonium that ensues among a group of frenzied Los Angelenos after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Featuring Oscar-nominated cinematography, sound design, and visual effects, Spielberg’s wildest ride is a delirious portrait of Americans under duress that serves as both a critique of wartime paranoia and a chance for Spielberg to play with and demolish a really big toy set.
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